As an actress in the “golden age” of Hollywood, few had a more impressive résumé than Coleen Gray. She rose to national prominence in the late 1940s, starring in classic films like Kiss of Death, Kansas City Confidential, Red River, and The Killing. For four decades, she shared the screen with the likes of John Wayne, Victor Mature, Tyrone Power, Bing Crosby, and Ronald Reagan; and worked with directors like Frank Capra and Stanley Kubrick. Later, she became a frequent guest on television shows like Rawhide, Bonanza, Maverick, and Perry Mason; and then a regular on the soap operas As the World Turns and Bright Promise.
But acting was not Coleen’s only passion.
For many years, Coleen and her husband, Fritz, were volunteers with Prison Fellowship. Coleen and Fritz visited different women’s prison facilities in California with Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson. She regularly corresponded with men and women behind bars, offering them her prayers and the promise of true transformation through Christ.
On August 3, Coleen passed away at the age of 92. Many will no doubt remember her fondly for film performances. But Coleen’s true legacy goes beyond the roles she played as an actress. We here at Prison Fellowship will remember her for the love she had for those in prison, and for the impact she had on lives of prisoners and their families.
If you would like to learn more about how you can play a role in God’s transformational work in the lives of men and women in prison, visit our get involved page.