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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 2:26 p.m., Thursday, October 6, 2005

Ray Bumatai dies at 52

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Ray Bumatai, the multi-talented local actor-comedian-musician, has died. He was 52.

Bumatai, who had been battling brain cancer for several years, passed away early this morning.

His wife, Karen "Bree" Bumatai, wrote in an e-mail sent to friends in the media this morning that Bumatai had passed away "very peaceful(ly)."

"He was my warrior, my love, my light and my best friend. I will miss him always and hold him in my heart forever," she wrote, thanking friends and loved ones for their love and care during Bumatai's final days.

The older brother of local comedian Andy Bumatai, Ray Bumatai was a hardworking actor who over a two-decade-plus career landed numerous character roles in Hawai'i and Hollywood film, television and theater projects.

His television credits included roles on "Magnum P.I.," "Baywatch," "Jake & The Fatman" and "Hawaii."

His career also included voice-work in Walt Disney's "Lilo & Stitch" and the popular Nickelodeon cartoon "Rocket Power." His comedy career included stand-up gigs in Waikiki comedy clubs in the early '80s and a year in a reorganized grouping of Booga Booga in 1988.

Bumatai was also a longtime fixture in local theater productions, who continued to act throughout his three-year bout with cancer. Among his most recent on-stage roles was a solid, well-received turn as the king in Army Community Theatre's sold-out run of "The King & 1" last November.