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As ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’ Turns 40, We Catch Up With Erin Gray — Colonel Wilma Deering Herself

For the past 40 years we’ve kind of suspected actress Erin Gray has been saving the universe. Oh, sure, she had a solid stint as Kate Summers-Stratton on the ‘80s Ricky Schroder sitcom Silver Spoons (now part of the Antenna TV line-up), but it was as Colonel Wilma Deering on the 1979 sci-fi series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (airing on the MeTV Network) that she has continued to capture the imaginations of a couple of generations of fans. In fact, it’s that coupled with an appearance — that is, in many ways, a throwback to Buck — on the CW’s series Pandora which hardly makes it surprising that she answers her phone, “Heroes for Hire.”

Now, before anyone thinks Erin’s lost her senses and is donning Wilma’s uniform and running around California with a fake blaster looking for alien evildoers, she’s actually CEO of said Heroes for Hire, which is a company that books actors and actresses on the comic book/convention circuit around the world.

Courtesy Erin Gray and Lesley Bohm Photography

I chose the name because I wanted something a little whimsical,” Erin, 69, explains with a laugh. “I didn’t want to take myself too seriously. We are, after all, dealing with comic books. Or at least my company is.”

Which makes one wonder what the journey was from model and actress to CEO. “I find divorce sometimes propels you in a direction you didn’t know you were ready to go into,” she notes without missing a beat. “When I got a divorce from my first husband, I found out that I was bankrupt, which was quite a shock. So I thought, ‘Well, what am I qualified for?’ The answer came back: ‘Nothing.’ I was a model at 15 and then moved into television commercials and then acting and that was it. So I’m looking around to see how I’ve gotten where I was and how I could change things around. I wanted to keep my daughter in private school and keep the house that I love and adore. So I found myself, quite honestly, at one point going to an employment agency to fill out forms — but they didn’t know what to do with me either.”

Please scroll down for more from our exclusive chat with Erin Gray.

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