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Erin Gray (born January 7, 1950) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her roles as Kate Summers in the situation comedy Silver Spoons and as Colonel Wilma Deering in the science fiction TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Gray was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Diane and Daniel Gray. At the age of eight her parents separated, and she moved to California with her mother, where she attended Redwood High School in Larkspur and later attended and graduated from Pacific Palisades High School. In 1965, at the age of 15, Gray had a chance meeting with Nina Blanchard, head of one of Hollywood's top model agencies, and became convinced to pursue a career in modelling. Within a few years she was considered one of the top models in New York. During this period, she worked as spokeswoman for several high profile and prestigious accounts including L’Oréal, Max Factor and Bloomingdale's. While living in New York she began to develop an interest in acting, and so her family moved with her to Hollywood. Gray was one of the first models to successfully crossover into television. Her first appearance on television was in 1967 as a dancer in the variety series Malibu U. After moving to Hollywood, she soon had her first starring role on the mini-series Evening In Byzantium, in 1978. Following good notices, in 1978 Gray was put on a seven year contract at Universal, which led directly to her taking the role of Col. Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - at first for a theatrically released movie, then for a recurring TV show. Gray's trim, shapely figure, augmented by a tight one piece jumpsuit, was popular with the show's predominantly young male audience. However, the character was high profile within the show, second only to Gil Gerard in the lead role, and represented one of the early examples of a strong female character in a science fiction setting; because of this she was seen as important role model for female viewers. Shortly after Buck Rogers, she appeared in the first season Magnum P.I. episode 'J. Digger Doyle', in which she played security expert Joy "Digger" Doyle of the episode title. The role was planned to become recurring, even possibly a spin-off series, but it did not come about, and it was the character's only appearance in the series. She also went on to play Kate Summers in the 1982–1987 television series Silver Spoons. When that show ended, she took regular film and TV work; In 1993, she had a featured role in Jason Goes To Hell, the ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series. Most recently in 2005 she appeared in the film, Siren. During 1995, she auditioned for the role of Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, getting down to the final 5 but ultimately losing out to Kate Mulgrew.
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