Gray at The Heart Truth show in 2011
|Born||Linda Ann Gray
September 12, 1940
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, director, producer|
|Spouse(s)||Ed Thrasher (1962–1983) (divorced)|
Linda Ann Gray (born September 12, 1940) is an American film, stage and television actress, director, producer and former model, best known for her role as Sue Ellen Ewing, the long-suffering wife of Larry Hagman's character, on the long-running CBS television drama series Dallas (1978–1989), for which she was nominated for the 1981 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The role also earned her two Golden Globe Award nominations.
Gray began her career in the 1960s in television commercials. In the 1970s, she appeared in numerous TV series, before landing the role of Sue Ellen Ewing in 1978. After leaving Dallas in 1989, she appeared opposite Sly Stallone in the 1991 film Oscar. From 1994-1995, she played a leading role on the Fox drama series Models Inc.. She has also starred in several TV movies, including Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter? (1993) and Accidental Meeting (1994) and reprised her role of Sue Ellen in Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996) and Dallas: War of the Ewings (1998)
On stage, she starred as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate in the West End in 2001, then on Broadway the following year, replacing Kathleen Turner. In 2007, she starred as Aurora Greenaway in the world premier production of Terms of Endearment at the Theatre Royal, York and also the UK national tour. From 2012 to 2014, Gray again reprised her role of Sue Ellen Ewing, in the TNT series Dallas, which continues the original series. After the series was cancelled, Gray returned to stage with the role as Fairy Godmother in the London production of Cinderella.
Life and career
Before acting Gray worked as a model in the 1960s, and began her acting career in television commercials—nearly 400 of them—and also made brief appearances in feature films, such as Under the Yum Yum Tree and Palm Springs Weekend in 1963. In the 1967 film The Graduate, the legs featured on the movie along with promotional poster were not Anne Bancroft's, but Linda Gray's, where "...she was paid $25 for one leg", she said.
Gray began her professional acting career in the 1970s, with guest roles on many television series such as Marcus Welby, M.D., McCloud and Switch, prior to signing with Universal Studios in 1974. She also appeared in the films The Big Rip-Off (1975) and Dogs (1976). In 1977, she was cast as fashion model Linda Murkland, the first transgender series regular on American television, in the television series All That Glitters. The show, a spoof of the soap opera format, was cancelled after just 13 weeks. Gray was then cast as suspicious wife Carla Cord in the 1977 television movie Murder in Peyton Place.
Gray achieved stardom for her role as Sue Ellen Ewing, J.R.'s long-suffering alcoholic wife, in the CBS drama series Dallas (1978–89, 1991). Initially a recurring guest role for the five-episode first series, Gray became a series regular later in 1978 and remained with the show until 1989. Her character was well received by television critics. The Biography Channel said, "Who could ever forget Dallas with the vodka-swilling Sue Ellen Ewing, replete with shoulder pads long before Dynasty, staggering around Southfork Ranch with a permanently tearful expression as she suffered the brunt of J.R. Ewing’s evil ways?" The Boulevard magazine said, "It may be 2009 and seventeen years since the primetime drama Dallas went off the air, but memories of the Ewing family still linger. Corruption and betrayal, lies, greed, affairs and scandal—all were just part of another day at the Southfork Ranch. At the center of it all was one of our favorite Ewings, the person we couldn't help but root for each week as she drank and slept her way through one ordeal after another. This, of course, was the tortured and (sometimes) villainous Sue Ellen Shepard Ewing, former Texas beauty queen and trophy wife of the womanizing rogue J.R. Ewing, played to perfection by actress Linda Gray." Gray was nominated for two Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance on Dallas. She also received numerous international awards including Germany’s Bambi Award, Italy’s Il Gato and she was named Woman of the Year by the Hollywood Radio & Television Society in 1982.
After Dallas, Gray starred in the 1991 comedy film Oscar with Sylvester Stallone and then made guest appearances in British drama Lovejoy (starring her co-star and love interest from her final season on Dallas, Ian McShane). She also starred in several made-for-TV movies, including 1991's The Entertainers (with Bob Newhart), Bonanza: The Return (1993), Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter (1993), and Accidental Meeting (1994). In 1994, she made several guest appearances on the Fox prime time soap opera Melrose Place, starring as Hillary Michaels, the mother of Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear). She continued the role in the Melrose Place spin-off Models Inc., where her character Hillary ran a modelling agency, but the show was cancelled after one season. Gray appeared in the Dallas reunion television movies Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996) and Dallas: War of the Ewings (1998), but in the following years did not appear in movies or on television.
In 2001, Gray portrayed Mrs. Robinson in the West End theatre production of Charles Webb's The Graduate. This brought her full circle, as her legs (not Anne Bancroft's) were the ones in the famous scene in the movie The Graduate where Mrs. Robinson's legs are admired by Dustin Hoffman. Gray made her theater directing debut with play Murder in the First, and other acting stage work includes Terms of Endearment, The Vagina Monologues, Agnes of God and Love Letters.
Gray returned to television in 2004 as a guest star in five episodes of the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, playing Priscilla Kelly. Gray starred in several independent films, including the award-winning drama Reflections of a Life (2006), where she played the best friend of a woman undergoing treatment for breast cancer; Expecting Mary (2010); The Flight of the Swan (2011); and Hidden Moon (2012). In 2008, Gray appeared in The CW series 90210, which, like Melrose Place and Models Inc. before it, is a spin-off from the original Beverly Hills, 90210. Gray has now appeared in three of the five series in the franchise, though her role in 90210 was not Hillary Michaels, the character she played on Melrose Place (1992) and Models Inc.
In 2012, Gray reprised her role as Sue Ellen Ewing in the TNT drama series Dallas, a continuation of the original series. In 2013, she was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian. In April 2013, she came in People magazine's annual Most Beautiful Woman list.
Over Christmas 2014, she will perform in pantomime in London, playing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella In 2015, she starred in the Hallmark Channel film A Perfect Wedding, and was cast as grandmother in The CW summer comedy series, Significant Mother.
Gray was married for 21 years to Ed Thrasher, an art director and photographer who designed many iconic album covers throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The marriage resulted in two children: Jeff Thrasher and Kehly Sloane. Gray also has two grandsons, Ryder and Jack Sloane. Her younger sister, Betty, died in 1989 from breast cancer. Gray was also the aunt (by marriage) of actress Lindsay Wagner, best known as The Bionic Woman. She resides in Los Angeles, California.
Gray was visiting Larry Hagman in the hospital during his last days, she lost him on November 23, 2012. Prior to his death, Gray released a statement: "Larry Hagman was my best friend for 35 years. He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew," She also added, "He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the fullest. The world was a brighter place because of Larry."
|1963||Palm Springs Weekend||Girl at Pool with Yellow Swimsuit||Uncredited|
|1967||The Graduate||Cover poster leg model||Uncredited|
|1975||The Big Rip-Off||Television film|
|1977||Murder in Peyton Place||Carla Cord||Television film|
|1978||The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank||Leslie Corliss||Television film|
|1979||The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan||Elizabeth Harrington||Television film|
|1980||The Wild and the Free||Linda||Television film|
|1982||Not in Front of the Children||Nancy Carruthers||Television film|
|1987||Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night||Voice|
|1987||The Gambler III: The Legend Continues||Mary Collins||Television film|
|1992||Highway Heartbreaker||Catherine||Television film|
|1993||Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter?||Gayle Moffitt||Television film|
|1993||Bonanza: The Return||Abigail 'Laredo' Stimmons||Television film|
|1994||To My Daughter with Love||Eleanor Monroe||Television film|
|1994||Accidental Meeting||Jennifer Parris||Television film|
|1994||Moment of Truth: Broken Pledges||Eileen Stevens||Television film|
|1996||Dallas: J.R. Returns||Sue Ellen Ewing||Television film|
|1997||When the Cradle Falls||Helen Sawyer||Television film|
|1998||Dallas: War of the Ewings||Sue Ellen Ewing||Television film|
|1998||Star of Jaipur||Linda Trask|
|2005||McBride: It's Murder, Madam||Victoria Sawyer||Television film|
|2006||Reflections of a Life||Linda|
|2011||The Flight of the Swan||Alexi's mother|
|2012||Hidden Moon||Eva Brighton|
|2015||A Perfect Wedding||Gabby|
|1974||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Patsy Grey||Episode: "The Resident"|
|1976||McCloud||Cindy Yates/Kate O'Hannah||Episodes: "Our Man in the Harem" and "Twas the Fight Before Christmas..."|
|1977||Switch||Alison||Episode: "Camera Angles"|
|1977||All That Glitters||Linda Murkland||Series regular, 65 episodes|
|1977||Big Hawaii||Annie Quinlan||Episode: "Pipeline"|
|1976–1978||Emergency!||Evelyn Davis/Judy||Episodes: "That Time of Year" and "The Steel Inferno"|
|1978–1989, 1991||Dallas||Sue Ellen Ewing||Series regular, 308 episodes|
|1991||Lovejoy||Cassandra Lynch||Episodes: "Riding in Rollers" and "The Black Virgin of Vladimir"|
|1994||Melrose Place||Hillary Michaels||Special guest star, 4 episodes|
|1994||Mighty Max||Kali (voice)||Episode: "Good Golly Ms. Kali"|
|1994–1995||Models Inc.||Hillary Michaels||Series regular, 29 episodes|
|1996||Touched by an Angel||Marian Campbell||Episode: "The Portrait of Mrs. Campbell"|
|2004–2005||The Bold and the Beautiful||Priscilla Kelly||Special guest star, 5 episodes|
|2006||Pepper Dennis||Barbara Meryl||Episode: "Heiress Bridenapped: Film at Eleven"|
|2008||90210||Victoria Brewer||Episode: "The Jet Set"|
|2012–2014||Dallas||Sue Ellen Ewing||Series regular, 40 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|1981||Golden Globe Award||Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Dallas||Nominated|
|Emmy Award||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|Il Gato||Best Actress on Television||Won|
|1982||Golden Globe Award||Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Nominated|
|Bambi Award||Best Actress on international series||Won|
|1983||Hollywood Radio & Television Society||Woman of the Year||Won|
|1986||Soap Opera Digest Award||Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role on a Prime Time Serial||Nominated|
|Soap Opera Digest Award||Favorite Super Couple on a Prime Time Serial||Nominated|
|1986||Soap Opera Digest Award||Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role: Prime Time||Nominated|
|Soap Opera Digest Award||Favorite Super Couple on a Prime Time Serial||Nominated|
|2006||TV Land Award||Pop Culture Award||Won|
|2014||USA Film Festival Award||Special Award||Won|
- Linda Gray Biography (1940–), film reference, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- Moir, Jan (July 10, 2006). "I was the very first desperate housewife". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- ""Dallas" Star Linda Gray Set for Cinderella at London's New Wimbledon Theatre". Playbill. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Neil Cheesman. "DALLAS sensation LINDA GRAY to star in CINDERELLA". London Theatre1.com. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Linda Gray on AllMovie Linda Gray, AllMovie, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- Linda Gray- Biography, Yahoo!, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- I was the leg in The Graduate poster! Actress Linda Gray reveals how she stood in for Anne Bancroft in shoot for 1967 movie, DailyMail.co.uk retrieved 29 January 2013.
- Filmography by type for Linda Gray, Internet Movie Database, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- Stein, p. 177
- Clarke, Gerald (1977-04-25). "Eve's Rib and Adam's Yawn". TIME. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "Linda Gray- Biography on Gray". Biography.com (United States: The Biography Channel). Retrieved February 18, 2012.
- "Linda Gray: An Accomplished Actress with Knockout Star Power". Ruth Bashinsky (United States: The Boulevard Magazine). March 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Awards for Linda Gray, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- Linda Gray official website – Biography, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- "'Models Inc.': Perfect for SGTV : SG Stands for Superb Garbage, Raised Here to an Art Form". The Los Angeles Times. July 6, 1994. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- The Graduate's London term ends, BBC News, 18 January 2002, Retrieved March 31, 2012
-  Playbill, 20 September 2001, Retrieved August 18, 2012
- Red hot at 70! Linda Gray sizzles on catwalk as she prepares to return to the small screen in Dallas remake, Dailymail.co.uk, 11 February 2011, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- Joyce Eng, TNT Orders Dallas Reboot to Series, Will Offer Sneak Peek Next Week, TV Guide, Jul 8, 2011, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- Cartner-Morley, Jess; Mirren, Helen; Huffington, Arianna; Amos, Valerie (March 28, 2013). "The 50 best-dressed over 50s". The Guardian (London).
- "People Magazine Names Gwyneth Paltrow Most Beautiful Woman". ABC News. Apr 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- David Wallace (March 21, 1983). "She's Back with J.r., but Linda Gray's 20-Year Marriage Takes a Bath". People. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- Linda Gray- Biography, Sky Digital, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- "USA Film Festival lineup includes visits from Ed Harris, Linda Gray, John Turturro | Dallas Morning News". Popcultureblog.dallasnews.com. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Linda Gray.|
- Linda Gray on Twitter
- Linda Gray's Official Web Site
- Linda Gray at the Internet Movie Database
- BBC interview with Linda Gray and a review of her performance on stage in Terms of Endearment