Charles Gray

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Charles Gray

Charles Gray (August 29, 1928 – 7 March 7, 2000) was an English actor. He played The Criminologist (An Expert) in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Judge Oliver Wright in Shock Treatment. He was also well known for his role as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever.

Biography

Born Donald Marshall Gray in Bournemouth, Dorset, Gray attended Bournemouth School, and was a class-mate of Benny Hill. His first career was that of a real estate agent, though he gave that up to study acting in his early 20s. His training began at Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and next at the Old Vic, still under his birth name of Donald. In 1952, Gray made his official stage debut in As You Like It (in the part of Charles the Wrestler). Gray discovered there was already a working actor named Donald, so he initially changed his name to Oliver, but settled on Charles 1956, after his Grandfather.

Gray already had a massive list of credits on both stage and screen by the time he was cast as The Criminologist in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He had been in many high-profile roles, but up until that point, was probably best remembered as the villain Blofeld in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (after playing Henderson, a good-guy, smaller role in You Only Live Twice).

In his private life, Gray was noted for his larger-than-life personality, and was known for throwing large, boisterous parties.

Gray never met any of the other cast members of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as his parts were filmed in one day on a separate stage. He also claimed never to have seen the movie, though he was aware of the cult success.

Because of his large stature and the stiff collared costume, Grey, as the Criminologist, became an early (and lasting) subject of many “where’s your neck” call-backs as audience participation grew. Grey met several of his Rocky Horror Cast mates for the first time when he joined the cast of Shock Treatment in 1981 as Judge Oliver Wright, a much expanded role from that of the Criminologist in Rocky Horror.

In later years, Gray's recognizable voice was regularly heard on television commercials.

Gray died of cancer in March 2000, aged 71. His ashes are interned at Golders Green Crematorium and Mausoleum in London.

Filmography

2000: Longitude (TV Movie) - Adm. Balchen
1998: The Tichborne Claimant - Arundell
1996: Madson (TV Series) - Sir Ranald Hearnley
1994: Scarlett (TV Mini-Series) - The Judge
1994: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (TV Series) - Mycroft Holmes
1992: Tales from the Poop Deck (TV Series) - Adm. Dennis De'Ath
1991: Performance (TV Series) - Maurice Hussey
1991: Shrinks (TV Series) - Lord Rissington
1991: Firestar: First Contact - Commodore Vandross
1991: The Heroic Legend of Arislan (TV Mini-Series) - Priest (Japanese Anime, English version, voice)
1990: The Paper Man (TV Mini-Series) - Prime Minister
1990: Harry and Harriet -Satan
1989: Blackeyes (TV Mini-Series) - Sebastian
1989: The Nineteenth Hole (TV Series) - Colonel Westray
1988: Blind Justice (TV Mini-Series)
1988: The Return of Sherlock Holmes (TV Series) - Mycroft Holmes
1988: Small World (TV Mini-Series) - Rudyard Parkinson
1988: Hannay (TV Series) - Commander Nevil
1987: The New Statesman (TV Series) - Roland Gidleigh-Park
1987: Dreams Lost, Dreams Found (TV Movie) - Jason Klein
1987: Screenplay (TV Series) - Narrator
1987: Porterhouse Blue (TV Mini-Series) - Sir Cathcart D'Eath
1987: Tickets for the Titanic (TV Series) - The Earl of Albany
1986: C.A.T.S. Eyes (TV Series) - Sir Jack Fenn
1986: Tall Tales & Legends (TV Series) - Mr. Dent
1985: Bergerac (TV Series) - Bart Bellow
1985: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (TV Series) - Mycroft Holmes
1984: The Gourmet (TV Movie) - Manley Kingston
1984: A Profile of Arthur J. Mason (TV Movie) - Henry
1984: The Jigsaw Man - Sir James Chorley
1983: The Comedy of Errors (TV Movie) - Solinus, Duke of Ephesus
1983: An Englishman Abroad (TV Movie) - Claudius
1982: Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story (TV Movie) - Earl Spencer
1981: Troilus & Cressida (TV Movie) - Pandarus
1981: Shock Treatment - Judge Oliver Wright
1981: Ticket to Heaven - Musician
1980: The Mirror Crack'd - Bates, The Butler
1980-81: Marie (TV Series) - Various Roles
1980: We, the Accused (TV Mini-Series) - Sir Hayman Drewer
1980: Heartland (TV Series) - Mr. Wheeler
1979: Schalcken the Painter (TV Movie) - Narrator
1979: Mrs. R's Daughter (TV Movie) - Rogers
1979: The House on Garibaldi Street (TV Movie) - Gen. Lischke
1979: Ike: The War Years (TV Mini-Series) - Gen. 'Freddie' DeGuingand
1979: Hazell (TV Series) - Brownhill
1979: Julius Caesar (TV Movie) - Julius Caesar
1978: Richard II (TV Movie) - Duke of York
1978: The Legacy - Karl Liebnecht
1978: The Island (TV Movie) - Santander
1978: Across a Crowded Room (TV Movie)
1977: Three Dangerous Ladies - Santander (segment "The Island")
1977: Drama (TV Series) - The Producer
1977: Silver Bears - Charles Cook
1977: ITV Sunday Night Drama (TV Series)
1977: The Galton & Simpson Playhouse (TV Series) - Charles
1974-1976: Softly Softly: Task Force (TV Series) - Tailor / HM Inspector of Constabulary (II)
1976: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution - Mycroft Holmes
1967-1976: BBC Play of the Month (TV Series) – (10 episodes, 10 roles)
1976: Seven Nights in Japan - Henry Hollander
1976: Twelfth Night (TV Movie) - Malvolio
1975: Mutiny (TV Movie)
1975: The Philanthropist (TV Movie) - Braham
1975: The Rocky Horror Picture Show - The Criminologist (An Expert)
1975: Churchill's People (TV Series) - Duke of Portland
1975: The Venturers (TV Series) - Tony Challon
1975: Thriller (TV Series) - Hilary Vance
1974: Dial M for Murder (TV Series) - Hugo Vardon
1974: Fall of Eagles (TV Mini-Series) - Rodzianko
1974: The Beast Must Die - Bennington
1974: Sex Through the Ages - Narrator (voice)
1974: Great Mysteries (TV Series) - Mikail Zigorin
1973: Tales That Witness Madness - Jack Hawkins Voice Double (voice, uncredited)
1973: The Song of Songs (TV Series) - Count Von Mertzbach
1973: The Upper Crusts (TV Series) - Lord Seacroft / Lord Seacroft Snr.
1973: Theatre of Blood - Solomon Psaltery (voice, uncredited)
1973: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (TV Series) - Eugene Valmont
1972: Upstairs, Downstairs (TV Series) - Sir Edwin Partridge
1971: London (Short) - Mr. Mapleton, Tailor
1971: Diamonds Are Forever - Blofeld
1968-1971: Thirty-Minute Theatre (TV Series) - Inspector Waugh / Knox / Bertrand Asquith/ Jenkins
1971: Play for Today (TV Series) - Oxlade
1971: Doctor at Large (TV Series) - Man
1971: When Eight Bells Toll - Sir Anthony Skouras (voice, uncredited)
1970: Menace (TV Series) - Micky
1970: Cromwell - The Earl of Essex
1970: W. Somerset Maugham (TV Series) -The Storyteller
1970: The Executioner - Vaughan Jones
1969: The Merchant of Venice (Short) - Antonio
1969: Mosquito Squadron - Air Commodore Hufford
1969: The File of the Golden Goose - The Owl
1969: The Nine Ages of Nakedness - Narrator (voice)
1968: The Devil Rides Out - Mocata
1966-1968: Love Story (TV Series) - Bender / John Trewardine
1959-1968: Armchair Theatre (TV Series) - Felix Hull / Philip Comely
1968: The Secret War of Harry Frigg - Gen. Adrian Cox-Roberts
1967:The Man Outside - Charles Griddon
1967: You Only Live Twice : Henderson
1967: The Night of the Generals - General von Seidlitz-Gabler
1965: Mogul (TV Series) -Michael Rennane
1965: Armchair Mystery Theatre (TV Series) - Quill / Madingley
1965: Masquerade - Benson
1965: Tea Party (TV Movie)
1963: Drama 61-67 (TV Series) - David
1963: Suspense (TV Series) -Verdon
1962: Maigret (TV Series) - Voices from the Past
1962: Out of This World (TV Series) - Abel Jones
1960-1962: ITV Play of the Week (TV Series) - Harry Branksome / Malcolm Turnbull / Ulysses
1961: The First Gentleman (TV Movie) - Prince Regent of England
1960-1961: Danger Man (TV Series) - Zameda / Alexis Buller
1960: Somerset Maugham Hour (TV Series) - Tom Ramsey
1960: Man in the Moon - Leo
1960: The Entertainer - Columnist
1959-1960: The Four Just Men (TV Series) - Dominguez / Paul Lederer / Sadik Bey
1959- No Hiding Place (TV Series) - Sir Miles
1959: Probation Officer (TV Series) - Richard Bates
1959: Tommy the Toreador - Gomez
1959: Follow a Star - Taciturn Man at Party (uncredited)
1959: The Desperate Man - Lawson
1959: H.G.Wells' Invisible Man (TV Series) - Peter Thal
1959: BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (TV Series) - Waring
1959: Boyd Q.C. (TV Series) - Tickle
1959: Rendezvous (TV Series) - Markheim
1958: Expresso Bongo (TV Movie) - Capt. Cyril Mavors
1958: Bachelor Father (TV Series) - Frank Gibbs
1958: Heart of a Child - Fritz Heiss
1958: I Accuse! - Capt. Brossard
1958: Television World Theatre (TV Series) - Capt. von Schlettow
1957: The Adventures of Robin Hood (TV Series) - Sir Blaise
1957: Producers' Showcase (TV Series) – Escalus, Prince of Verona
1957: Sword of Freedom (TV Series) - Varenza / Pierre De Foix

Stage Productions

1979: - Sheridan Whiteside (London's Chichester Theatre Festival)
1975: Ardele - General St. Pe (Queen's Theatre, London)
1970: The Philanthropist – Braham (Royal Court Theatre, London and May Fair Theatre, London)
1965: The Right Honorable Gentleman - Sir Charles Dilke (Billy Rose Theatre, New York)
1964: Poor Bitos – Maxime (Duke of York's Theatre and Cort Theatre, New York City)
1964: Hang Your Head Down and Die (Comedy Theatre, London)
1963: Poor Bitos – Maxime (Arts Theatre, London)
1962: The Alchemist - Sir Epicure Mammon (at the Old Vic)
1962: Everything in the Garden - Bernard Acton (Duke of York Theatre)
1961: Kean - William, Prince of Wales (at the Broadway Theatre, NYC, as Oliver Gray)
1958: Expresso Bongo - Captain Cyril Mavors (Saville Theatre, London)
1957: Richard II- Bolingbroke, (US/Canada tour)
1957: Romeo and Juliet - Escalus and chorus (US/Canada tour)
1957: Troilus and Cressida - Achilles (US/Canada tour)
1956: Macbeth – Macduff (at the Old Vic)
1956: Macbeth - Lennox (in the Old Vic Company at the Winter Garden Theatre, NYC)
1956: Othello - Lodovico (at the Old Vic)
1956: Romeo and Juliet - Escalus and chorus (at the Old Vic)
1956: Troilus and Cressida – Achilles (Old Vic and at the Winter Garden Theatre)
1956: Richard II - Henry Bolingbroke (Old Vic Company, at the Old Vic and at the Winter Garden Theatre, NYC)
1955: As You Like It -Duke Frederick (at the Old Vic)
1955: Henry IV, Part One - Hastings (at the Old Vic)
1955: Henry IV, Part Two -The Vintner (at the Old Vic)
1955: Henry V ("Duke of Burgundy and Constable of France," Old Vic)
1955: Julius Caesar - Marullus (at the Old Vic)
1955: Richard II - Lord Marshall (at the Old Vic)
1955: Taming of the Shrew -The Lord (at the Old Vic)
1955: The Winter's Tale – Polyxenes (at the Old Vic)
1953: Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon)
1953: Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon)
1953: Richard III (Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon) 1953: King Lear (Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon)
1953: As You Like It - Charles the Wrestler," (in Regent's Park, London, Open Air Theatre)
1952: Boy With a Cart –Demiwulf (London, Open Air Theatre)
1952: Comus – Comus understudy(London, Open Air Theatre)
1952: Cymbeline - Roman Captain and Jupiter (London, Open Air Theatre)
1952: Macbeth - Ross (UK tour)
1951: The Beaux' Stratagem

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