Gene Anthony Ray

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Actor, Dancer, Choreographer (1962)
Mon May 16 2022
By   akku

"A life without passion is a slow way to freeze to death." The given quotation not only hold some words, but it defines how one's passion leads a person to fulfill his dreams rather than living an aimless life. Today's persona, Gene Anthony Ray, died at 41, fulfilled all his dreams, and successfully established himself as an American actor, dancer, and choreographer.

Without thinking about any perspectives of his family, Gene used to bunk his school classes for dancing auditions. With no doubt, he grabbed huge attention through the same themed television film as well as series, Fame. Let's talk more about the legendary star in the below sections. Stay tuned.

Childhood of Gene Anthony Ray

Gene Anthony Ray was born on 24 May 1962, during the presidentship of John F. Kennedy in 1962, where most of the citizens believed in the progress of youths. Happily, Gene also got a chance to gather more opportunities in order to establish his career. Growing up in Harlem, New York, he very quickly found his aim and started performing street dancing at a very early age. 

Surprisingly, Anthony began showing his dance forms at the block parties. As a matter of fact, he also took a dance class at the Julia Richman High School.

Gene Anthony at an early age while in the film.
Image: Gene Anthony at an early age. 
Source: The KInser Report

On one side, his neighbors and friends appreciated his talent; however, on the other side, his parents were getting tired of his complains about him bunking classes for auditions. He had once skipped his school for his audition with Louis Falco, a Fame choreographer.

Ray was a student of the New York High School of the Performing Arts, from where he got kicked out after a year of attending it. For the thing, his mother, Jean E. Ray said:

It was too disciplined for this wild child of mine.

Though Gene was out of his school, his journey had just begun.

Rise To Prominence

After struggling for a long, Ray had made him grab a role of Leroy Johnson in the 1980 film, Fame starring along with Tony Rader and Carlo Imperato. The teen musical drama film was directed by Alan Parker. After that, Anthony played the character of Friday alongside Michael York who was portraying the role of Robinson Crusoe. The drama was based on the 1719's novel of Daniel Defoe.

Gene Anthony Ray and Debbie Ellen Representing Kids From Fame
Image: Gene Anthony Ray and Debbie Ellen Representing Kids From Fame
Source: Pinterest

In search of a second chance, Ray collected massive attention after starring on the TV series version of the 1980 film, Fame. The series ran for five years and titled MGM Television's Fame (1982-87).

Decline of Career

Gene Anthony Ray had toured the U.K. in order to perform as the cast of The Kids from "Fame" with additional ten cast members of the show. After his tour, he was kicked out of the show after his mother got jailed for running a drug ring. During the time, Ray himself struggled with addictions to alcohol and drugs. 

After playing in some fail shows, he appeared in commercials for Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke around 1995. His remained last work was an hour of a reunion documentary, Fame Remember My Name, which was taped in LA in April 2003.

Life: Full of Controversies

The late-American dancer, Gene Anthony faced a lot of controversies throughout his life. He used to confess his weakness for drink and drugs. During the time of his career declination, he tried to launch a Fame-style dance class in Milan; however, he could not fulfill his attempt.

Following the time, Anthony shared his flat with a adult actress and later found to be a HIV positive. On the one hand, he was not married, while on the other hand, he was not at the position of confessing his sexuality. Looking at this, an Italian artist, Marco Papa conducted a research between success and failure involving Gene in an art project called Dancing on the Verge. Later, the project was formed in a book that included the drawings, sculptures, installations video, and performances of Gene until his death.

Death Rumors Turned To Be True

After Ray's mother, Jean announced her son to be a HIV positive, the rumors started circulating about his death during 1995. Nevertheless, it is not yet confirmed that his death was actually a result of HIV. 

Watch the video of Gene Anthony Ray 

After eight years of facing death rumors, Ray finally passed away on 14 November 2003. At that time, he was 41 years old. The cause of his death was announced to be a stroke in June in the same year. Though any mainstream channels did not broadcast the news of his death, his death news gained 11 million regular viewers in the UK. May his soul rest in peace.


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