It is with a heavy heart that we can report that, after a brave battle with a brain tumour, Italian actor Ray Lovelock has passed away. Vampire Squid readers may be most familiar with Lovelock thanks to his portrayal of George in the understated 1974 picture The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (A.K.A. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie). In this cult classic, two protagonists are implicated in murders committed by zombies who have been brought to life by via ultra-sonic radiation.
Born in Rome in 1950, Lovelock’s Italian mother and English father met during the Allied occupation of Italy. It was at college that Lovelock first discovered his talents as an actor, supplementing his income as an extra in movies and TV commercials. Lovelock also performed in a rock band with long-time friend and actor Tomas Milian, who became famous for starring in Spaghetti Western pictures. Lovelock would later be discovered by a talent agent and released five singles, including the main theme song of Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (1976).
Lovelock played his first credited movie part in the Spaghetti Western Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot! (1967) which also starred Milian. Aside from Corpses, his other notable film roles include Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Almost Human (1974), Violent Rome (1975), The Cassandra Crossing (1976) and The Last House on the Beach (1978). From 1980, Lovelock also took TV roles and featured in many Italian soaps.
Lovelock’s death comes months after that of his friend Milan. He is survived by wife Joy, his daughter, granddaughter and two brothers.
In Lovelock’s memory, we recommend watching Let Sleeping Corpses Lie tonight. A thoroughly enjoyable zombie flick, it has been called the “most effective and disturbing Spanish film of the period” for a reason.