Gregory Harrison Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (24)  | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (3)

Born in Avalon, Catalina Island, California, USA
Birth NameGregory Neale Harrison
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gregory Harrison was born on May 31, 1950 in Avalon, Catalina Island, California, USA as Gregory Neale Harrison. He is an actor and producer, known for Trapper John, M.D. (1979), Picnic (1986) and Centennial (1978). He has been married to Randi Oakes since May 3, 1981. They have four children.

Spouse (1)

Randi Oakes (3 May 1981 - present) ( 4 children)

Trivia (24)

Gregory was discovered on the musical theater stage and returns there now and again.
Never saw snow until he was 19 years old.
While working as a doorman at a nightclub, he met Jason Robards who offered him encouragement to become an actor. He quit his job and moved to L.A. immediately afterward.
Gregory served two years as a medic in the Army.
In 1980, he formed with Franklin R. Levy the "Catalina Production Group Ltd." producing numerous stage projects, more than two dozen televsion movies. Catalina was an important force in the Los Angeles theater scene, from 1981 to 1992, plays presented by Catalina were honored with over 150 theater awards, E.g. in 1982 for "The Hasty Heart".
He is also one of the original members of the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit environmental organization that works to protect the coast that was founded in 1984. Harrison is an avid surfer. He claims to have ridden the waves of every surfable ocean on almost every continent in the world.
He also enjoys swimming, kayaking and is a keen golfer.
Has 3 daughters, Emma Lee Harrison (born December 10, 1985), Lily Anne Harrison (born February 6, 1989) and Kate Harrison (born 1991) with Randi Oakes. The couple also has an adopted son, Quinn Edgar Harrison.
Wife Randi Oakes is also an actress who played the character "Officer Bonnie Clark" on the TV series CHiPs (1977).
In 1980, Gregory formed, with Franklin R. Levy, the Catalina Production Group. Over the next eleven years, they produced numerous stage projects and nearly two dozen television movies. Catalina Productions was an important force in the Los Angeles theater scene from 1981 to 1992, and the approximately 60 plays presented by the company were honored with over 150 local theater awards. Those plays included "The Hasty Heart" (1982), which won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award as Best Production (including Best Actor for Gregory), and "Picnic" (1986), for which Gregory won a Dramalogue Award. In 1990, he was was the recipient of the L.A. Ovation Award for Outstanding Contribution to L.A. Theater.
First big break came in 1976, when he was cast in a guest-star role in the CBS series, M*A*S*H (1972).
Took up the guitar while he was in the Army and also started composing songs.
After serving for two years as a medic, he finally received an honorable discharge in 1971 from the Army as a non-religious conscientious objector.
His over 25-year marriage to former model/actress Randi Oakes managed to survive Greg's early personal battles with alcohol and cocaine.
Played the role of slick lawyer Billy Flynn in the NY production of "Chicago" on and off between the years 2003 and 2006.
Jobs varied during his salad years from delivery boy and window washer to handyman and construction worker. He also worked/performed at a bawdy Elizabethan-styled theatre/restaurant.
Spent his youth swimming, fishing, and diving for coins tossed by the tourists who lined the railings of the two-thousand passenger S.S. Catalina as it sailed into the bay during the summer.
His parents, Ed and Donna (she was once an aspiring dancer), divorced when he was 14. A middle child of three, his older sister Kathleen and younger brother Christopher are both artists. He and his father were both born and raised on South Catalina Island, unlike the others in his family.
Best known by the public for his starring role as Chief of Surgery - Dr. George Alonzo 'Gonzo' Gates on Trapper John, M.D. (1979).
His acting mentor was the late Pernell Roberts.
June 2003 -- Plays Billy Flynn in the road company of 'Chicago'.
He was awarded the 1981 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Distinguished Performance in Leading Role for the play, "The Hasty Heart" at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
Credits Pernell Roberts as his favorite acting mentor/best friend.
Had a crush on Starla Baskett, Zac Efron's mother, when they were high-school students.

Personal Quotes (9)

I didn't study acting for nine years to become a hunk.
[When he was talking about the water]: I think if there were really good, surfable waves coming in, I might not be as relaxed and enjoying it as much. It would be a really staccato kind of interview.
[Who knew it was nothing unusual for him to get recognized out in the lineup by surfers of a certain age]: They were all 16 or 17 years old when 'North Shore' came out. It was a seminal influence in their lives. If one of them recognizes me, it goes through the lineup immediately: 'Whoa, Chandler, dude, your wave!' I get more free waves out of that.
Pretty much nothing can stop me now.
It wasn't easier, but being a successful working actor in the '70s and '80s was much more lucrative and much more rewarding. The industry has changed so much from then to now that even though I'm still working all the time, there is no middle class actor anymore. You're either a $20 million dollar player or it's a hobby.
[Who responded at the time why his future Trapper John, M.D. (1979) series' lead and best friend, Pernell Roberts, left the Bonanza (1959) series, at the end of the 1964-65 season]: Pernell told me the reason he quit Bonanza (1959), after the sixth or seventh year, was that he could no longer call a man 'Pa' who was only seven years older than he.
[on his on- and off-screen relationship with Pernell Roberts, who played Dr. Trapper John McIntyre]: Early on he told me, 'Greg, the key to good acting is sincerity. And once you've learned to fake that, you've got it made.' He was joking, of course. We had a very close relationship. A series is like a family; you have spats and fights, but you also get incredibly close. I once tallied up how much time I'd spent with my own mother and how much time I spent six feet from Pernell Roberts. Pernell took that one.
[on the death of Pernell Roberts]: Pernell was a wonderful man, a good friend, and a big part of my life, especially when I was just beginning as an actor. He was a true inspiration to me, as he was to many actors over the years. I was so lucky to have shared the screen with him for nearly eight seasons, and am deeply saddened at his passing. Fortunately, he lives on in the memories of his fans, and in the hearts of the lucky people, like you and me, that he touched personally. I'll be forever grateful to him.
[Of Pernell Roberts]: Pernell was a wonderfully talented man. He had a lot of demons, but when he wasn't fighting them, he was one of the most charming men I had even known. Incredibly bright. Things didn't work out the way he had hoped they would, and he had to deal with that on some days. ... He was sure he would have a good film career and stage career. But he wasn't cut out for compromise, and network television then required lots of compromise.

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