Friday, December 01, 2006

Dead Celebrity of the Month, December 2006: Spalding Gray

Spalding Gray was born June 5th 1941 in Barrington, Rhode Island. A graduate of Emerson colloge, Gray worked in a number of entertainment/artistic related fields. His film career is composed almost entirely of small roles in motion pictures such as Love in '72, Beaches, and The Paper. Though my favorite of Spauldings film work, is probably his role as the computer executive in the Talking Heads film True Stories.

What Gray is most known for however are his monologues. Cynical, self-effecing, and witty, these post-modern exercises became Spaulding Gray's true trademark. In 1987 director Jonathan Demme relessed a filmed version of Gray's most famous monolouge, Swimming to Cambodia, based on the presenters experinces filming a small role in the award winning 1984 film, The Killing Fields. Other Gray monologues commited to film include Spalding Gray: Terrors of Pleasure (1988) and Gray's Anatomy (1996).

Subject to life long bouts of depression, presuambly inhearted from his mother, who killed herself in 1967, Gray took a particular turn for the worse after a 2001 car accident. In Janauary 2004, after taking in an evenings showing of the Tim Burton film Big Fish, Gray wanderd off and disappeard, his body found in the East River on March 7th 2004, his death was ruled a suicide. Gray's last, unfinished monologue, Life Interrutped, about the car accident, is to be made into a feature film by Steven Soderbergh, it is scheduald for releass in 2007. Gray was twice married and is survived by his two children Forrest and Theo.

This marks the last entry in my 'Dead Celebrity of the Month' series. Further 'Dead Celebrity Proflies' may appear in the future on a less regular basis.


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