Gregory Ratoff was an actor, director and writer during his years in Hollywood. Off screen he was considered a chief jester to movie moguls and the stars.
The Russian-born comedian studied at the St. Petersburg Dramatic School before spending 18 months on the German-Russian front during World War I. He came to the United States after producer Lee Shubert spotted him performing in Paris.
Ratoff was credited with giving many top-name stars their start, including Ann Sothern, Ingrid Bergman, Linda Darnell and Susan Hayward.