Gary Gray

December 13, 2020 0 Comments

Born in Los Angeles California on December 18, 1936, to Jeanie Dickson and Bill Gray, Gary would go on to work in such well-known films as Randolph Scott‘s Return of the Bad Men (1948), and the Loretta Young / William Holden / Robert Mitchum film, Rachel and the Stranger (1948). Bill Gray was a business manager for many celebrities in the film industry, and Gary”s career began as a result of two of his Dad’s clients; Bert Wheeler (of Wheeler and Woolsey fame) and Jack Benny, who both recommended putting Gary in pictures, which Bill did. Gary Gray made his film debut in A Woman’s Face (1941), with Joan Crawford. Following quickly with Sun Valley Serenade (1941), in which he portrayed a war orphan. His big break came when he landed the role of young Johnny in RKO’s big-budget western, Return of the Bad Men (1948).

Before this hit was released, Gary beat out Bobby Driscoll for the part of young Davey, in the frontier epic, Rachel and the Stranger (1948).

In 1950, he played the son of Nancy Reagan and James Whitmore, in the classic, The Next Voice You Hear… (1950). His performance in that film led to a contract at MGM, where he starred with the original Lassie in the Technicolor The Painted Hills (1951).

After completing The Painted Hills , he spent more time attending school. Gary graduated from Van Nuys High, and went on to attended Valley College, where he majored in theater arts. Throughout the fifties, Gary continued to work, doing mainly television, guesting on many series.

Gary’s fondness for the West, beginning with the film’s he worked in, also gave him a love of horses, which he owned horses.

Gary returned to film, as a now young man, and appeared in the Universal-International western, Wild Heritage (1958). His last film was the cult western, Terror at Black Falls (1962), with House Peters Jr., and Peter Mamakos.

In 1960, Gary started a swimming pool maintenance and repair business. On January 28, of the following year, Gary married Jean Charlene Bean. They had 4 daughters and 19 grandchildren. For the last twenty-five years of his 38 years in the swimming pool industry, he worked for 2 of the major international manufacturers of equipment as territory, regional, and national sales manager.

Gary was a sought-after speaker, and educator for the National Spa and Pool Institute, as well as by the Independent Pool and Spa Service Association.

Gary retired in July,1999, and over the years, Gary had amassed many copies of his films and television appearances, as well as stills, posters, and lobby cards. Around this time, Garry had begun being guest at film festivals throughout the US. He enjoyed visiting with fans, and told many stories from his career.

In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoyed time on the golf course

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