Billy Gray

Active - 1943 - 1988  |   Born - Jan 13, 1938 in Los Angeles, California, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Western, Musical, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Juvenile actor Billy Gray began appearing in movie bit parts at age 5. The best-remembered of his 1950s film appearances were in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) as the inquisitive son of Patricia Neal; On Moonlight Bay (1952), as Booth Tarkington's Penrod; and The Seven Little Foys (1955), in which he played the teenaged version of future film producer Bryan Foy. Billy was slated to portray Tag Oakley on the 1953 TV western Annie Oakley, but instead opted to co-star as Bud Anderson on the long-running Father Knows Best (1954-60). His appearances in film and on television became sporadic after the 1950s.

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  • Former child actor known primarily as Patricia Neal's son in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and teen James "Bud" Anderson in the landmark TV sitcom Father Knows Best (1954-60).
  • Was a competitive Class A Speedway motorcycle racer from 1970 to '95.
  • Co-owner of a company called BigRock Engineering that makes, among other products, guitar accessories and back massagers.
  • In 1998, settled a libel lawsuit against film critic Leonard Maltin, whose Movie & Video Guide from 1974 to '97 included a review of the 1971 docudrama Dusty and Sweets McGee that described Gray as an actual drug user rather than an actor in a fictional role; the review was eventually corrected, and Maltin issued a public apology.
  • Bought the Topanga, CA, house in which he rented a basement apartment in 1957 while working on Father Knows Best.