Erin Gray of the 21st Century

Erin Gray 3_15_2006_Blue_Shirt_Portrait

Erin Gray shot to stardom playing Colonel Wilma Deering in the iconic sci-fi series ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’, becoming emblematic for both female leadership and spandex. Gray will be visiting Perth for pop culture expo Supanova, so we chatted to her about her current adventures, and she shows no signs of slowing down.

“My family teases me in that (and I think it’s true) I don’t see myself really ever retiring. [Laughs] I’m not built that way. I do love to work and I think maybe my focus might change in some way, I mean I’m really enjoying having built my company and having a great staff and in many ways I’m looking at how to delegate more responsibilities to them, and my overseeing things, being able to then direct my attention to some other things that I want to do creatively. One of my passions is I teach T’ai Chi four days a week.”

Gray says the most rewarding part of her long and varied career is getting to inspire people. “I’ve heard this so many times from women- I was the reason they became a police officer or an astronaut or there’s a woman in Israel who is a fighter pilot and I inspired her, she’s one of the world’s top marksmen.”

She said that playing Colonel Wilma Deering also helped inspire her to find strength. “A lot of people don’t know that when I was doing Buck Rogers that I was in a domestic violence situation at home.

“One of the things that helped me in doing this character Colonel Wilma Deering is… I would literally put on the cloak of a strong women and imagine what would it be like?

“It’s sort of like when I teach my tai chi class and I teach sword work, when I stand there with that sword and I stand in the warrior position, I can’t help but feel strong, I can’t help but again feel that cloak of strength within myself and that reflects in my life.”

Supernova is at the Perth Convention Centre from Friday June 20th to Sunday June 22nd. Tickets available from Moshtix.

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