Thursday, July 09, 2009

John Barker Gray R.I.P.

by Rich Miles

Not very many of you will have even heard of my friend John Barker Gray. He was not a celebrity even in his own circle of friends, but he was - though I think he would have denied this - a very good friend. Not because of what he did, or what he gave to people, but because of who he was, and what he gave of himself. He never had much in the way of wealth, and toward the end of his life, had virtually nothing - lived with his elderly mom, had little money, etc., etc., but nonetheless if you went out to lunch with him, he always tried to grab the check. Sometimes I'd even let him get it.

John was a former actor, but never really worked at it much. He was, by his own admission, one who liked the trappings of the theater more than the actual work of it. So he hung out with actors, rather than worked with them.

And a few weeks ago, he told me that all he had ever wanted was someone to love him, someone to spend time with and care for. He never had that, as far as I knew. He was always alone, though he had lots of friends.

John requested that he not have a viewing or a funeral. He's going to be cremated, and we will have a memorial service at a later date.

I think John would have been surprised at how many people will note his passing. He never had a lover, but he had quite a few friends, as far as I could tell. At the memorial service, we'll see how many.

Rest in peace, Johnny me boy. Whether you think so or not, you will be missed. You will be sorely missed.

John Barker Gray was 57 years old. I think. Or maybe he was 56. We hardly ever talked about it.

Your friend,


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting these kind words about John. We are touched deeply by his passing.

Twenty six years ago John Barker Gray did the kindest thing for me, a complete stranger, that anyone has ever done since. He just appeared and offered. I was sure that there would be a catch. There wasn't. That's how John was. I am so pleased that we became friends and that I experienced, first hand, his incredible wit and charm. We shall not see the likes of him again.

Sammy Beam
Hollywood, CA

hanssachs said...

Rest now, buddy.