Willoughby Gray Biography
John Willoughby Gray MBE was more than just a successful actor. He was a man who served his country during World War II.
Gray served with the GHQ Liaison Regiment (Phantom) and commanded a reconnaissance unit with the 11th Armoured Division during most of the campaign in Europe. For his gallantry and distinguished service, Gray was appointed MBE, an honor he wore with pride.
After the war, he turned his attention to his true passion: acting. He quickly became a well-known face on both stage and screen. In the mid-1950s, Gray gained popularity for his appearances on the television series The Adventures of Robin Hood.
Willoughby Gray also appeared on similar television shows such as The Buccaneers and The Adventures of William Tell. Gray’s talent on stage was also renowned, having appeared in countless stage performances, including a memorable turn as ‘Pete’ in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party on its very first run in 1958.
Despite being overshadowed by his stage career, Willoughby Gray also appeared in several popular films, including Laurence Olivier’s Richard III (1955), The Mummy (1959), Absolution (1978), The Hit (1984), and The Princess Bride (1987). He also appeared in the James Bond film A View to a Kill (1985) as the retired Nazi doctor and Max Zorin‘s (Christopher Walken) head scientist Dr. Carl Mortner/Hans Glaub.
In the late 1980s, Willoughby Gray appeared in the BBC drama Howards’ Way as banker Sir John Stevens. Gray was not only an accomplished actor but also a military consultant, and this expertise was put to use in Sergei Bondarchuk’s 1970 film Waterloo, where he was credited as both an actor (playing Captain Ramsey) and a military consultant.
He was married to Margaret Andraea, an accomplished artist who wrote as Felicity Gray. Willoughby Gray died in February 1993 at the age of 76.