Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004
The sleek tough guy of numerous gangster films, probably best remembered for his role as the brutal coin-flipping gangster Guido Rinaldo in Scarface in 1932. Raft was also said to be the fastest Charleston dancer in the world.
Warner Brother cartoons invariably caricatured Raft flipping a coin like Rinaldo. Caricatures can be seen in Malibu Beach Party (Freleng, 1940) in a gag showing yachts, boats, and Rafts, as well as in Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941), in which he pitches pennies with James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. Raft is seen crying on the shoulder of Edward G. Robinson in The Coo-coo Nut Grove (Freleng, 1936) -- actually, the two hated each other with a passion. Raft plays Tattletale Grey, a spy who flips a coin with his feet, in Ali Baba Bound (Clampett, 1940). Bugs Bunny’s coin-flipping character in Racketeer Rabbit (Freleng, 1946) is most likely based on Raft.