Erin Gray (born January 7, 1950) is an American model and actress whose roles include Colonel Wilma Deering in the science fiction television series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and as Kate Summers-Stratton in the situation comedy Silver Spoons.
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Occupation||Film, television actress|
|Known for||Colonel Wilma Deering – Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (TV series)|
Kate Summers-Stratton - Silver Spoons
(m. 1968; div. 1990)
Gray was born on January 7, 1950, in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii (now, the state of Hawaii), the daughter of Diane and Daniel Gray. When Gray was eight, her parents separated. 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 and finished her last semester at Pacific Palisades High School. She briefly attended college at UCLA, majoring in mathematics, but she left school to pursue a career in modeling and moved to New York.
Gray started her career in modelling. She entered her first contest and won a modelling assignment in St. Louis when she was 14 years old. Commercials followed suit in Los Angeles. She also appeared on television in 1967 as a dancer in Malibu U. However, she decided to move to New York to further her modeling career. "By 1975 Gray was one of the nation's top TV models, earning $100,000 a year." Having developed an interest in acting, she auditioned for parts during her frequent trips to Los Angeles.
In 1978, she landed her first starring role, on the miniseries Evening in Byzantium. Following good notices, 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 weekly TV series. Gray's trim, shapely figure, augmented by a tight one-piece Spandex jumpsuit uniform, was popular with the show's predominantly young male audience.
In response, 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, being the female lead and second only to Gil Gerard in the starring 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:
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, 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. 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 the Buck Rogers web series. She has also worked in commercials, including a 2010 spot for Pup-Peroni dog treats.
Gray is also a casting agent. Her agency, Heroes for Hire, specializes in booking sci-fi and fantasy stars for personal appearances, speaking engagements, and charity events. Gray also teaches T'ai chi.
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. She reprised the role in the episode "Embracing The Winds."
|1979||Buck Rogers in the 25th Century||Col. Wilma Deering|
|Winter Kills||Beautiful Woman Three|
|1989||The Princess and the Dwarf|
|1993||Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday||Diana Kimble|
|1994||A Dangerous Place||Audrey|
|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|
|2005||Caught in the Headlights||Mrs. Jones|
|2007||Jane Doe: How to Fire Your Boss||Laura Sands|
|The Wedding Video||Carol|
|My True Self||Mrs. Ellen Fields|
|2011||Dreams Awake||Hope Emrys|
|2014||Christmas in Palm Springs||Mayor Tomlin|
|2019||Finding Grace||Judge Ariel Harper|
|A Christmas Princess||Queen|
|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||Samantha Evans||1 episode: Cain's Cruiser|
|1979–81||Buck Rogers in the 25th Century||Colonel Wilma Deering||Female lead, entire run (32 episodes)|
|1980||Vegas||Jennifer Stallings||1 episode: Black Cat Killer|
|Coach of the Year||Paula DeFalco||TV movie|
|1980, 1982||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: Parts 1 & 2|
|Simon & Simon||Vicki Whittaker||1 episode: Matchmaker|
|Born Beautiful||Betsy Forrest||TV movie|
|1982–87||Silver Spoons||Kate Summers-Stratton||5 seasons; 116 episodes|
|1985||Code of Vengeance||Nadine Flowers||1 episode: Code of Vengeance|
|1986||Hotel||Vanessa Clark||1 episode: Façades|
|1987||Starman||Jenny Hayden||2 episodes: Starscape: Parts 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||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, 1996||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|
|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|
|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|
|2017||Mystery Science Theater 3000||Martha Masters||1 episode: Reptilicus|
|2009||Ghostbusters: The Video Game||Spider Witch / Additional Voices|
Gray has been married twice. She met her first husband, Ken Schwartz, in high school. Schwartz, a successful real estate executive, remained in New York with their young son when Gray first started working on Buck Rogers, eventually moving to Los Angeles to work as her manager when her acting career became significant. The marriage lasted from 1968 to 1990. They had one son, Kevan Ray Schwartz, born in 1976.
Gray married Richard Hissong in 1991, and their daughter Samantha was born the same year. Samantha plays Buck Rogers' girlfriend, Maddy, in the pilot episode of James Cawley's Buck Rogers Internet video series.
- "UPI Almanac for Monday, Jan, 7, 2019". United Press International. January 7, 2019. Archived from the original on September 21, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
actor Erin Gray in 1950 (age 69)
- Erin Gray at Film Reference; Accessed September 6, 2010
- 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.
- Eastman, Janet (June 1981). "Erin: The beautiful star of "Buck Rogers" is out of this world". Orange Coast Magazine: 19.
- "Erin Gray Biography". Quotesquotations.com. January 7, 1952. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- "Erin Gray - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century". Web.archive.org. October 24, 2009. Archived from the original on October 24, 2009. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- Lee, Helen Angela. Scifi TV Talent Profile - Erin Gray, Actor, bellaonline.com
- "Siren - Erin Gray". Sirenthemovie.com. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- Kelly, Suzanne (September 6, 2010). "Conventions: Another day at the office for celebs". CNN. Retrieved September 6, 2010.
- "Erin Gray Talks the Impact 'Buck Rogers' Had on Her Life". Closer Weekly. September 10, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
- Erin Gray. Filmbug. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "15 Backdoor Pilots That Never Became TV Shows". mentalfloss.com. February 15, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- Press Republican Archived January 4, 2013, at archive.today, November 9, 2009.
- Erin Gray interview with Movie Mikes Archived December 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, October 10, 2010.
- Keller, Joel. Is That Really Erin Gray of 'Silver Spoons' in a Pup-Peroni Commercial?, TV Squad, September 7, 2010.
- "Erin Gray to bring a Sci-Fi Star Lineup to Hayden Black’s The Cabonauts on Dailymotion", Business Wire, June 10, 2009.
- "Heroes for Hire website". Heroesforhire.info. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- Anderson, Martin. The Den of Geek interview: Erin Gray, DenofGeek.com, January 8, 2008.
- Biography page, Erin Gray's official website; accessed September 6, 2010.
- Gray, Erin; Purl, Mara. Act Right: A Manual for the On-Camera Actor, Haven Books, 1998. ISBN 0-9659480-0-5
- Gray, Erin; Purl, Mara. Act Right: A Manual for the On-Camera Actor, 2002 expanded edition, ISBN 1-58436-000-3
- McKinstry, Lohr. "Buck Rogers returns" Archived January 4, 2013, at archive.today, Press Republican, November 9, 2009.
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