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Spalding Gray Dead

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Studio Exec

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 03.09.2004 1:41 am    Post subject: Spalding Gray Dead Reply with quote

Sad day for those who appreciated Spalding Gray's literary abilities:

The body of Spalding Gray was found this weekend in the East River, confirming suspicions that the actor, writer and monologuist had died two months ago, when he left his Manhattan apartment and never returned; he was 62. While the official cause of death had not yet been determined, it was widely reported that Gray had battled severe depression and had previously attempted suicide, including a 2002 attempt in which he tried to jump from a Long Island bridge. Last seen on January 10, Gray's family had kept up a search for him despite pressing evidence that he may have taken his own life. A superb live performer, Gray began his acting career in the 70s, but came to prominence with Swimming to Cambodia, a staged monologue that recounted his adventures while making the 1984 film The Killing Fields; Jonathan Demme filmed Cambodia in 1987. The resulting acclaim helped garner Gray roles in such films as True Stories, Beaches, King of the Hill, The Paper, and Kate & Leopold, among others, and his recounting of his travails with an eye condition was turned into Gray's Anatomy (1996), directed by Steven Soderbergh. Despite his film career, Gray continued to work onstage, playing the Stage Manager in a Tony Award-winning revival of Our Town, and turning his midlife crises into another acclaimed monologue, It's a Slippery Slope. Gray's life was marred by tragedy in recent years, as he suffered a horrible car accident in Ireland in 2001, which jeopardized his health, derailed his most recent monologue, Blind Spot, and seemed to accelerate his depression. Gray is survived by his wife, Kathleen Russo, and their two children.

For those of us following the story of his vanishing, I don't think this news comes as a surprise but it still carries the weight of tragedy. I became a Spalding fan in 1994, when I bought a beat-up VHS copy of Swimming to Cambodia. I've seen all of his "conversation" films, and have always perked up during his rare but mesmerizing cameos in motion pictures. He will be missed.

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the night watchman
Studio Exec

Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 1373
Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 03.09.2004 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy crap. I hadn't even heard of his disappearance. I first became acquainted with Gray when I caught "Monster in a Box" on HBO years ago(where it seemed to play incessantly). His death, and the peculiar circumstances surrounding it, comes as a mighty big shock.
"If you're talking about censorship, and what things should be shown and what things shouldn't be shown, I've said that as an artist you have no social responsibility whatsoever."

-David Cronenberg
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Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 295
Location: West Bend

PostPosted: 03.09.2004 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, it's so sad. I heard that on the news last night Sad My mom was really upset too.
Stefanie Duckwitz
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