Raymond DeBriac

born: 15 November 1915
New York,
United States of America
died: 15 December 1939
Guernica Military Hospital,
Guernica, Basque Country,
Spain
(tuberculosis, age 24)

Red-headed young American actor. His twin brother was Charles DeBriac. One source claims that actor Jean DeBriac was his father, but research by ANM's Jim Jarvis has proven this to be false. Jean was in fact, his uncle.
The twins were born to Jules Weitler Epailly (1886-1967 France) and Gertrude Howard (1885-???? England). They were married in London in September of 1908 and immigrated to the US in 1910. According to newspaper blurbs, his parents were stage/opera performers in Europe. Jules was a prolific and popular mostly stage actor who mainly worked in New York City or with traveling road shows in his early career. In 1921, he and Gertrude took the twins to Los Angeles where his brother, Jean De Briac, was already well established as a popular movie actor. The brother "got" the twins into movies.
According to the NYC Extracted Birth Records at Ancestry.com and Vitalsearch.com, the twins were born first, "Charles R. L. Epailly" and second, "Frederick L. M. Epailly". They became known as Charles and Raymond De Briac. Apparently, Charles R. L. was called Raymond and Frederick was called Charles. This is based on the 1937 enlistment of "Raymond L." in the Lincoln Brigade recruited in the USA to fight General Franco's Fascists in Spain. There doesn't seemto be any mention of a "Frederick Epailly / De Briac" in any of the official records or newspaper stories. In April of 1935, the Mom ("Mrs. G. De Briac of Los Angeles") wrote to the police chief of Elmira, NY seeking the whereabouts of her son "Charles" at a specific address. He wasn't there but had died more than 3 months earlier in Manhattan, NYC.
In November of 1937, the Mom filed her "Intention for Citizenship Petition" in LA. In it she says she has 3 children (with birth and current residence info). She says Charles' residence is "unknown" and the other 2, "Raymond and Jean reside in LA". Charles had been dead for almost 3 years and Raymond had left for Spain more than 3 months earlier.
In July of 1937, Raymond joined a group of about 3,000 Communist sympathizers who went to Spain to fight Franco's Fascists in the SpanishCivil War (1936-1939). Many were combat inexperienced students. Raymond was captured 26 Sept. 1938 and sent as a POW to Franco's military prison hospital at Guernica. It was officially reported to the US State Department that he died there of "pulmonary tuberculosis"on 15 December 1939.
Real name: Raymond Epailly
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.

1


1924
Every Man For Himself
Twin

Acknowledgements & sources:
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=61457&h=1224171&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=MgZ100&_phstart=successSource (Birth Record Frederick L. M. Epailly (Charles) 15 Nov. 1915 Manhattan, NYC)
http://www.archive.org/stream/variety40-1915-11#page/n144/mode/1up/search/epailly (1915 Nov, birth announced in "Variety")
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WK2-KP7 (1935 Jan 6 NYC Manhattan: Charles Epailly extracted death record)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/276416464/?terms=%22charles%2Bepailly%22 (1935 Apr 22: Mom searches for Charles)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=3998&h=1930596&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=1193 (1937 Nov: Mom's Citizenship appl)
http://www.alba-valb.org/volunteers/raymond-epailly (1937 July Raymond L. Epailly enlistment extract Lincoln Brigade)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=tQl8&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=8913&gsfn=gertrude&gsln=howard&gsfn_x=1&gsln_x=1&msgdy=1909&msgdy_x=1&msgdm=9&msgdm_x=1&new=1&rank=1&uidh=1c2&redir=false&gss=angs-d&pcat=34&fh=11&h=14604183&recoff=&ml_rpos=12 (1908 Sep Jules Constantin Epailly marries Emily Gertrude Howard)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJGR-553 (1920 Census Bronx, NYC Jules Epailly Family)
http://www.archive.org/stream/camera04unse#page/n553/mode/1up/search/de+briac (1921 October CA at film studio with Uncle Jean)
http://www.archive.org/stream/camera04unse#page/n546/mode/1up/search/%22De+briac+twins%22 (1921 Oct Photo: which is Raymond?)
https://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html (1940 Jan 31 NY "Daily Worker" p.2 died of TB)
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Abraham-Lincoln-Battalion (info on Lincoln Brigade and Batallion)
LampyMeier2007 (information)
Jim Jarvis (extensive research and corrections)
This page was last updated on: 17 September 2019