For five years on nightly network NBC-TV, Erin Gray was the American’s image of the ideal woman. Her “Kate” in Silver Spoons managed to have it all – marriage, family, and business career. And for two years before that she had redefined our public image of the beauty with brains, when Buck Rogers in the 25th Century became a hit series, her sleek sophisticated “Colonel Wilma” became a role model, and Erin Gray became a household word.
Erin’s success as the face that launched some of America’s most glamorous beauty products was already legendary before she made the dramatic career change from model to actress. As the original “I’m Worth It” woman for L’Oreal, and the Bloomingdale’s spokeswoman for ten years, she was launched into a starring role in the critically acclaimed television mini-series Evening In Byzantium with Glenn Ford. Ms. Gray continued to star in numerous Movies-Of-The Week, Born Beautiful, Starman, Coach of the Year, and Code of Vengeance, and also starred as Lilah opposite Kenny Rogers in the feature film Six Pack directed by Dan Petrie.
In Silver Spoons, in which Ms. Gray met and mastered the triple-challenge of the television sitcom-comedy, television, and live audiences, she further honed her “live audience” comedic skills by doing theater, starring in California Suite and Six Room River Views, and not only achieving, critical success with Social Security, but bringing audiences to their feet with standing ovations. In the summer of ’97 Erin starred in the award winning play La Moure N. D. 58458 at The Bitter Truth Theater in Los Angeles, as part of the cutting edge NoHo Arts Festival.
Ms. Gray continued to co-star in numerous MOWs such as Breaking Home Ties with Jason Robards, The Avenging Ace, and Addicted To His Love. In four fascinating roles Ms. Gray was again able to express her versatility and range, as a psychotic killer, and “evil Duchess” opposite John Rhys-Davies, a brilliant and twisted femme fatal in Dark Justice opposite France’s leading comedic actor Thierry L’Hermite in a hilariously funny farce as an American writer who while hiding out in a French Chateau, becomes involved in a murder mystery.
In the mid-nineties Erin starred in three feature films, Jason Goes To Hell, Dangerous Place and T-Force, as well as the first movie for the USA/Sci-Fi Networks, Official Denial, and the challenging role as the intense prosecutor, Pam Bozanich in the controversial Fox-produced film of the Menendez trial, Honor Thy Father and Mother. Erin also made appearances in guest-starring roles in the CBS MOW Crowfoot, the series Heaven Help Us, and the very popular Baywatch.
In the year 2000 Erin guest starred in recurring roles, as Congresswoman Karen Archer in NBC’s highly acclaimed drama Profiler, and the coldhearted Nicole Devlin in ABCs Port Charles. And in 2002 Erin was honored with the Entertainer Award at San Diego Film Festival.
Within the last several years Erin completed filming 15 independent feature films, The Last Producer with Burt Reynolds, Clover Bend with Robert Urich, Caught In The Headlights with Stacey Keach and My True Self, Loaded with Jesse Metcaffe, Ghouls with William Atherton, and Dreams Awake.
Within the last several years, Erin established, Heroes for Hire, a company which books celebrities at personal appearances and speaking engagements, and created with her husband Director of Photography, Richard Hissong, a production company, Wu Wei Entertainment. She and her husband are also producing a series of videos on her favorite subjects, Chi Kung and Tai Chi.
Possessing a highly developed sense of public service, Ms. Gray, as spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and as board member for Haven House, the oldest battered women’s shelter in the U.S., co-produced and wrote PSA’s with Women In Film. For over a decade Erin has been speaking out against domestic violence, a topic that is close to her heart.
Gary Graham is probably best known for his starring role as Detective Matt Sikes in the television series Alien Nation, which was followed by the TV movies Alien Nation: Dark Horizon, Alien Nation: Body and Soul, Alien Nation: Millennium, Alien Nation: The Enemy Within, and Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy.
Star Trek fans probably know him best from his more recent guest-starring roles on Star Trek: Enterprise as the recurring character Ambassador Soval, a Vulcan ambassador to Earth. He also guest-starred on Star Trek: Voyager playing Ocampan community leader Tanis.
Gary was born in Long Beach, California and grew up in and around Orange County. The son of a medical doctor, he too aspired to a career in medicine. However despite showing much prowess at the medical sciences, Gary left pre-med to study theater arts at the University of California, Irvine, in the early seventies, before he won his first feature film role opposite George C. Scott in Hardcore.
Since that time Gary has appeared in more than 30 feature films, such as Robot Jox, The Last Warrior, Man Trouble, and Hollywood Knights, and numerous TV movies and series, such as Jag, Walker Texas Ranger, and Nash Bridges in additon to Alien Nation and Star Trek: Enterprise.
Recently Gary co-starred opposite Erin Gray in Dreams Awake, and later he starred in the pilot for the horror-adventure series, Alive! both due out in soon.
Gary switched hats that same year by writing and directing his first short film Interviews. He also works with Orange Coast College and Irvine Valley College teaching students filmmaking in the emeritus program.
As an author, Gary shares his many experiences from twenty-seven years in the movie biz in his book, “Acting and Other Flying Lessons” (available on Amazon.com).
And finally, Gary is a volunteer First Responder and Ski Patroller at Mt. High, California, and as a firearms expert, competes around the country in USPSA 3-GUN matches.
Tim O’Connor is a character actor known for his prolific work in television. Best known to television viewers as Elliott Carson, in the long-running TV series, Peyton Place in the 1960’s, Tim O’Connor began his acting career with the Goodman Memorial Theatre in Chicago just after World War II. He was born and raised on the tough south side of Chicago. A salesman sold him a course to a radio acting school, which started him down the path to becoming an actor.
The Chicago Institute of Art’s Goodman Memorial Theatre became his home of study, and later he moved on to spend several years with the Tent House Theatre Group. He moved to New York in the early 1950’s and worked in summer stock, off-Broadway productions and eventually in television. In 1957 he married actress Mary Foskett and they had one son, Timothy Michael.
O’Connor became one of television’s busiest actors during the medium’s dramatic coming-of-age. He appeared frequently on The United States Steel Hour and became a mainstay of the “Family Classics” series, starring in such productions as The Three Musketeers and A Tale of Two Cities. Until 1964, when Peyton Place became a runaway hit, O’Connor lived on an island in the center of Glenwild Lake near Bloomingdale, New Jersey. He soon found that commuting between the East Coast and Los Angeles was too wearing, and moved to California. O’Connor settled in Santa Monica, a few short blocks from the Pacific, and established himself as one of filmdom’s most versatile performers.
A familiar face to television audiences in the 1960s and 70s, he was able to guest star on many television series during that era as well as a number of made-for-TV movies, eventually garnering over 100 TV credits, mostly as a character actor. Although mostly known for his prolific work in television, O’Connor has appeared in a handful of feature films and has made only a few appearances since the early 1990s.
O’Connor specialized in playing officials, military men, and police officers. Some of his best-known roles include: Dr. Elias Huer in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Jack Boland in General Hospital, and Elliot Carson in Peyton Place. He also had recurring roles on Barnaby Jones, Dynasty, Cannon, The Defenders, and The FBI. He even portrayed an alien ambassador on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
He recently came out of retirement to take on the supporting role of Ambrose in the mystical family drama, Dreams Awake. He is currently a director for The Foothill Theater Company in Nevada City, California where he lives with his wife.
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA, Najarra was a child model as a toddler, also performing on stage in local productions, and before her teens was earning acclaim. From as soon as she could walk and talk, she has been dancing, singing and performing. By age three she was doing runway modeling for designer clothing. By the age of four she was performing with Showstoppers Children’s Theater, and performed with them in more than 25 productions.
At the age of seven she was in Jane Eyre the musical, with SBCC Theater Group, receiving five college credits for her participation. That same year she was in Taming of the Shrew with Santa Barbara Real Shakespeare Company, and also played the part of “Fan” in Scrooge for Seaside Theater, going on to perform it for two seasons.
Her love for theater continued and by age ten she had been in three Gilbert & Sullivan productions, four Shakespeare, and many musical comedy and dramatic productions: Alice in Alice in Wonderland; Susan Walker in Here’s Love (musical version of Miracle on 34th Street), and many others.
At ten and eleven, Najarra was Rhoda Penmark in Bad Seed; Fern in Charlotte’s Web and Baby June in Gypsy to name a few. At ten, she also made her big screen debut in the suspense/horror film Menace.
In her early teens, she studied with LA Talent Academy at the Musicians Institute, continued doing theater and films, performing with “LA Hip Kids” and working on an album with her group “Flavor”. She even squeezed in teaching dance and cheerleading classes. In March she appeared at the Laguna Playhouse, receiving rave reviews, in Cut, a riveting emotional drama about some very real and serious psychological pressures & struggles facing many of today’s teenagers. She had a lively three month run at the world famous Brown Derby in Buddy Bregman’s Capone – The Musical, inspired by the BBC television production of Chicago in the roaring twenties.
Najarra’s performance in the Sundance and Cannes-winning Me and You and Everyone We Know in 2005 drew international notice. The LA Weekly named her role as one of the Top 10 Great Small Performances for “frankness, innocence, humor, vulnerability and girl-power defiance.” Najarra has also appeared in many notable short films, including Secrets, which won best drama at the Hollywood Digital Film Festival and Antonio Rivero’s Electronica, screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
A number of other recent releases include a lead role in Strange Angel, starring in the family drama Dawning, and she can be seen in Have Love Will Travel for which she contributed a song to the soundtrack.
Najarra’s recently released films include a lead role in Tru Loved, roles in the stark social commentary of Life Without a Modem, the ensemble piece President’s Hotel and the thriller Darkness Visible opposite Sean Young and now, a supporting role in the soon-to-be released mystical drama Dreams Awake.
Mitchell Presas began his acting career in Dallas, Texas at the age of 7 playing “karate guy” for a PBS show. He was discovered by legendary manager Gary Shaffer in New York City while participating in Talent America. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2003, he was signed by Kazarian, Spencer & Associates talent agency and acquired by Upstart Management where film director and producer Michael Nathanson manages his budding acting career.
In 2005 Mitchell starred in Stand Up for Director Jonathan Penson and was featured both in Stronger Than Daylight and F’ing Frank. Shortly after he landed the lead role in Honeyfields, an AFI thesis film directed by Matthew Gordon about the tragic relationship of two brothers being raised in poor, rural California by their bitter grandmother. Next Mitchell played the lead for another successful short film produced and directed by Yoshi Atsumi. In this film Mitchell plays a runaway who befriends and saves a pickpocket. Both films have received acclaim in the American Film Festival circuit and overseas.
Most recently, Mitchell at the age of 14, plays the intelligent but shy son of Hope and Marcus Emrys (Erin Gray and Gary Graham) in the feature film Dreams Awake slated for release soon.
ROBERT PIKE DANIEL
Robert Pike Daniel was born in the Western Isles of Scotland and raised in South Africa, before moving back to Britain in 1975. He began acting at five years old, after one of his frequent trips to the matinees with his mother. Experiencing the power of storytelling, he realized he wanted to be a part of that process – “inside the story” – as an actor.
He studied at the Durban Academy of Speech & Drama in South Africa and performed in plays throughout childhood, making his professional stage debut at age ten.
Robert later worked as a journalist in newspapers, radio and TV, including a stint at the BBC and Radio TV Hong Kong, before attending the prestigious National Film and Television School where he trained as a writer/director.
While working at the BBC he took BBC voice training course, and went on to do voice work at the LBC (London Broadcasting Company), and to act as the London correspondent for RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong). The transition from there led into commercials and books on tape, and eventually animation on the series Mad Jack the Pirate, where he played whacko Scotsman, Angus Dagnabbit, and got to play bagpipes on the show as well.
By 1987 Robert was making music videos in London and that year moved to Nashville, TN, with the aim of making videos for the newly formed CMT (Country Music Television). Years of voice work led him back to stage work, and TV and radio commercials.
Within a few years, he decided it was time to move on to the west coast to try his luck. He subsequently has had several TV and film roles, including the latest in Dreams Awake.
Christian Carroll attended Occidental College on scholarship where he graduated in 2006 with a BA in film production. He acted in many plays while in college including playing Jerry in Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story at the Stella Adler Theater in Hollywood.
In 2007 he wrote, directed, produced and starred in the short film, Roman Candles. He also has a supporting role in the mystical family drama, Dreams Awake.
Christian recently performed in the off-Broadway play entitled Requiem for a Holiday Dreamer.
He is currently living in New York City recording a rock album.
JESSE CHEYENNE MASSARI
Born in Medford, OR, Jesse has lived her entire life in beautiful Mt. Shasta, CA, where she’s been in a number of stage productions; ‘Twas the Night Before Xmas, Beauty & the Beast, Guys & Dolls, Cinderella, 101 Dalmatians, The Sound of Music, Charlotte’s Web, and A Christmas Carol.
An active young girl, she enjoys bicycling, climbing, dancing, gymnastics, hiking, horseback riding, reading, singing, sledding and swimming. Dreams Awake marks Jesse’s feature film debut.
She recently left the Mt. Shasta area and moved with her family to Pennslyvania, where she continues to have fun with acting.