Dolores Gray (1924 - 2002)

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Dolores Gray
1924 - 2002
Born
June 7, 1924
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
Death
June 26, 2002
New York, New York United States
Other Names
Dolores Gray
Summary
Dolores Gray was born on June 7, 1924 in Los Angeles, California. She died on June 26, 2002 in New York, New York at 78 years old.
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Updated: February 1, 2021
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Dolores Gray
Born Sylvia Dolores Finkelstein June 7, 1924 Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died June 26, 2002 (aged 78) New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer Years active 1941–1989
Spouse(s) Andrew J. Crevolin ​(m. 1966; died 1992)​
Parent(s) Harry Vernon Finkelstein (father)
Awards Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Carnival in Flanders (1954)
Dolores Gray (June 7, 1924 – June 26, 2002) was an American actress and singer. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical twice, winning once.
Early life
She was born as Sylvia Dolores Finkelstein (but known by Sylvia Dolores Vernon growing up) to Barbara Marguerite Gray (born Marguerite Gray) and Harry Vernon Finkelstein (stage name Harry Vernon) in Los Angeles, California, although obituaries listed Gray's birthplace as Chicago, as does her biography on the Internet Movie Database[citation needed]. Both her mother and father were vaudeville actors, which is how they met. Gray's parents divorced when she was a young child. Dolores had an older brother, Richard Gray (born Richard Vernon), who also had a career in Hollywood. While attending Polytechnic High School she was in the Girls' Glee Club. She was 'discovered' by Rudy Vallee, who gave her a guest spot on his nationwide radio show. Dolores Gray was briefly signed with MGM, appearing in Kismet (1955) and It's Always Fair Weather (1955).
Career
Her career commenced as a cabaret artist in restaurants and supper clubs in San Francisco, and in Reno, Nevada. In 1945 she appeared in her own radio program.While she was appearing in Annie Get Your Gun in London (1947–1950), she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1948. As a fundraiser to help rebuild the RADA theatre, she appeared as Nell Gwyn in In Good King Charles's Golden Days at Drury Lane Theatre (Oct 1948). She appeared at the London Palladium in 1958 while doing a concert tour of Europe and in cabaret at The Talk of the Town in February 1963. Among her many stage roles, she appeared in Two on the Aisle (1951), Carnival In Flanders (1953); Destry Rides Again (1959); Sherry! (1967); and 42nd Street (1986). She also performed the lead role in Annie Get Your Gun in its first London production (1947). Gray won the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her role in Carnival in Flanders, even though this Broadway musical, with a script by Preston Sturges, ran for only six performances. She therefore holds a record that is unlikely to be broken: briefest run in a performance which still earned a Tony. She is the first person to have sung the English version of the French song “C'est si bon” in a movie, Holiday in Paris: Paris directed by John Nasht.
Portraying a singing and dancing stage actress, she appeared with Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall in the highly successful film Designing Woman (1957), as his former romantic interest. During her successful music career, she sang Marilyn Monroe's part on the Decca Records soundtrack album of There's No Business Like Show Business (1954).
She was best known for her theatre roles. She recalled once, “What a gift that would be to have more of a permanent record. A stage performance is just that, then it's lost. When I see movies on TV, I think, 'How great to have that.' But why look back? The decisions I made, I made. I can't change that.”[citation needed] In 1973 she took over from Angela Lansbury in the London production of Gypsy at the Piccadilly Theatre. In 1987 she starred in the London production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre to great acclaim and appeared in the Royal Variety Performance of that year with a show-stopping performance of the song 'I'm Still Here" from the show. In 1978 she also appeared on BBC TV's long-running variety show The Good Old Days – chairman Leonard Sachs had also appeared in Follies as theatre owner Dimitri Wiseman, introducing Miss Gray, one of “The Wiseman Girls”. Theatre critic Michael Phillips wrote that Gray's voice sounded like “a freight-train slathered in honey.” In 1988 she appeared in the Doctor Who 25th anniversary story “Silver Nemesis,” playing an American tourist.
Apart from the many soundtrack albums she appeared on, Gray recorded one album of songs in 1957 for Capitol Records with the title Warm Brandy.
Marriage
On September 24, 1966, Dolores Gray married Andrew J. Crevolin, a California businessman and Thoroughbred racehorse owner who won the 1954 Kentucky Derby. Despite erroneous reports in the media that they divorced, they remained married until his death in 1992. The union was childless.

Death
Gray died of a heart attack in Manhattan, aged 78. Upon her death, she was cremated and her ashes interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
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Biography
Dolores Gray
Most commonly known as
Dolores Gray
Full name
Dolores Gray
Other names or aliases
New York, New York County, New York 10022
Last known residence
Female
Gender
Dolores Gray was born on in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
Birth
Dolores Gray died on in New York, New York United States
Death
Dolores Gray was born on in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
Dolores Gray died on in New York, New York United States
Birth
Death
Heart Attack
Cause of death
at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery 5835 W Slauson Ave, in Culver City, Los Angeles County, California United States 90230
Burial / Funeral
Heritage

Ethnicity & Lineage

Jewish.

Nationality & Locations

American. Mostly New York.
Childhood

Education

While attending Polytechnic High School she was in the Girls' Glee Club. She was 'discovered' by Rudy Vallee.

Religion

She was cremated and her ashes put in a Catholic Cemetery.

Baptism

Adulthood

Professions

Awards Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Carnival in Flanders (1954)
Dolores Gray (June 7, 1924 – June 26, 2002) was an American actress and singer. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical twice, winning once.
While attending Polytechnic High School she was in the Girls' Glee Club. She was 'discovered' by Rudy Vallee, who gave her a guest spot on his nationwide radio show. Dolores Gray was briefly signed with MGM, appearing in Kismet (1955) and It's Always Fair Weather (1955).
Her career commenced as a cabaret artist in restaurants and supper clubs in San Francisco, and in Reno, Nevada. In 1945 she appeared in her own radio program.While she was appearing in Annie Get Your Gun in London (1947–1950), she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1948. As a fundraiser to help rebuild the RADA theatre, she appeared as Nell Gwyn in In Good King Charles's Golden Days at Drury Lane Theatre (Oct 1948). She appeared at the London Palladium in 1958 while doing a concert tour of Europe and in cabaret at The Talk of the Town in February 1963. Among her many stage roles, she appeared in Two on the Aisle (1951), Carnival In Flanders (1953); Destry Rides Again (1959); Sherry! (1967); and 42nd Street (1986). She also performed the lead role in Annie Get Your Gun in its first London production (1947). Gray won the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her role in Carnival in Flanders, even though this Broadway musical, with a script by Preston Sturges, ran for only six performances. She therefore holds a record that is unlikely to be broken: briefest run in a performance which still earned a Tony. She is the first person to have sung the English version of the French song “C'est si bon” in a movie, Holiday in Paris: Paris directed by John Nasht.
Portraying a singing and dancing stage actress, she appeared with Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall in the highly successful film Designing Woman (1957), as his former romantic interest. During her successful music career, she sang Marilyn Monroe's part on the Decca Records soundtrack album of There's No Business Like Show Business (1954).
She was best known for her theatre roles. She recalled once, “What a gift that would be to have more of a permanent record. A stage performance is just that, then it's lost. When I see movies on TV, I think, 'How great to have that.' But why look back? The decisions I made, I made. I can't change that.”[citation needed] In 1973 she took over from Angela Lansbury in the London production of Gypsy at the Piccadilly Theatre. In 1987 she starred in the London production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre to great acclaim and appeared in the Royal Variety Performance of that year with a show-stopping performance of the song 'I'm Still Here" from the show. In 1978 she also appeared on BBC TV's long-running variety show The Good Old Days – chairman Leonard Sachs had also appeared in Follies as theatre owner Dimitri Wiseman, introducing Miss Gray, one of “The Wiseman Girls”. Theatre critic Michael Phillips wrote that Gray's voice sounded like “a freight-train slathered in honey.” In 1988 she appeared in the Doctor Who 25th anniversary story “Silver Nemesis,” playing an American tourist.
Apart from the many soundtrack albums she appeared on, Gray recorded one album of songs in 1957 for Capitol Records with the title Warm Brandy.

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Dolores Gray, a singer and actress whose success on Broadway and London's West End led to starring roles in several 1950's Hollywood musical extravaganzas, died on Wednesday in her Manhattan apartment. She was 78.
The cause was a heart attack, her lawyer, Martin D. Newman, said.
Tall and sultry, with generous lips, Ms. Gray had a rich contralto voice that one London critic described as ''warm brandy.'' She started her career on radio, singing with Rudy Vallee, and moved on to several stage and movie roles. Her first major success was playing the lead in ''Annie Get Your Gun'' in London in 1947.
The show, with Ms. Gray as Annie, ran for 2 years and 11 months. ''She is exceedingly pretty,'' wrote the critic for The Daily Telegraph, ''has a devastating sense of comedy, and her points are made with the clean smack of one of Annie's bullets hitting the center of the target.''
Her London success led to major Broadway roles. She starred in the musical ''Carnival in Flanders,'' for which she won a Tony in 1954 for best musical actress. The show lasted only six performances; Ms. Gray's Tony came for what still ranks as one of the shortest-lived winning performances. Although the show was far from a hit, the song she introduced in it, ''Here's That Rainy Day,'' by Jimmy Van Heusen, with lyrics by Johnny Burke, later became a standard.
In 1955 she signed a contract with MGM, and in the next three years she made four films. Her first was ''Kismet,'' in which she starred alongside Sebastian Cabot, Vic Damone and Ann Blyth. That same year she appeared in ''It's Always Fair Weather,'' with Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse and Dan Dailey. Her next MGM film was ''The Opposite Sex,'' with June Allyson, Joan Collins and Ann Sheridan. Her last was ''Designing Woman,'' which also starred Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall and Sam Levene.
Dolores Gray was born in Chicago on June 7, 1924. Her parents divorced when she was 2, and her father died five years later. Her mother took her to Hollywood, where, at 14, Dolores began performing in clubs. At 15, she was discovered by Vallee, who gave her a guest spot on his radio show, which was broadcast nationwide.
While her singing was often compared to that of full-voiced Broadway legends like Ethel Merman, Ms. Gray didn't think of herself that way. ''Actually, my voice is fragile, but I know how to amplify it,'' she told an interviewer.
She made her Broadway debut in 1944 with Beatrice Lillie in ''Seven Lively Arts.'' That same year she made her screen debut in a small part in ''Mr. Skeffington,'' starring Bette Davis. In 1945, she was one of four leading ladies in ''Are You With It?'' In 1951, she starred with Bert Lahr in ''Two on the Aisle.''
After Hollywood, Ms. Gray returned to Broadway for several productions.
Ms. Gray recorded for Capitol Records, sang in clubs and played many roles on television. She also appeared on television variety shows with hosts like Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen and Perry Como and on the Bell Telephone Hour.
She returned to London in 1973 and again in 1987 to star in revivals of ''Gypsy'' and ''Follies.''
Ms. Gray's marriage to Andrew Crevolin, a California real estate developer and horse race owner whose horse ''Determine'' won the Kentucky Derby in 1954,lasted until he died.
She is survived by a stepdaughter, Joanne Kildare, of Alamo, Calif.
After her return to Broadway, she made some of the biggest headlines of her career. On May 28, 1959, during a matinee of ''Destry Rides Again,'' opposite Andy Griffith at the Imperial Theater, the stage curtain caught fire as Ms. Gray sang a love song, ''Anyone Would Love You.'' As the theater's fireman and stagehands noisily started fighting the fire from backstage, Ms. Gray kept singing.
''When I spotted the flames, I nudged Andy,'' she said later. ''Neither of us moved. I just kept on singing louder and louder to try to drown out the noise backstage.''
Ms. Gray was credited with keeping the full house of 1,504 people calm as the fire was extinguished. The audience applauded wildly and then quietly filed out as the show took an unusual 40-minute intermission. After the damage was assessed and the water cleaned up, Ms. Gray and Mr. Griffith went on with the show.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Dolores' lifetime.

In 1924, in the year that Dolores Gray was born, Macy's department store in New York held its first "Thanksgiving parade" on November 27th at 9a - during church services but leaving plenty of time to attend the big football game between Syracuse and Columbia universities. The parade was held as a way to promote the opening of the “World’s Largest Store” and its 1 million square feet of retail space in Manhattan’s Herald Square. The parade was 6 miles long and included floats, Macy's employees dressed as clowns, cowboys, and sword-wielding knights, and animals from Central Park Zoo. Santa Claus, of course, brought up the rear - opening the Christmas shopping season for Macy's.

In 1934, when she was just 10 years old, on July 22nd, gangster John Dillinger was killed in Chicago. His gang had robbed banks and police stations, among other charges, and he was being hunted by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI - although many in the public saw him as a "Robin Hood". A madam from a brothel in which he was hiding became an informer for the FBI and, after a shootout with FBI agents, Dillinger was shot and died.

In 1952, at the age of 28 years old, Dolores was alive when on February 6th, George VI of England died from a coronary thrombosis and complications due to lung cancer. His eldest daughter, age 25, immediately ascended the throne as Elizabeth II and her coronation was on June 2 1953.

In 1968, she was 44 years old when on April 4th, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights leader, was shot and killed by an assassin in Memphis. James Earl Ray was apprehended and plead guilty to shooting Dr. King. Ray died in jail in 1998.

In 1997, when she was 73 years old, on August 31st, Princess Diana of Great Britain was killed when her car crashed into a pillar in the tunnel under the Pont de l'Alma bridge in Paris. The car she was riding in was trying to evade the paparazzi but it was also discovered later that the driver of the car, who was also killed, had three times the legal limit of alcohol which likely contributed to the accident.

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