Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Visit With Coleen Gray

I had a very special experience earlier this month, the opportunity to spend an hour on the phone interviewing actress Coleen Gray, the star of favorite films such as KISS OF DEATH (1947) and COPPER SKY (1957).

As I wrote in a birthday tribute last October, I greatly admire Coleen Gray, so the opportunity to speak with her about her life and career was a real thrill. She's an absolutely lovely lady who's also a great storyteller, and she's had a remarkable life.

The reason behind the interview was an upcoming special issue of the Dark Pages noir newsletter focusing exclusively on the classic NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947), in which Coleen starred with Tyrone Power.

Since Tyrone Power has always been one of my favorite actors, I particularly enjoyed hearing Coleen's thoughts on him. Here's a brief preview from the interview, sharing her thoughts on Power:

"He was such a gentleman… In thinking about him, he was so handsome it was unbelievable. He had a good nature. I think that he must have understood that the gifts he had of talent and appearance were not his own. They were given to him by God. So my theory is that he decided he’d better be a nice person to deserve these gifts. So whether he was consciously as great a gentleman as he turned out to be, if he worked at it or if that came naturally, I don’t know, but I’m sure -- he was definitely a lovely man, kind."

There's much more from Coleen in the interview! Subscription info for the Dark Pages can be found here.

I've been honored to contribute to past special issues of the Dark Pages focusing on OUT OF THE PAST and DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and as I wrote last year, I've been a reader even longer -- I have the very first issues on my shelf!

Special thanks to David Schecter of Monstrous Movie Music for his great assistance in making the interview a reality.

Update: Laura's Miscellaneous Musings in the Dark Pages.

Update: Some of the stories Coleen shared with me also appeared in a Coleen Gray tribute written for ClassicFlix in 2013.

August 2015 Update: Farewell to Coleen Gray.


Blogger grandoldmovies said...

Sounds like it will be a great interview - congratulations!

3:09 PM  
Blogger mel said...

Being aware of your admiration for Coleen Gray, I have an inkling of what a thrill it must have been for you to speak with her. She sounds like a wonderful person.

I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you both! You're so right, Mel, it was a real honor to speak with someone whose work I admire greatly, all the more so as she was such a very nice person.

It's also mind-boggling to consider how many interesting people she worked with in her career!

Very best wishes,

11:57 PM  
Blogger KC said...

That is so cool! I love Coleen Gray. She seems like such a decent person.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, KC! She was extremely gracious and friendly, I liked her a lot. :)

Best wishes,

12:04 PM  

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