October 26, 1935|
Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Died||April 30, 2013
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Director, Producer, Screenwriter|
Michael "Mike" Gray (October 26, 1935 – April 30, 2013) was an American writer, screenwriter, cinematographer, film producer and director.
Film and TV
In 1965, Mike Gray and Jim Dennett co-founded The Film Group, a Chicago film production company. In 1968, the pair along with editor Howard Alk produced the award winning documentary American Revolution 2 (1969), followed by the trio's The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971). The Film Group was also behind the seven part educational series, "Urban Crisis and the New Militants," which was composed primarily of footage shot during the production of American Revolution 2 but also includes footage of Chicago Black Panther members (including future Congressman Bobby Rush) and a 1966 civil rights march in Cicero, Illinois. This series can be streamed on Chicago Film Archives' website and Chicago Film Archives's channel on YouTube.
After moving to California, Gray shot The Gift (1973), a documentary about the life and art of Marc Chagall. Gray then co-wrote with T. S. Cook and James Bridges the screenplay for the 1979 nuclear thriller The China Syndrome (1979), a film which became notable for opening twelve days before the Three Mile Island reactor meltdown. He also wrote and directed Wavelength (1983), an independent science fiction film starring Robert Carradine, Cherie Currie, and Keenan Wynn, with a soundtrack by Tangerine Dream.
Gray next co-created the television series Starman (1986–87). Following Starman, he became series writer/producer for the 1988-89 season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Gray was a second unit director on The Fugitive (1993) and acted as Swizlard in Chain Reaction (1996). Gray scripted "The Zone" and "Forget about Yesterday" in 2008 and was working with director Andy Davis and legendary film maker, Haskell Wexler on an as yet untitled documentary.
Gray's books include: "The Warning," about the accident at Three Mile Island (1982); "Drug Crazy: how we got into this mess and how we can get out" (1998); "Angle of Attack," a biography of Harrison Storms which also detailed America's race to the moon (1992); "The Death Game: the luck of the draw" (2003); and "Busted," a book about the country's drug war (2004).
- "Mike Gray dies at 77; co-wrote 'China Syndrome' screenplay". Los Angeles Times. May 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-03.