Grew Up… in a broken home. Billy Ray struggled with drug abuse and had stints in juvenile detention centers and prisons before ending up on the street.
Living… on the streets of Philadelphia. Billy Ray is conditioned to lie in order to scrape out an impoverished living. He will sacrifice his dignity without thinking twice if it means a few dollars in his pocket.
Profession… con man and hustler, at first. He resorts to creative begging techniques, such as presenting himself as a blind paraplegic who got his legs blown off by the Vietcong back in ’72, though he’s clearly too young for that to be true. But then Billy Ray gets his big break from an unlikely source and becomes a commodities broker for Duke & Duke, a commodities trading firm founded by the wealthy brothers Randolph and Mortimer Duke. Billy Ray proves to be a talented, disciplined commodities trader with a serious attitude about his work.
Interests… karate. He claims to be great at it, but then again he is a huge liar.
Relationship Status… single. Finding a lady was the least of Billy Ray’s concerns when he was on the street, well down the list from “staying alive.” But once he becomes a commodities broker, he finds himself in a virtuous cycle – his wealth makes him more confident, and his fine furs and limo are natural magnets for a certain element of the fairer sex. His successes only bolster his confidence further.
Challenge… defeating the Duke brothers. Once settled into his new life and job at Duke & Duke, Billy Ray learns that his entire rags-to-riches narrative was a farce; he was just a pawn in a $1 bet between the Duke brothers, a social experiment to see whether or not people are truly products of their environments. They lifted him up from poverty to take the place of their blue-blood employee Louis Winthorpe III, whose life they destroyed to see how he would react. Their experiment nearly complete, the Duke brothers plan to fire Billy Ray soon. Thus Billy Ray must team up with the down-and-out Winthorpe to get back at the Duke brothers – and so Billy Ray can avoid ending up back on the streets.
Personality… charming, unaffected, and not nearly as tough as he likes to pretend. Billy Ray’s smile can light up the room. He introduces himself as “Billy Ray Valentine, Capricorn,” and generally refers to himself in the third person. He calls Mortimer Duke “Mortay” and Randolph Duke “Randy.” Though the Duke brothers didn’t have his best interests at heart when they gave him a good job at a reputable firm, it did prove that his criminal ways were more a function of his dire circumstances than anything innate.
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