We present a new interview in our series with those who were a part of making it happen. And this time around, we have the man himself, Michael Gray, who played Billy Batson on Shazam! Michael talks with us about his career, his time on Shazam! including his favorite episodes, his dealing with typecasting and how it is so different for actors playing hero types today, and his comeback starting with an appearance on Archer.
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Good looks and a couple of television roles helped to give actor Michael Gray many years in between and on the covers of Tiger Beat magazine. Born in Chicago, Michael moved to Florida when he was a young boy.
He caught the acting bug in high school, and eventually made his way to Hollywood. In 1972, Michael won the role of Ronnie on the NBC series The Little People, a charming sitcom that starred Brian Keith as a pediatrician with a practice on Oahu, Hawaii. The series was reworked for the second season and retitled The Brian Keith Show, and Michael was let go.
Signed to a management deal with Charles Laufer, pubisher of "Tiger Beat," Michael was able to keep a high profile while rounding up other acting roles. Michael's second series came in 1974, when he was cast in his signature role, as Billy Batson on the Saturday morning series Shazam. The series ran for 3 years but was then cancelled due to increasing production costs.
Some of Michael's other credits include:
Life with Father Entertainment Tonight
Room 222 MTV's - I Love the 70's
The Brady Bunch E Television, Life After Stardom
Marcus Welby M.D. The Rretro Radio Live Show
The Flying Nun VH1 - Superheros, Where Are
Dynasty They Now?
Although Michael Gray had all the tools one would expect to be necessary to build a sturdy career, due to type casting it became harder for him to make
a living at his craft.
The ever youthful Michael Gray is happily married and living in Northern California. He is currently writing a book about his life in Hollywood.