Erin Gray Biography

General Information

* Name: Erin Gray.
* Date of Birth: January 7, 1952
* Height: 5’8
* Weight: N/A
* Marital Status: Married to Richard Hissong
* Children: Two. Her son Kevan and daughter Samantha.
* Occupation: Performer.

Erin Gray was born January 7, 1952 in Honolulu, Hawaii where she spent the early years of her life. When her parents seperated Gray moved with her mother to California where she would spend the rest of her childhood life.

At age 15 when she was looking for a part time job over the summer, a friend of the family suggested that young Gray take a look into a careen in modeling. At first her mother opposed to the idea, but later had a change of heart.

Planning to voyage into the modeling field, Gray first made out a list of modeling agencies in Los Angeles California. But when she arrived in Los Angeles to meet with agents instead of going to the top of her list she went from the bottom up. Eventually, after being snubbed a few time she noticed the office Modeling agent Nina Blanchard accross the street from her who was at the top of Gray’s list. Feeling that she has nothing to lose. At the office Nina Blanchard’s secretary looked over Gray carefully then was setup for an interview. She went to the interview expecting nothing and decided to chalk up the whole thing as a learning experience. When she called Nina Blanchard to thank her for seeing her, Ms. Blanchard barked at her saying that she is she (Erin Gray) wanted to become a model then she would have to keep in contact everyday because new models do not make it big over night.

Within the first few years of her modeling carren, Erin Gray became the top model in new York according to Advertising Age magazine. One of the reason for this was because Gray had a she was able to change her look to fit almost any type of add. In one add she would be the girl-next-door for one ad then switch over to the strong business type for another. Nobody was able to make the connection between the house wife in the sears commecial to the sultry dancer from the English Leather ads.

Years went by and Gray we farely comfortable with her job status. It was that time she decided that she wanted to have children. But by doing this she would have to make some major decisions in her life. Either to continue modeling or go into acting full time. After discussing it with her husband for some time she made the decision to into acting and headed agin to Los Angeles California. After a few auditions she landed a few rolls in TV movies and guest spots of some TV shows which finally lead to her most famous roll as Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25 Century.

While happy with the chance to act on a television series, Gray was not happy with her roll as Wilma Deering. To her, the character was too rough and cold. She laso had some creative problems with people involved in the series. Scenes the showed her character softening up or allowing her character to develope were edited out for reasons not known to her or scenes originally writen for her were changed and given to someone else at the last minute.

Another problem she had with the first season was having to bleach her hair. With her hair naturally dark brown, Gray had to bleach her hair so she could have the blond hair needed Wilma Deering. She was worried about the damage bleaching her hair over and over again will do down the road and how it may damage her modeling career (She was still modeling part time.) Gray was able to come up with a compromise with the producers of the show having Wilma Deering having a two-tone hair color with blond in the front and brown in the back.

Durning the second season of Buck Rogers, the Wilma Deering character made a 180 degree turn in personality. Instead of being warrior incharge of Earth’s defends, she became somewhat of a ship stewardess in a space ship. Gone was Wilma Deering’s fight and toughness and in was someone who popped up here and there, smiled for the camera, and gave a line. As the season rolled on Gray felt more and more that her character was being brushed off and a non-factor in the series. She was equally unhappy about having to work the extra hour on her limited scenes and not being able to her son. It was no surprise to anyone that she was happy when news of Buck Rogers not returning for a third season came about.

Although she wasn’t as happy as she could have been with the Wilma Deering roll, she is happy with what came from playing her. Acroding to Gray, young women would approch her and tell her roll a Wilma Deering was the inspration for them in life to become pilots or join the military. In addition to hearing those kind words, she is still getting flooded with letters daily regarding the roll. She says that if she and the producers of Buck Rogers would have known the charater would be so popular, maybe the roll would have been developed more to Gray’s liking.

After her run on Buck Rogers ended, Gray made her rounds on Made for TV movies and guest staring on ongoing tv shows. A few years got the roll as Kate Summers in the popular comedy, Silver Spoons. Life during the series was like heaven for her. Unlike with Buck Roger, the cast and crew of Silver Spoons were a joy to work with. The demand and work schedule on Gray was easy enough of her that she was able to spend quality time with her family.

After Sliver Spoon’s long run, Erin Gray continued her acting career guset staring on television shows and made for TV movies. One of her most memorious roll was when she played Jenny Hayden on the Starman television series. During the production of the 2-part finally of the series, she got to chance to work with director, Claudio Guzman. From day one, both Gray and Guzman saw eye to eye on how the chatacter was to be played. As much as she love to work with the director she equally love to work with her co-stars and had a very good working relationship with them. But unknown at the time, Chris Barnes who play her son had a big crush on her. When she heard of this, a blushing Gray said that she had no idea that he felt that way about her.

Another suprise that came to Erin Gray after staring in Starman was the popularity she recived from the fans of the seires. For years, she kept receiving invetations to Starman fan conventions but never appeared at any of them until recently. The reception she recived made such a big impression to her that she said that she is willing to do them again.

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