Michel Ray (Michel Ray Popper)
BiographyGerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
He was born into a wealthy family having an English mother and a Brazilian father. He was educated in Switzerland where he learnt to ski. His parents were friends of producer Michael Balcon who was looking for a boy who could ski for his 1954 film The Divided Heart (1954). Young Michel fitted the part perfectly and started a film career which culminated in the role of Faraj in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). This project took eighteen months and caused Michel to look at the affect film work was having on his education. He decided to quit acting. Read more... where he read business studies. After university he joined White Weld & Co moving on to NM Rothschild and Credit Suisse First Boston. In his London city career in investment banking he made his first millions. In 1995 he joined Nikko Securities and in 1998 became the first non-Japanese member of the main board. Meantime he had continued his passion for winter sports and was a member of the British Olympic ski team at the 1968 Winter games in Grenoble, France. He was in the team again in '72 and '76 competing on these occasions in the luge. He had also married a childhood friend Charlene, daughter of Alfred "Freddie" Heineken. Her mother was Lucille Cummins daughter of a Kentucky Bourbon maker. Her father Freddie died in January 2002 and left his controlling interest, 50.05%, in the Heineken brewing empire to the couple. It is estimated at three billion pounds sterling or four point two billion dollars. Michel's life story is more glamorous than many a Hollywood fiction.