Actor Biography

LAWRENCE GRAY

Born: 1898, San Francisco, CA

Died: 1970, Mexico City, Mexico

Notable Films: Stage Struck (1925), Untamed Lady (1926), Love 'Em and Leave 'Em (1926), After Midnight (1927), Oh Kay (1928), The Patsy (1928), Marianne (1929), The Old Homestead (1935)

Lawrence Gray (born July 28, 1898, in San Francisco) was a handsome, amusing and agreeable actor whose career began in silent films in 1925. His good looks and amiable style made him a first-rate leading man for strong females stars, such as Gloria Swanson (Stage Struck, 1925, Untamed Lady, 1926]), Evelyn Brent and Louise Brooks (Love 'Em and Leave 'Em, 1926), Norma Shearer (After Midnight, 1927), and Colleen Moore (Oh Kay, 1928). Supporting parts, such as in Kid Boots, 1926, to Eddie Cantor, The Patsy (1928), in which Orville Caldwell is the male lead, and Shadows of the Night (1928) (starring Flash, the Dog), were interspersed among his leading roles.

Following the enormous success of The Jazz Singer (1927), one of the first films to feature synchronized sound, movie studios produced dozens of musicals every year from 1928-1930. Lawrence Gray had a light and pleasing tenor voice which enabled his easy transition from silent to musical films. His musicals include Marianne (1929) and The Floradora Girl (1930), both starring Marion Davies, It's a Great Life (1929), with the Duncan Sisters, and Sunny (1930), with Marilyn Miller. As in his silent films, he was either the leading man to the featured female star, or a supporting player. Gray's career in musicals ended in 1931, when their over-production caused audiences to rapidly lose interest.

The remaining years of his career included supporting roles (and a few leads) in low-budget films. His most interesting film in this period is The Old Homestead (1935), which features the first film appearance of Roy Rogers (credited under his real name Len Sly), Bob Nolan and other members of the original Sons Of the Pioneers musical group. After his acting career ended in 1936, Gray spent thirty-three years in Mexico as a coordinator between the Mexican and US film industries. He died February 2, 1970 in Mexico City.