BRUSH PRAIRIE, Calif., April 17 (UPI) -- Child actor and teen heartthrob Gary Gray, who starred in MGM's final "Lassie" movie, has died in Brush Prairie, Wash. He was 69.
Gray died of cancer April 4, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Gray appeared on screen with the original Lassie in the 1951 family western "The Painted Hills" and was presented with one of her puppies at the end of the filming. He named the puppy Laddie, the Times said.
Gray's other films included Randolph Scott's "Return of the Bad Men" in 1948 and he was William Holden's son in the 1948 "Rachel and the Stranger." He appeared with Bob Hope in "The Great Lover, with Ronald Reagan in "The Girl From Jones Beach," in "The Party Crashers" with Connie Stevens and with James Whitmore in "The Next Voice You Hear."
He was a popular speaker at western film festivals and received a Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture and Television Fund for his contribution to film and television westerns.
Gray is survived by his wife, Jean, four children and numerous grandchildren.