Erin Gray

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Erin Gray
6.28.13ErinGrayByLuigiNovi1.jpg
Gray at the 2013 Wizard World
New York Experience in Manhattan.
Born (1950-01-07) January 7, 1950 (age 66)
Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, U.S.
Occupation Film, television actress
Years active 1967–present
Spouse(s)
  • Ken Schwartz (m. 1968–90), 1 child
  • Richard Hissong (m. 1991), 1 child
Website www.eringray.com

Erin Gray (born January 7, 1950) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her roles as Colonel Wilma Deering in the science fiction television series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and as Kate Summers in the situation comedy Silver Spoons.

Early life[edit]

Gray was born on January 7, 1950, in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii (now, the state of Hawaii), the daughter of Diane and Daniel Gray.[1] When Gray was eight, her parents separated.[2] Gray lived with her grandparents in Palm Springs for a few years. Eventually she and her mother moved to Larkspur, California. Gray attended Redwood High School[2] and then attended and graduated from Pacific Palisades High School. She briefly attended college at UCLA, focusing on math,[2] but she left school to pursue her career.

Career[edit]

In 1965, at age 15, Gray had a chance meeting with Nina Blanchard, head of one of Hollywood's top modelling agencies and became convinced to pursue a career in modelling.[citation needed] Within a few years Gray was considered one of the top models in New York City.[citation needed] During this period, she worked as spokeswoman for several accounts including L'Oréal, Max Factor and Bloomingdale's. "By 1975 Gray was one of the nation's top TV models, earning $100,000 a year."[2]

She developed an interest in acting, so she moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her Hollywood career.[3][4][5][6] Her first appearance on television had been in 1967 as a dancer in the variety series, Malibu U. In 1978, shortly after moving to California, she landed her first starring role, on the miniseries Evening in Byzantium. Following good notices, in 1978, Gray was put on a seven-year contract at Universal Studios, which led directly to her taking the role of Colonel Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, at first for a theatrically released movie, then for a recurring TV series.[7] Gray's trim, shapely figure, augmented by a tight one piece jumpsuit uniform, was popular with the show's predominantly young male audience. Gray commented that she was aware of the sexiness of her uniform which was so tight that she had to be sewn into it. Her character was also high profile within the show, second only to Gil Gerard in the lead role, thus representing one of the early examples of a strong female character in a science fiction setting. Because of this Gray was seen as an important role model for female viewers. She once told an interviewer:

I was the first female colonel. I enjoyed being that kind of role model for young women watching the show. A woman can be a colonel! A woman can be in charge! Those were new ideas then.[8]

Gray at the 2005 Dragon Con in Atlanta.

Shortly after Buck Rogers, Gray appeared in the first season Magnum, P.I. episode, "J. 'Digger' Doyle", in which she played security expert, Joy 'Digger' Doyle. The role was planned to become recurring, even possibly a spin-off series,[citation needed] but neither occurred, and it was the character's only appearance in the series. In 1982, she played the role of Lilah in the summer movie Six Pack as a love interest opposite Kenny Rogers. Gray's role as Kate Summers in the TV sitcom Silver Spoons lasted for several years in the 1980s.[7] When that show ended, she took regular film and TV work; she appeared in an episode of Superboy and Murder, She Wrote. In 1993, she had a featured role in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, the ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series. In 2005, she appeared in the film, Siren.

In 2010, Gray and Gil Gerard returned to Buck Rogers by playing the characters' parents in the pilot episode of Buck Rogers web series.[9] She has also worked in commercials,[10] including a 2010 spot for Pup-Peroni dog treats.[11]

Gray is also a casting agent[10][12] Her agency, Heroes for Hire, specializes in booking sci-fi and fantasy stars for personal appearances, speaking engagements, and charity events.[7][13] Gray also teaches T'ai chi.[10][14][15]

In 1998, Gray wrote a book Act Right with Mara Purl which contains advice for novice television and movie actors.[16] A revised edition was published in 2002.[17]

Gray starred in the 2011 film Dreams Awake (with "Alien Nation" co-star Gary Graham). She also plays the role of Madeline Twain on the webseries The Guild.

Gray has also guest-starred in the 2014 webisode "Lolani" from the web series Star Trek Continues as Commodore Gray, an episode that also starred Lou Ferrigno.

Filmography[edit]

Movies[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Col. Wilma Deering
Winter Kills Beautiful Woman Three
1982 Six Pack Lilah
1989 The Princess and the Dwarf
1993 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Diana Kimble
1994 A Dangerous Place Audrey
T-Force Mayor Pendleton
2000 The Last Producer Dee Freeman
Woman's Story Laurel Warner
Delicate Instruments Jessica Livingston Short
2001 Serial Intentions Virginia Madden
Touched by a Killer Liza Collins
Social Misfits Sharon Cox (Mitsy's Mom)
2002 Clover Bend Betty Clayton
Special Weapons and Tactics The Mayor Short
2003 Manfast Gloria Day
2005 Caught in the Headlights Mrs. Jones
2006 Siren Sharon Cox
2007 Jane Doe: How to Fire Your Boss Laura Sands
The Wedding Video Carol
2008 Loaded Susan Price
My True Self Mrs. Ellen Fields
2009 Hunter Prey Clea
2011 Dreams Awake Hope Emrys
2012 Nesting Mrs. Deegan
2014 Christmas in Palm Springs Mayor Tomlin
2017 In-World War Mother

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Maude Model (Uncredited) 1 Episode: The Game Show
1978 Police Story Laurie Tice 1 Episode: Day of Terror... Night of Fear
Evening in Byzantium Gail McKinnon TV Movie
1979 The Rockford Files Margaret 'Alta' Hatch 1 Episode: With the French Heel Back, Can the Nehru Jacket Be Far Behind?
The Ultimate Impostor Beatrice 'Bucky' Tate TV Movie
B. J. and the Bear Dr. Samantha Evans 1 Episode: Cain's Cruiser
1979-81 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Col. Wilma Deering 32 Episodes
1980 Vega$ Jennifer Stallings 1 Episode: Black Cat Killer
Coach of the Year Paula DeFalco TV Movie
1980-82 Fantasy Island Laura Jensen / Carla Marco 2 Episodes: Face of Love/Image of Celeste, Skater's Edge/Concerto of Death/The Last Great Race
1981 Magnum, P.I. Joy "Digger" Doyle 1 Episode: J."Digger" Doyle
1982 The Fall Guy Bonnie Carlson 2 Episodes: License to Kill: Part 1 & 2
Simon & Simon Vicki Whittaker 1 Episode: Matchmaker
Born Beautiful Betsy Forrest TV Movie
1982-87 Silver Spoons Kate Summers Stratton 116 Episodes
1985 Code of Vengeance Nadine Flowers 1 Episode: Code of Vengeance
1986 Hotel Vanessa Clark 116 Episode: Facades
1987 Starman Jenny Hayden 2 Episodes: Starscape: Part 1 & 2
Breaking Home Ties Carol TV Movie
1988 Perry Mason: The Case of the Avenging Ace Captain Terry O'Malley TV Movie
Addicted to His Love Jenny Barrett TV Movie
Murder, She Wrote Andrea Dean 1 Episode: Wearing of the Green
1989 The Hitchhiker Leslie 1 Episode: Together Forever
Hunter Kate Lawson 1 Episode: On Air
1990 L.A. Law Rochelle Peters 1 Episode: Ex-Wives and Videotape
Laker Girls Julie Lawrence TV Movie
Jake and the Fatman Jill Crockett 1 Episode: I Know That You Know
1991 Evening Shade Madeline Hall 1 Episode: Wood and Ava and Gil and Madeline
The New Lassie Maggie Sullivan 1 Episode: Leeds, the Judge
1992 Superboy Dr. Samantha Meyers 1 Episode: Cat and Mouse
Dark Justice 1 Episode: The Specialist
Les danseurs du Mozambique Kathryn Saint TV Movie
1993 Almost Home Jennifer 1 Episode: Sleeping with the Enemy
Bonkers Shirley 1 Episode: Quibbling Rivalry
Official Denial Annie Corliss TV Movie
1993-96 Silk Stalkings Connie Bayliss / Jillian Borson 2 Episodes: Dead Weight, Exit Dying
1994 Honor Thy Father and Mother: The True Story of the Menendez Murders Pamela Bozanich TV Movie
Burke's Law Brenda Palmer 1 Episode: Who Killed the Anchorman?
Heaven Help Us 1 Episode: The Belle's Farewell
1995 Crowfoot Nora TV Movie
Renegade Donna Mackenzie 1 Episode: Dead Heat
1997-98 Baywatch Chief Monica Johnson 5 Episodes
1999-2000 Port Charles Nicole Devlin
2000 Profiler Congresswoman Karen Archer 3 Episodes: Paradise Lost, The Long Way Home, Mea Culpa
2007 The Wedding Bells Candy Heller 1 Episode: Wedding from Hell
Nuclear Hurricane Jane TV Movie
2008 Ghouls Liz TV Movie
2010 Elf Sparkle and the Special Red Dress Josette Peacock TV Movie
2011 The Guild Madeleine Twain 5 Episodes
2012 I Married Who? Ethel Swift TV Movie
2013 TableTop Herself 1 Episode: "Unspeakable Words"
2014 Star Trek Continues Commodore Gray 2 Episodes: Lolani, Embracing the Winds
2016 A Perfect Christmas Patricia TV movie

Personal life[edit]

Erin Gray has been married twice. She met her first husband, Ken Schwartz, while they attended high school together.[2] Although he was a successful real estate executive, he eventually became her manager after her acting career became so significant.[2] The marriage lasted from 1968 to 1990.

Gray married Richard Hissong in 1991. Their daughter Samantha plays Buck Rogers' girlfriend, Maddy, in the pilot episode of James Cawley's Buck Rogers Internet video series.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erin Gray at Film Reference; Accessed September 6, 2010
  2. ^ a b c d e f Calio, Jim. "Buck Rogers Wouldn't Dare Tell Erin Gray What She's Heard for 14 Years from Ken Schwartz: Go Fly a Kite". People. 7 July 1980, Vol. 14 No. 1
  3. ^ "Erin Gray Biography". Quotesquotations.com. 1952-01-07. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  4. ^ "Erin Gray - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century". Web.archive.org. 2009-10-24. Archived from the original on October 24, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  5. ^ Lee, Helen Angela. Scifi TV Talent Profile - Erin Gray, Actor, bellaonline.com
  6. ^ "Siren - Erin Gray". Sirenthemovie.com. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  7. ^ a b c Kelly, Suzanne (September 6, 2010). "Conventions: Another day at the office for celebs". CNN. Retrieved September 6, 2010. 
  8. ^ Erin Gray. Filmbug. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  9. ^ Press Republican, 9 November 2009.
  10. ^ a b c Erin Gray interview with Movie Mikes, 10 October 2010.
  11. ^ Keller, Joel. Is That Really Erin Gray of 'Silver Spoons' in a Pup-Peroni Commercial?, TV Squad, 7 September 2010.
  12. ^ "Erin Gray to bring a Sci-Fi Star Lineup to Hayden Black’s The Cabonauts on Dailymotion", Business Wire, 10 June 2009.
  13. ^ "Heroes for Hire website". Heroesforhire.info. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  14. ^ Anderson, Martin. The Den of Geek interview: Erin Gray, DenofGeek.com, 8 January 2008.
  15. ^ Biography page, Erin Gray's official website; accessed September 6, 2010.
  16. ^ Gray, Erin; Purl, Mara. Act Right: A Manual for the On-Camera Actor, Haven Books, 1998. ISBN 0-9659480-0-5
  17. ^ Gray, Erin; Purl, Mara. Act Right: A Manual for the On-Camera Actor, 2002 expanded edition, ISBN 1-58436-000-3
  18. ^ McKinstry, Lohr. "Buck Rogers returns", Press Republican, 9 November 2009.

External links[edit]