Biography

Previously a clerk for a London real-estate agent, white-maned, well-poised Donald Marshall Gray became a stage actor in 1952. Since there already was a Donald Gray in British equity, Gray changed his professional first name to Charles (he was sometimes billed as Charles D. Gray to avoid confusion with American character player Charles H. Gray, and in the early 1960s, he briefly appeared on stage as Oliver Gray). A Shakespeare specialist in the theatre, Gray was most often cast as icy authority figures on screen: Essex in Cromwell (1970), Mycroft Holmes in 7% Solution (1978), and, of course, the unctuous criminologist/narrator in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). The actor's aura of well-bred insincerity was eminently suited to villainy, notably as Blofield in the 1970 James Bond entry Diamonds are Forever. Though never credited as such, Charles Gray served as the "voice" of actor Jack Hawkins after the latter lost his larynx to throat cancer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi