Born 1932. Austin began his career as a stuntman, first in his native Britain, then in the US in films like Spartacus (1960). He returned to Britain, working on the series The Saint (1963-68) first as an actor and stuntman, and graduating through directing action sequences until by 1968 he was directing whole episodes of the series. He also worked as a second unit director on The Champions (1968) and directed episodes of The Avengers (1968), Randall & Hopkirk Deceased (1969), Department S (1969) and UFO. He also directed documentaries, winning an Outstanding Film Award at the London Film Festival for The Perpetual Garden, and some films, including The Zany Adventures Of Robin Hood (1974).
He was involved early on with Space: 1999, helping cast the regulars. His wife Yasuko Nagazumi played Yasko in eight episodes of Year 2. He knew Martin Landau prior to making Space: 1999 as he was Landau's stunt double in the Mount Rushmore scene in North By Northwest (1959) and he was a stunt coordinator on Cleopatra (1962).
He has since directed episodes of The New Avengers (1976-77), The Return Of The Saint (1977), The Professionals (1978), and, after he moved to the US, Magnum P.I. (1984) and the 1984 TV movie Return Of The Man From Uncle. He has directed episodes of V (1985), Highlander (1992-1997), JAG (1995-2001) and CI5 The New Professionals (1998).
Starlog 70 p63: "I probably did 10 or 11 1999s. I think the show was better the first year. We had a great deal of production value in that show; no money was spared on sets. I was very surprised when we were cancelled. UFO never seemed real to me. It was theatrical as opposed to 1999, which seemed more realistic.""
Sylvia Anderson on Ray Austin: "Ray Austin was an ex-stuntman, he used to be the driver for Cary Grant. He was quite a character. A lot of his stuff was a little difficult to edit, but he produced the goods."
Christopher Penfold: "I think Ray Austin was absolutely right for the series. Ray started off life as a stuntman and then he made a name for himself as an action director, in Hollywood I think. He had a terrific raw energy he brought to his episodes. Everything I say about him as a director was in a sense the opposite of what I was looking for in writers and maybe that was a good thing. "