Linda 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 J.R. on the 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 at The Heart Truth show in 2011
Linda Ann Gray
September 12, 1940
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, director, producer|
|Spouse(s)||Ed Thrasher (1962–1983) (divorced)|
|Children||Kehly Thrasher-Sloane (b. 1966)|
Jeff Thrasher (b. 1964)
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 Sylvester Stallone in the 1991 film Oscar. From 1994 to 1995, she played a leading role in the Fox drama series Models Inc., and also starred in TV movies, including Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter? (1993) and Accidental Meeting (1994). She went on to reprise the role of Sue Ellen in Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996), Dallas: War of the Ewings (1998), and in the TNT series Dallas (2012–2014), which continued the original series.
On stage, Gray starred as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate in the West End of London in 2001, then on Broadway the following year. In 2007, she starred as Aurora Greenaway in the world premiere production of Terms of Endearment at the Theatre Royal, York and stayed with the production when it toured the United Kingdom. After the second Dallas was cancelled in 2014, Gray again took to the stage, this time in the role of the Fairy Godmother in a London production of Cinderella.
Life and careerEdit
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.
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. She also briefly played the role in the Broadway production, when she filled-in for Kathleen Turner in September 2002. Gray made her theater directing debut with the 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 performed 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. She also appeared as Joanna Winterthorne in the soap opera web series Winterthorne.
On 17 August 2016, it was announced that Gray would join the cast of the British Channel 4 soap opera, Hollyoaks, as Tabitha Maxwell-Brown, the mother of recently established character Marnie Nightingale, played by Lysette Anthony. Gray made her first appearance as Tabitha on 15 November 2016, and departed on 22 November 2016. It was later announced that Gray had signed a contract with Hollyoaks in order for her to appear on the soap opera for a longer period of time. The character of Tabitha returned on 27 February 2017, before departing again on 28 February 2017.
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.
|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||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||Short film|
|2011||The Flight of the Swan||Alexi's mother|
|2012||Hidden Moon||Eva Brighton|
|2015||Perfect Match||Gabby||Television film|
|2016||Wally's Will||Wally||Short film|
|2019||Grand Daddy Day Care||Blanche||Movie|
|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|
|2015||Significant Mother||Gammy||Episode: "Suffering & Succotash"|
|2015||Winterthorne||Joanna Winterthorne||4 episodes|
|2016–2017||Hollyoaks||Tabitha Maxwell-Brown||Recurring Role ; 5 episodes|
|2017||Hand of God||Aunt Val||3 episodes|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|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. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. 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
- 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. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012. 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.[permanent dead link]
- Awards for Linda Gray, Retrieved March 31, 2012
- Linda Gray official website – Biography Archived 2012-04-15 at the Wayback Machine, 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
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2012-08-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Playbill, 20 September 2001, Retrieved August 18, 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.
- "Cinderella - New Wimbledon Theatre - ATG Tickets". Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- "Linda Gray to Guest Star in CW's 'Significant Mother' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. June 8, 2015.
- "Watch The Winterthorne First Trailer … Where Candy and Drama Come Together!". Michael Fairman On-Air On-Soaps. May 22, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- Mulcahy, Jr., Kevin (August 27, 2015). "Watch the Premiere of Michael Caruso's Winterthorne". We Love Soaps. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- Kerr, Luke (May 22, 2015). "Winterthorne Debuts Epic First Trailer". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- Schwartz, Ryan; Schwartz, Ryan (15 February 2017). "Hand of God Gets Final Season Premiere Date at Amazon". Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- 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 Archived 2012-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, 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. Archived from the original on 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
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