updated 10/31/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 10/31/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
Still, her career soared. She was a big hit with American GIs on USO tours during World War II and the Korean War and established herself on TV in the '50s. Her personal life, though, was a mess. Rave's most consistent relationship was with her agent, Nick Condos, whom she married twice and who fathered her only child, Melodye, now 50. None of her six other marriages lasted more than three years. Moreover in the '50s, grim stories began to surface of periodic breakdowns and attempted wrist slashings.
She survived to become the TV spokesperson for Polident in the '80s, and by the '90s had salted away an estimated $2.4 million. Enter Mark Harris, an ex-hairdresser from Brooklyn whom she married three years ago when he was 42 and she, at 75, was confined by a stroke to a wheelchair. Melodye petitioned the court to take control of her mother's estate from Harris, but the request was denied. She is accorded $1 in Rave's will; the balance goes to Harris.
Last year Raye's circulatory problems grew worse, and her left leg was amputated below the knee. Still, despite a lifetime of troubles, she seemed to take genuine comfort in her last years with Harris. "He makes me feel young and womanly," she once said. "I'm really in love this time."