Sunday, November 6, 2011
Beatrice Gray:(Trigger Law, The Utah Kid)
Beatrice Gray (1911-2009) worked in films and on television her entire adult life and well into her eighties. She was also the mother of a child star. As she told Boyd Magers and the late Michael Fitzgerald in their fine “Westerns Women” (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 1999), she auditioned for Father Knows Best, which co-starred her real-life son, Billy Gray, but lost the plum role to Jane Wyatt because “they didn't want two members of the same family on the show.”
Born in Hollywood, Beatrice had begun her show business career in New York, appearing in Gus Edwards' “New Faces of 1935.” In films as a dancer from 1937 and as an actress from 1944, she worked with The Trail Blazers, Johnny Mack Brown, Kirby Grant and Johnny Carpenter (helping to bankroll one of the latter's indie westerns and losing her shirt in the process), and, on television, Gene Autry. In her final years, Beatrice Gray mostly appeared in commercials.