biography

Born Doris Jensen in Staplehurst, Nebraska, on October 23, 1922, gorgeous Coleen Gray planned to be a school teacher while attending Hamline College in Minnesota. Soon after graduation, Gray headed to Hollywood and was signed to a seven-year contract by 20th Century Fox. Her early film appearances were uncredited, beginning with the Betty Grable vehicle Pin-Up Girl (1944). Always bringing an overwhelming intensity to dramatic roles, she quickly worked her way up to starring roles in the film noir thrillers Nightmare Alley (1947; with Tyrone Power) and Kiss of Death (1947; with Victor Mature). Gray left Fox in 1950 and freelanced in a number of film noir, westerns, and horror/sci-fi flicks. Some of her more memorable films from this period include the noir classics Kansas City Confidential (1952; with John Payne) and The Killing (1956; with Sterling Hayden); the westerns The Vanquished (1953; with John Payne) and Arrow in the Dust (1954; with Sterling Hayden); and the cult horror favorites The Leech Woman (1960; with Grant Williams) and Phantom Planet (1961; with Dean Fredericks).

the films of coleen gray

Kiss of Death (1947)

Victor Mature and Coleen Gray

With Victor Mature in Fox's noir Kiss of Death, Gray's first starring vehicle

Nightmare Alley (1947)

Coleen Gray and Tyrone PowerColeen Gray, Joan Blondell, Tyrone Power, and Mike Mazurki

From the Fox release Nightmare Alley, an excellent film noir thriller. LEFT: With Tyrone Power. RIGHT: With Joan Blondell, Tyrone Power, and Mike Mazurki

Riding High (1950)

Bing Crosby and Coleen Gray

From the Paramount comedy Riding High with Bing Crosby

Father is a Bachelor (1950)

Coleen Gray and William Holden

From the Columbia musical Father is a Bachelor with William Holden

The Sleeping City (1950)

Coleen Gray and Richard Conte

With Richard Conte in Universal's The Sleeping City, one of Gray's best film noir dramas

Models, Inc (1952)

John Howard, Howard Duff, and Coleen Gray

With John Howard and Howard Duff in the low-budget noir Models, Inc.

The Vanquished (1953)

John Payne and Coleen GrayColeen Gray, John Payne, and Jan Sterling

From the Paramount western The Vanquished. LEFT: With John Payne on the cover of Movie Love from August 1953. RIGHT: With John Payne and Jan Sterling

Destination 60,000 (1957)

Coleen Gray, Pat Conway, and Jeff Donnell

With Pat Conway and Jeff Donnell in the Allied Artists drama Destination 60,000

Hell's Five Hours (1958)

Coleen Gray and Vic Morrow

With Vic Morrow in the Allied Artists noir thriller Hell's Five Hours

Johnny Rocco (1958)

Stephen McNally and Coleen GrayRichard Eyer and Coleen Gray

LEFT: With Stephen McNally in the Allied Artists noir thriller Johnny Rocco. RIGHT: With Richard Eyer

The Leech Woman (1960)

Coleen GrayColeen Gray and John Van DreelenColeen Gray, Grant Williams, and Gloria TalbottColeen GrayColeen Gray

Stills from the campy 1960 Universal horror flick The Leech Woman. LEFT: As June Talbot, Gray has discovered the secret of eternal youth. CENTER A: With John Van Dreelen as David, the jungle guide. CENTER B: The now youthful Mrs. Talbot takes a shine to her lawyer Neil Foster (Grant Williams), but Neil's girlfriend Sally Howard (Gloria Talbott) is wise to what's going on. CENTER C: Sally (Gloria Talbott) confronts June about her intentions with Neil. RIGHT: June ages badly without her elixir

The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1969-1973 NBC TV Series)

E. G. Marshall, Coleen Gray, and Julie Adams

From the NBC TV series The Bold Ones; The New Doctors, episode An Absence of Loneliness, which originally aired on January 24, 1971. Also pictured are E.G. Marshall and Julie Adams

later years

With the deaths of film noir and the studio system, Coleen Gray's film career slacked off after the release of the low-budget science fiction effort Phantom Planet (1961; with Dean Fredericks), but she stayed busy making guest appearances on such popular television programs as Perry Mason, The Virginian, and The Name of the Game. Following a career that spanned more than forty years, she retired from the screen in the 1980s. Married three times, Gray's third husband left her a widow in 2012. Sadly, Coleen Gray passed away on August 3, 2015, at the age of 92. She is survived by a daughter, a son, two stepsons, and grandchildren.

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filmography

FILM
The Best Place to Be (1979) with Donna Reed, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., John Phillip Law, and Betty White
The Late Liz (1971) with Anne Baxter, Steve Forrest, and William Katt
Ellery Queen: Don't Look Behind You (1971) with Peter Lawford and Stefanie Powers
P.J. (1968) with George Peppard, Raymond Burr, Jason Evers, and Gayle Hunnicutt
Town Tamer (1965) with Dana Andrews, Terry Moore, Lon Chaney Jr., Lyle Bettger, Richard Arlen, Philip Carey, and Sonny Tufts
The Phantom Planet (1961) with Dean Fredericks, Anthony Dexter, Dolores Faith, Francis X. Bushman, and Richard Kiel; once aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000
The Leech Woman (1960) with Grant Williams, Gloria Talbott, Phillip Terry, and John Van Dreelen; once aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000
Johnny Rocco (1958) with Richard Eyer, Stephen McNally, and Russ Conway
Hell's Five Hours (1958) with Stephen McNally and Vic Morrow
Copper Sky (1957) with Jeff Morrow and Strother Martin
Mark of the Vampire (1957) with Kenneth Tobey, John Beal, and Dabbs Greer
Destination 60,000 (1957) with Preston Foster, Jeff Donnell, Pat Conway, and Denver Pyle
The Black Whip (1956) with Hugh Marlowe, Angie Dickinson, and Adele Mara
Death of a Scoundrel (1956) with Yvonne De Carlo, George Sanders, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tom Conway, and Werner Klemperer
Star in the Dust (1956) with John Agar, Mamie Van Doren, Richard Boone, and Leif Erickson
The Killing (1956) with Sterling Hayden, Vince Edwards, Marie Windsor, and Elisha Cook Jr.
Frontier Gambler (1956) with John Bromfield, Kent Taylor, Veda Ann Borg, and Jim Davis
The Wild Dakotas (1956) with Bill Williams, Jim Davis, and Dickie Jones
The Twinkle in God's Eye (1955) with Hugh O'Brian, Mike Connors, and Mickey Rooney
Tennessee's Partner (1955) with John Payne, Rhonda Fleming, Ronald Reagan, and Myron Healey
Las Vegas Shakedown (1955) with Dennis O'Keefe and Mary Beth Hughes
Arrow In the Dust (1954) with Sterling Hayden, Lee Van Cleef, and Keith Larsen
The Fake (1953) with Dennis O'Keefe and Guy Middleton
Sabre Jet (1953) with Robert Stack, Richard Arlen, and Amanda Blake
The Vanquished (1953) with John Payne and Jan Sterling
Models, Inc. (1952) with Howard Duff and John Howard
Kansas City Confidential (1952) with John Payne, Lee Van Cleef, Preston Foster, and Neville Brand
Apache Drums (1951) with Stephen McNally and James Best
I'll Get You for This (1950) with George Raft
The Sleeping City (1950) with Richard Conte, Peggy Dow, and Alex Nicol
Riding High (1950) with Bing Crosby, Frances Gifford, Marjorie Lord, Percy Kilbride, and William Demarest
Father Is a Bachelor (1950) with William Holden, Stuart Erwin, and Peggy Converse
Sand (1949) with Rory Calhoun and Mark Stevens
Fury at Furnace Creek (1948) with Victor Mature, Glenn Langan, and Albert Dekker
Red River (1948) with John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, John Ireland, and Walter Brennan
Nightmare Alley (1947) with Tyrone Power, Helen Walker, and Joan Blondell
Kiss of Death (1947) with Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, and Richard Widmark
Three Little Girls in Blue (1946) with George Montgomery, June Haver, Vivian Blaine, Celeste Holm, and Vera-Ellen
State Fair (1945) with Dana Andrews, Jeanne Crain, Vivian Blaine, Dick Haymes, Percy Kilbride, and Fay Bainter

TELEVISION SERIES
Bright Promise, 1969-1972 NBC daytime drama TV series. Gray portrayed Ann Boyd Jones during the 1969-1970 season
Days of Our Lives, 1965-present NBC daytime drama TV series. Gray portrayed Diane Hunter during the 1967-1968 season
Window on Main Street, 1961-1962 TV series. Gray portrayed Miss Wycliffe
The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca, 1958 miniseries. Gray portrayed Peggy Minters

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
Tales from the Darkside, episode The Shrine, originally aired February 9, 1986
McCloud, episode London Bridges, originally aired March 6, 1977
Emergency!, episode The Nuisance, originally aired March 6, 1976
McCloud, episode Return to the Alamo, originally aired March 30, 1975
McCloud, episode Lady on the Run, originally aired January 26, 1975
Ironside, episode The Faded Image, originally aired January 16, 1975
McCloud, episode The Gang That Stole Manhattan, originally aired October 13, 1974
The Sixth Sense, episode Whisper of Evil, originally aired April 8, 1972
Emergency!, episode Dealer's Wild, originally aired February 26, 1972
Mannix, episode The Man Outside, originally aired November 24, 1971
The F.B.I., episode Eye of the Needle, originally aired January 24, 1971
The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, episode An Absence of Loneliness, originally aired January 24, 1971
Adam-12, episode Log 55: Missing Child, originally aired October 31, 1970
The Name of the Game, episode Blind Man's Bluff, originally aired October 3, 1969
Judd for the Defense, episode You Remember Joe Maddox, originally aired March 22, 1968
Family Affair, episode His and Hers, originally aired February 26, 1968
Bonanza, episode The Crime of Johnny Mule, originally aired February 25, 1968
Ironside, episode The Challenge, originally aired February 5, 1968
Run for Your Life, episode A Choice of Evils, originally aired April 3, 1967
My Three Sons, episode Melinda, originally aired March 9, 1967
The Virginian, episode Requiem for a Country Doctor, originally aired January 25, 1967
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Fanciful Frail, originally aired March 27, 1966
The Virginian, episode Men with Guns, originally aired January 12, 1966
Branded, episode Seward's Folly, originally aired October 17, 1965
My Three Sons, episode Hawaiian Cruise, originally aired February 18, 1965
Kraft Suspense Theatre, episode The Threatening Eye, originally aired March 12, 1964
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Fifty Millionth Frenchman, originally aired February 20, 1964
The Dakotas, episode Terror at Heart River, originally aired April 15, 1963
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, episode Decorating Dave's Office, originally aired March 21, 1963
Mister Ed, episode Wilbur the Masher, originally aired December 13, 1962
77 Sunset Strip, episode The Floating Man, originally aired November 9, 1962
The Wide Country, episode A Devil in the Chute, originally aired November 8, 1962
Dr. Kildare, episode Hastings' Farewell, originally aired November 1, 1962
Saints and Sinners, episode The Man on the Rim, originally aired September 24, 1962
Window on Main Street, episode A Job for Summer, originally aired May 23, 1962
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Opportunity, originally aired May 22, 1962
Rawhide, episode The Devil and the Deep Blue, originally aired May 11, 1962
Bus Stop, episode Jaws of Darkness, originally aired December 31, 1961
Have Gun - Will Travel, episode Ben Jalisco, originally aired November 18, 1961
The Tall Man, episode The Woman, originally aired October 28, 1961
Mister Ed, episode Pine Lake Lodge, originally aired June 25, 1961
Coronado 9, episode The Anxious Mariner, originally aired April 25, 1961
Maverick, episode Substitute Gun, originally aired April 2, 1961
Lawman, episode Mark of Cain, originally aired March 26, 1961
77 Sunset Strip, episode The Space Caper, originally aired March 10, 1961
Hong Kong, episode The Survivor, originally aired January 18, 1961
G.E. True Theater, episode Learn to Say Goodbye, originally aired December 4, 1960
Insight, episode Diary of a Beatnik, originally aired October 30, 1960
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Wandering Widow, originally aired October 22, 1960
The Deputy, episode A Time to Sow, originally aired April 23, 1960
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, episode Elfego Baca: Gus Tomlin Is Dead, originally aired March 25, 1960
Tales of Wells Fargo, episode The Journey, originally aired January 25, 1960
Shotgun Slade, episode The Marriage Circle, originally aired January 1, 1960
Captain David Grief, episode Dangerous Search, originally aired October 11, 1959
Markham, episode Paris Encounter, originally aired May 16, 1959
Playhouse 90, episode Before I Die, originally aired January 23, 1958
Crusader, episode The Waif, originally aired June 15, 1956
Crossroads, episode Man on the Totem Pole, originally aired June 1, 1956
Climax!, episode Nightmare by Day, originally aired February 23, 1956
Frontier, episode The Texicans, originally aired January 8, 1956
Damon Runyon Theater, episode Blonde Mink, originally aired December 24, 1955
The Millionaire, episode The Luke Fortune Story, originally aired April 27, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode The Girl on the Bridge, originally aired March 31, 1955
Lux Video Theatre, episode Pick of the Litter, originally aired April 8, 1954
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Kiss and Forget, originally aired December 3, 1953
Schlitz Playhouse, episode The House of Pride, originally aired November 14, 1952
The Unexpected, episode Landscape in Black, originally aired November 5, 1952
Celanese Theatre, episode Street Scene, originally aired April 2, 1952
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Exit, originally aired December 14, 1951
Faith Baldwin Romance Theatre, episode A Job for Jenny, originally aired August 25, 1951
Armstrong Circle Theatre, episode Bone of Contention, originally aired August 21, 1951
Lux Video Theatre, episode The Sire de Maletroit's Door, originally aired May 7, 1951
Danger, episode Blue, originally aired April 24, 1951
Starlight Theatre, episode Season for Marriage, originally aired April 5, 1951
Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, episode The Ponzi Story, originally aired December 8, 1950

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Watch Coleen Gray's 1961 science fiction flick The Phantom Planet

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