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Ruby Murray’s husband Ray Lamar dies aged 87

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Ray Lamar, the theatrical impresario who was a popular stage dancer in the fifties and the second husband of the late Softly, Softly singing star Ruby Murray, has died at the age of 87.

He and his first wife, Madge Nichols, were one of variety’s most popular acts, touring the UK in the early fifties. Billed as Ray and Madge Lamar, they were known for their acrobatic tap dancing and their ingenious Me and My Shadow routine.

Lamar eventually moved into theatrical management, presenting touring shows of musicals with John Hanson, and he also managed the British tours of leading American artists such as Judy Garland, Guy Mitchell and Johnnie Ray.

In 1961, he joined the Bernard Delfont Organisation and for many years managed summer seasons at Torquay with stars including Jessie Matthews and Arthur Askey.

He and Ruby Murray were married in 1993, although by that time her chronic alcoholism had brought down the curtain on her singing career. Her death from liver cancer in 1996, at the age of 61, devastated Lamar.

He died from pneumonia in Torbay Hospital, Torquay, on Wednesday, August 3.