November 20, 2003 by

Gene Anthony Ray

319 comments

Categories: Actors

Gene Anthony Ray, a New York City dancer and actor who achieved worldwide stardom in the TV show, “Fame,” died on Nov. 14 from complications of a stroke. He was 41.
Although Ray had never taken a dance class, choreographer Louis Falco cast him in the 1980 film, “Fame.” Falco also encouraged Ray to attend the real High School of the Performing Arts. Ray spent a year at the school before dropping out.
In 1982, Ray landed the role of class rebel Leroy in the TV version of “Fame.” He was one of two actors to work on the series for its entire six-season run. When the show was canceled, Ray had trouble finding work. He appeared in two movies, but his addictions to drugs and alcohol eventually wiped out the fortune he’d earned from “Fame.”
Ray’s final project was the unaired BBC documentary, “Fame Remember My Name.”

319 Responses to Gene Anthony Ray

  1. Darla Chism

    This is a very tragic thing that happened to such a talented man…I grew up watching him weekly on fame and I always thought he would become a bigger star than he had become…he will be missed by many..

  2. DuWayne Hamilton

    I was in London back in May 2002 and I had the priviledge of meeting Gene at a resturant,in London. While on my vacation there, we met on a couple of occasions for drinks and just to hang out and check out the London nitelife. He was a really down to earthy brother and people seemed to hang on to his every word. It was a chanced meet; one I’ll allways cherished. It hurt my heart to hear about his passing. Love from Washington, DC. DuWayne

  3. MICHAEL JEFFERSON

    I AM A PROFESSIONAL ACTOR IN NY. I LOVED THE MOVIE AND TV SERIES FAME.GENE ANTHONY RAY WAS AN INCREDIBLE PERFORMER, A STAR WITH SUCH RAW TALENT AND UNIVERSAL APPEAL. LIKE MANY HE LEFT TOO SOON BUT HIS LEGACY OF GREATNESS WILL OUTSHINE THE HARD TIMES HE ENDURED. GOD BLESS HIS LOVELY SOUL AND GIVE ALL HIS LOVED ONES STRENGTH.

  4. Estella

    Goodbye Gene…Thanks for making me dream in my childhood. I’ll never forget you. And I’ll never forget the way you danced. Kisses from Italy

  5. AMBER

    I FEEL SAD FOR HIS FAMILY AND THE PEOPLE THAT LOVED. I WATCHED HIM ON “FAME” EVERY CHANCE I COULD, HE WAS VERY GIFTED AND I WISH I HAD THE CHANCE TO MEET HIM AND LET HIM KNOW HOW SPECIAL HE WAS AND HOW HE GAVE ALL YOUNG KIDS THE DREAM TO DANCE. HE IS IN A BETTER PLACE DANCING AWAY WE WILL MISS YOU ALWAYS.

  6. CMc

    Talk about out of touch. Today is December 31st and I haphazardly heard Gene Anthony Ray’s name mentioned on the radio as one to be remembered as we near the close of this 2003 year. As it was an African American radio station,not that important, I wondered who they were talking about. “Leroy”, forever in my mind and in my heart that exciting, defiant, cool and collected “Leroy”. The confidence of self expression he must have had. I enjoyed watching the episodes of FAME just to see his antics. What a talent, What a loss.

  7. Oya

    I was watching a brief clip on television of people who died in 2003. I too was shocked when I saw Gene Anthony Ray listed. He inspired me to dream outside of the box. I will always remember him as a beautiful, powerful young man gracefully gliding across the screen demanding your attention. He will not be forgotten.

  8. autumn

    “I’M GONNA BE A DANCER! A GOOD DANCER! YOU KNOW WHO SAYS SO? ME!” I will never forget those lines spoken by Gene Anthony Ray, aka “Leroy.”
    May God bring peace and comfort to his family.

  9. sarah

    I had a crush on him when i was a little girl and I got the opportunity to meet him while I visited a friend at an AIDS facility in manhattan where he was a patient

  10. ty

    I HAVE NEVER REALLY BEEN A FAN OF FAME BUT IT IS BEING REAIRED ON FOX. I THINK HE WAS A REALLY TALENTED MAN WHO JUST LET IT GET THE BEST OF HIM, HE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED BY ALL AND HIS TALENT WILL BE MISSED MOST OF ALL.

  11. K

    Fame was the show to watch in the 80′s! I loved the dancing, the singing, the music. I even purchased the television show sound track! Gene was my favorite character, because he was so raw and real. The entertainment industry has lost a unique member of its body.

  12. dornae

    I was shocked to read about Gene Anthony Ray’s death. I never heard anything about his death on tv or radio. I just happened go on a website and his name appeared. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.

  13. Kris

    i am 12 and i first saw fame, not knowing its title, in hungary this summer, and i loved it. just recently i went to a movie store that sold used movies and i notice that they were selling it for $2.00, and i begged my mom to buy it for me. i watch it almost evey weekend. i this Gene anthony ray is very very hot , and a great dancer, its a shame he died at 41, he had so much talent!!!!!!

  14. Lady T

    Today, February 20, 2004, I found out about the death of Mr. Gene Anthony Ray. Ironically, I heard this from his Mother, Jean. She was standing beside me in a Harlem Resturant wearing a Sweat Shirt bearing his image. He was engaged in a magnificant Leap. As such, I was fortunate to be able to deliver condolences to her in person. You will be pleased to know that she seems well. I will share with all of you, her words to me regrding his death: “He is now Dancing with Angels – Without Pain”. I hope his last work “Fame – Remember My Name” a reunion of the Fame actors will air soon. Mr. Gene Anthony Ray, “Leroy” — you will be missed. Rest Well.

  15. Catherine in Washington, DC

    Wow, today too learned the passing of Gene Anthony Ray from a television program which is on the air as I write this, called “The Trumpet Awards.” I was greatly sadden to see him along with other great African American stars who have gone on. I was deeply sadden to learn that such a great young and talented dancer who has touched the hearts of many around the world had passed. My prayers go out to his family, friends, and admirers who have lost such a great person.

  16. june

    i too just found out this very nite via the trumpet awards. i was totally in shock when i saw his pic when savion glover was dancing a tribute to those that we lost in2003.i am truley saddened to hear this. i saw him last year on a show from london.that was also sad to see.i am sorry know we have lost another great talent. rest in peace my brother. june

  17. sheila

    Wow! I’m another person who learned of Mr. Ray’s death while watching the Trumpet awards! I loved Fame growing up and am saddened to hear of his death at such an early age. By reading these messages, I see that he touched many lives indeed. What a legacy he left behind even at so young an age.

  18. Roxie

    My God! I’m another person who learned of Mr. Ray’s death while watching the Trumpet awards! I loved Fame growing up and am also sad to hear of his death at such an early age. This world will
    not be the same without him in it.

  19. g stewart

    I saw a picture of Gene Anthony Ray on the “Memories” section of the SAG awards last night. I was floored to learn of his passing. I had to go online first thing this morning to see if it were really so. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I know he truely is dancing with Angels now.

  20. Kim

    Ditto….I learned about Mr. Ray’s demise while viewing the Trumphet Awards. I wonder where I’ve been that I hadn’t heard or seen anything about this before. Well, we know he’s causing some hell up in Heaven, leaping all around….lol You will be greatly missed “Leroy”.

  21. Rebecca

    I too learned of gene’s death watching the SAG awards last night(02/22/2004) . He will be missed greatly. I love watching Fame with Leroy every week. Dreaming that I could dance like him. Watching this show made me try out for the dance team at my school. Gene I love you and your talent you gave to African Americans all over the world. You are proof that you dont have to spend thousands of dollars for a dance coach to make it big in New York. We love you and God Bless.

  22. Nico

    I too learned of Gene’s demise while watching the awards when Savion Glover was dancing. Gene was my favorite actor on Fame. This was truly a surprise considering I didnt even know he was sick. He will be missed dearly. Nico

  23. chuffnutt

    I’m just discovering this news today. I’d seen a TV special about the cast of “Fame” and I thought he was still alive. I think it’s tragic that someone who struggled to get his life together while battling substance addictions just couldn’t win. R.I.P.

  24. ARNITA B.

    WOW I JUST FOUND OUT TODAY WHILE WATCHING THE NAACP AWARDS I HAD NO IDEA “LEROY” HAD PASSED I SEE HE TOUCHED A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYONE A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYWHERE. GOB BLESS THE FAMILY, HE’S ALREADY BLESSED GENE.

  25. Theresa

    wow.. I had just learned of his death from watching the NAACP Image Awards… The Fame Show was the only show in the world that allowed me to dream big. The only show that reached many young souls as us. Shows will never match that show. Everyone in that cast I loved. I am now a Grown women. Now a sad woman. How someone so beautiful gets so forgotten about… I will never understand. Someone so beautiful just put on the shelf. I was so blessed to have met them at a mall in Virgina beach in the early 80′s as a young girl… May God bless all that he loved and all that he touched, and all who loved him and believed in him to allow him to leave a lasting impression to never be forgotten about. Gene you are a angel now looking down on us. May your soul rest in peace… may your dreams be passed down to those who believe the way you did in life. God Bless to everyone cause we all lost someone that was special to the world. Much love from Theresa West- Michigan

  26. Vonda

    I did not know that he died until tonight looking at the NAACP Image Awards. This is truely a shock to me, he is truely going to be missed. I always watched FAME coming up and Leroy was just wonderful to look at with the his shizzled dancer body. My heart and love goes out to his family and friends. Just remember that he is looking down at us just as happy as GOD could make him and that he is in a so much better place. Cherish the memories and his love will never die.
    GOD BLESS!…

  27. Sandra

    I was sitting here watching the NAACP award show and they were showing the people lost in 2003 and I did not know that Gene Anthony Ray aka Leroy had past. He was the best actor on Fame….he made the show…

  28. Maria Rose Henry

    God bless him. Like some of the others I did not realize that Gene Anthony Ray aka Leroy had passed I also learned about tonight on the NAACP awards. I wasn’t sure that it was him but he resembled him a little so I went to the internet and keyed his name in. Again, my deepest sympathys go out to his loved ones he was a great actor. GOD BLESS!

  29. Harper Family

    My family and I were totally shocked to see Gene Anthony Ray “Leroy” picture shown on the rememberance of people who passed away on the NAACP Awards tonight. My mom thought she saw his picture shown on the Trumphet Awards but was not sure it was him. This saddens me and my family. I grew up watching “Fame” and it’s hard to see a talented actor die at such a young age. My deepest condonence are with his family.

  30. Kimberly Mitchell

    Yes, I too learned of Gene Anthony Ray’s Death from the tribute on the NAACP Image Awards. I’m a Black female in my late 30′s. Fame was such an important part of me while growing up in the early 80′s. I felt like a part of me died when I heard the news. I wish old Gene Anthony Ray (Leroy) well. I hope he knew our Lord as he touched so many through his God given gift of dancing. True talent is inside of a person and not something that is learned. This was evidenced in that he never took a dance lesson. He made us all want to leap!!And many of us did while dancing the nights away as we watched our friend Leroy.

  31. anthony

    I just learned of gene anthony ray’s death from the tribute on the NAACP image awards. I know that he is in a better place. Much love for the brother dance on my brother dance on.

  32. Barry

    I am trippin like everybody else! I grew up watchin Fame too… and never knew about our “Leroy” till tonight on the NAACP award show.. not to mention some of the other folk too…. Gene was a gift to us… one I’ll always cherish…………. I just moved to NYC area June 2003… hmmm… I hope he knows how much he is loved……. we love u gene… aka leroy!!!

  33. Inga

    I feel so ashame because tonite March 11, 2004, I was watching the Naacp Image Award show and they did a tribute to all the people in the industry that we lost this year and last year so far. And they mentioned Gene Anthony Ray. I was so shocked! Earlier I had seen a video of Aaliyah and I was trying to think to myself what does her death mean to me and what is the message everyone should learn from her death and many like her. And for a moment I was grieved. But then I had to remember that we just don’t die our legacy lives on in those who love and respect you. And so I love Aaliyah and Gene. And they will be sadly missed. But I know one day I will see them both again in person. So I say “see you soon my friends” instead of saying good bye.
    Love
    Inga

  34. judy mccloney

    saddened…..
    however, we all must remember we must take this walk whenever GOD says……… acceptance is the key, then, get yourself ready.. i miss my mother, Mrs. Mozell Della Loeb Mccloney who has been gone for 30 years now… What a beautiful, soul… I LOVE YOU MOM!!!!!!!! It felt sooooo gooood to say that!!!!!!
    Love You judy ann mccloney.

  35. cynthia james

    I am a 42 year old African American female who learned of Gene’s passing from the NAACP awards show. That was a beautiful picture of Gene. It made me smile and gasp in shock at the same time. The song the Three MO Tenors sang was so beautiful. I cried at seeing “Leroy” and so many others that had passed without mention on the evening news . I had to explain this to my 12 year old son. It is so sad that just about every little known white actor/actress gets mentioned on tv or at least in the national obituaries. I am grateful that many of the award shows take the time and effort to inform the public this way.

  36. Stephana Carter

    I am also one of those watching the NAACP Awards here on the west coast and saw the picture of my most favorite character from FAME, Gene Anthony Ray.I as was my husband were totally blown away to see that he had passed. We are usually up on all the news and had not heard one station in our area mention his passing. how sad! We wish to extend our condolences to all his family and friends. God Bless.

  37. sumati

    I had no idea that Gene Anthony Ray had passed until the awards show tribute. I had wondered why I hadn’t seen him in anything for so long. I am so sad. I had to just stop watching the show and sit down and cry. I loved him. This should never have happened. I hate what drugs do to great people. I wish there had been help for him that would have worked. I feel like I just lost a family member. I hope there will be a website in dedication with wonderful pictures of him to remember him by. This is just awful news. And why has it taken so long for people to hear of it. That’s just unforgivable!

  38. Sharron

    Like so many others, I too found out courtsey of the NAACP awards show. And to say that I was shocked to see Gene Anthony Ray’s face at the end of the tribute is a understatement. I am completely appauled about how callously the media has treated the news of his death. I mean, the man has been gone since November, and for most of us we are now just finding this news out. And if it wasn’t for OUR PEOPLE acknowledging him and what a true talent he was, we would have never known. When would we have found out? I mean, come on… this is March! He was obviously very special and had touched each of us who had watched him dance and perform on fame. And I think that it is just a shame how the media has disrespected his fans and his legacy. I am truly sad to hear of his passing and my prayers go out to his family and to all of us who loved him. YOU WILL BE MISSED GENE… BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN! WE LOVE YOU. REST IN PEACE!

  39. jayne allen

    I too was just watching the NAACP Image Awards and was watching the memorial and saw Gene Anthony Ray’s name. I’m female, now 50, not Afro-American, and definitely had crush on Mr. Ray while watching Fame. There was a sweetness about him and he was such joy to watch dance. He will be sorely missed. Am feeling such sadness and shock. What an amazing dancer! Sweet one – rest in peace.

  40. Dee

    I was shocked to see Gene’s photo in the tribute on the NAACP awards. Like so many of you, I went straight to my computer to see what was up. REST IN PEACE MY BROTHER.

  41. chalres

    like everyone else i was watching the naacp image awards when they did a tribute to those whom we lost, and i was shocked to see gene anthony ray’s face pop up on the screen. i too am appauled to hear of this news so late after his passing. i grew up watching fame and he was the reason i looked at the show. what a talent and a loss. my condolences goes out to his family may god bless you all.

  42. Retha

    It so hurt me to find out about such a wonderful actor and person such as Gene Anthony Ray’s passing. The media never mentioned it and if they did they said very little they make such big deals about actors that have have thousands of movies and oscars under there belts but talent comes in many forms not just acting he should have been mentioned just as much and for as many days as the other actors get Thank God for the NAACP Awards or I would have never known. God Bless you Gene Anthony Ray and my heart and condolences goes out to his family and friends as well.

  43. byrdie

    I was in total shock last night after watching the NAACP Awards Show. I loved to watch him on Fame shaking and moving gracefully across the stage. This is such a great lost. I had the pleasure of seeing on TV recently I’m not sure what it was but he was in London and he was talking with high spritis and making light of the fact that he couldn’t find a role in the United States. But to think that here it is Marchand we didn’t hear more on his passing but, the news media could and can constantly talk about a breast on the airwaves for a mere second etc.,. Go fiqure. Rest in peace, Gene aka Leroy

  44. Bruce James

    i was so shocked and saddened to hear of Gene Anthony’s Ray passing last night on the Naacp Image Awards. What is even sadder is the fact that you never heard anything mentioned in the media of such a great talent. Rest in peace Gene. You are definetly in a non-discrimantory place where you will not be judged…..just loved!!

  45. Tiffany

    LAWD HAVE MERCY! I almost passed out last night when I saw “Leroy” in tribute on the NAACP Awards last night. I can’t believe it. I am 28, and EVERYBODY fought over Gene when we were watching Fame on tv. RIP.

  46. CD

    I am surprised that his death was not broadcast in the US. If it was, it was not a whole lot! He died in November??? Many are just finding out via the NAACP awards last night. What’s the deal?
    Last I saw him on TV was a year or so back and he was an exotic dancer in Italy. It was one of those “Where are they now” shows. This is very sad. I almost feel cheated (and I know I am not alone) with this VERY LATE news.

  47. Nichele

    Yeah, that’s busted! I just found out last night as well. I also feel cheated because I use to love “Leroy” he was a trip and I would like to see a T.V. tribute for him. My prayers go out to his family and God Bless.

  48. Tamika

    I also learned of Gene death watching the NAACP award show last nignt. I was shacked. I could not believe it. I enjoyed watching fame in the 80′s and he was my favorite person to watch. I Loved him and he will be greatly missed. Rest in peace my brother.

  49. Melissa Rozier

    I am totally disbelief of the untimely death of Gene Anthony Ray. I also learned of his death last night watching the NAACP award show. As Tavis Smiley always say, black folks have to do better. Black radio and black television needs to do a better job covering our news. I too feel cheated. God rest his soul!!!!!!!

  50. Antoinette

    With the possibility of sounding like a broken record, I too learned of Gene Anthony Ray’s death from the NAACP awards and I had to call my girlfriend in B-More to see if she’d heard (which she had not)so then I knew I wasn’t alone in that. I lovvvved the movie Fame when it came out and as it’s been mentioned before, I was in LOVE with “Leroy”. I never knew what happened to him over the years, but never the less, I feel sorrow for the loss of his presence here. May your eternal rest be in peace my brother…from a Native New Yorker.

  51. Phyllis

    Upon watching the tribute to those who had passed via image arards, I was in total disbelief that Mr. Ray had passed on, and I had no knowledge of the fact. My mouth hung open for 2-3 minutes after his picture flashed. Be it that Mr. Ray had drug and alcohol problems, we should have been made aware of his passing as we wre made aware with Nell Carter and Fred “Rerun” Barry as well as many other actors/actress that have passed in 02/03. God always has a way of doing things!

  52. Jeannette Blackwell

    I am an actress who is considerably knowledgeable about the industry. Therefore, I am shocked and saddened about the lack of media coverage regarding the death of Gene Anthony Ray. Gene was certainly an inspiration to anyone who had the priviledge of watching him perform on the show Fame. His “character” was a testament to the pain and pleasure of following your dreams and making it in the business. It saddens me to know how the entertainment industry trivialized his passing by the lack of media coverage. Kudos to the NAACP.

  53. Celeste Dixon

    I am not surprise that the media did not acknowledge the many contributions
    made by our brother, Gene Anthony Ray. Here is a black man, projecting and representing a positive image of the African American male and community. The image of self-pride and respect. We as a people must understand the work to be done in order to reach our goals.
    Gene Anthony Ray understood that God had given him the right not to protray the African American male as a dope-dealer, gang-banger or dead-beat dad. He applied his talent and kept his promise and commitment to God and his people.
    I am a fan of Mr Ray’s dancing and acting ability. He filled my heart and soul with a pride that I had not experience since brother James Brown said, “Say it loud, I’m Black and I am Proud.” We as a people must continue to maintain and live the dream. Gene Anthony Ray would have wanted us too.

  54. james

    I too am finding out about Gene Anthony Ray’s death. But from the rerun of the NAACP awards. I enjoyed fame at an early age. My favorite character was Leroy. I felt like he was the most real of the characters even before the term was used to describe someone. He will be missed

  55. JET BLACK

    I AM VERY SAD TO HEAR OF HIS DEATH. WE DON’T FIND TO MANY ACTORS THAT ARE TALENTED ENOUGH TO LEAVE FOOTPRINTS ACROSS OUR HEARTS AND MINDS. GENE A. RAY LEFT DANCE PRINTS. HOW GIFTED HE WAS AND WILL BE REMEMBERED IN MY HEART FONDLY AS “LEROY” THAT BROTHER THAT COULD DAAAAAAAAANCE!!!

  56. Rena in Ohio

    I remember seeing Gene in the movie fame and the television series. My sister, best friend along with myself loved Gene (Leroy) to death. We loved how high he could fly. He will greatly be missed. I too am very angry at how there was no mention of his passing or illness from the media. But you know what, that is OK because Gene, you did exist, you are loved, you did make a big impression on the world and you will be greatly missed. Dance with the angels.

  57. Shawntal

    I am so sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. He was a beloved character on Fame & he was SOOOO talented. I didn’t even know of his passing until the NAACP awards show. God bless all who were touched by his presence. God bless him!

  58. Felecia

    The tribute to our gifted, loved and gone that graced our communities and left footprints in our hearts was absolutely wonderful and in very good taste. I knew of Gene’s passing, however, seeing his face on the screen brought back a flood of emotions as I realized that the evils of addictions had claimed another beautiful life. I am so thrilled to see so many of us come online to pen our feelings about the wonderful and talented man that so many of us enjoyed watching. He is forever in my heart!

  59. Ric Tate

    Gene I just hope you got to know how loved you were before you died. And if you are now in the great somewhen I hope an angel had time to tell you about all of these messages.

  60. D. Slayton

    I too, like everyone else just found out about Mr. Gene Anthony Ray’s passing tonight on the NAACP Image Awards. I live in Misawa, Japan (we are one week behind in Television), but I am constantly on the internet keeping up to date with local news (What happened with the Media?). My husband and I both are very shocked and disappointed at the lack of respect shown towards his family, friends and fans from the Media, for we would not have known (Thank you NAACP Image Awards). FAME was one of my favorite shows – I loved watching “Leroy” glide, he made the show. God Bless and my condolences to his family and friends – I ditto, he will be sorely missed. Rest in peace and Dance with the Angels for you are free to do so.

  61. Yolanda Stokes-Queen

    At the time, I was in High School, and being a professional dancer was all I could think of. I lived and breathed all types of dance classes since I was 6 yrs old. You couldn’t get me to miss my favorite show FAME. Gene Anothony Ray was an AMAZING dancer that I was “in love” with at this time (I was gonna marry Leroy). Like so many others, it pained my heart to see his face flash across the screen with so many others on last weeks NAACP Awards. Such a wonderful, talented man, he will be missed.

  62. bari

    i just watched fame 2 days ago and i have fallen in love with this movie. but the best part is gone and i found that out yesterday,he is a brilliant dancer and i am deffenetly influenced by his style of dancing.
    hopefully one day i will be a s good as him.
    he is deffenetly going to be missed its a shame that i watched the film 24 years too late. I am 15 year old boy who wants to be a choryographer.
    and also was gene anthony ray gay.

  63. Vanda

    I am shocked and saddened at Gene’s death. When I was a teenager I was in love with him, like so many girls. He was beautiful, he was black and he was the most amazing dancer ever to grace the screen. There won’t be another like him. God Bless You Gene. I will cry for you tonight. Because the world is a poorer place without you. XXX

  64. JACKIE WASHINGTON

    I WAS TRULEY SHOCKED TO SEE GENE’S PICTURE AS A MEMORIAL TO THE NAACP. HE OF COURSE TOUCHED MANY, MANY HEARTS. HE IS NOW DANCING IN HEAVEN. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO HIS FAMILY.
    GOOD BLESS
    JACKIE WASHINGTON

  65. lloyd e. scott

    So talented, a gift from the Lord, so soon he is gone. A song goes ‘Only The Good Die Young,’ sometimes I wonder about that saying. May the angels watch over gene anthony ray, as he lies at rest, and may he be at peace.

  66. theresa

    wow.. I had just learned of his death from watching the NAACP Image Awards… The Fame Show was the only show in the world that allowed me to dream big. The only show that reached many young souls as us. Shows will never match that show. Everyone in that cast I loved. I am now a Grown women. Now a sad woman. How someone so beautiful gets so forgotten about… I will never understand. Someone so beautiful just put on the shelf. I was so blessed to have met them at a mall in Virgina beach in the early 80′s as a young girl… May God bless all that he loved and all that he touched, and all who loved him and believed in him to allow him to leave a lasting impression to never be forgotten about. Gene you are a angel now looking down on us. May your soul rest in peace… may your dreams be passed down to those who believe the way you did in life. God Bless to everyone cause we all lost someone that was special to the world. Much love from Theresa West- Michigan
    lets all pull together and never allow him to be unforgettable… he lives on in my heart forever!~

  67. DJ CRUZ

    I’VE KNOWN YOU LONG BUT KNOWN YOU LITTLE…
    THAT IS THE BURDEN OF MY SONG..
    YOU ENTERED OUR LIVES IN A CASUAL WAY(FAME)
    AND GAVE US ENCOURAGEMENT TO LEAD US IN THE RIGHT
    WAY..
    BUT JUST THE SAME,YOU DIDN’T SAY..
    YOU ARE ARE THE ONE WHO MORE…
    WHO ANSWERED MY QUESTIONS AND MORE…
    GOD BLESS YOU….
    I WILL MISS YOU SO MUCH MORE,
    DJ CRUZ FROM BALTIMORE……………

  68. Jay

    FAME!
    “I’m gonna live forever.I’m gonna learn how to fly…”
    Boy, I knew, but I didn’t. R.I.P Gene. You’re missed more than you know. I didn’t know you like most of these people did, but I knew of you. You left a lasting impression on me.
    “…will you remember my name…”

  69. Dormeil

    I loved FAME. I use to eat, sleep and live FAME. As a child I begged my parents to allow me to move to NYC to go to the school of Perfoming Arts. One of things that drew me to the show was Gene Anthony Ray’s character of Leroy. You couldn’t help but root for Leroy. You wanted him to become the “good dancer” that he proclaimed that he would one day be. Gene Anthony was so phenomenal. It was amazing to watch him perform. His ability was so raw and powerful. It saddened me to just learn of his passing.
    I am reminded of the song by Micheal Jackson – “Gone too Soon”. He is gone much to soon, but he will never be forgotten.
    God Bless and keep his family. I pray that through it all God knew him best and called him home.

  70. james fame

    Gene, you were an inspiration to millions and you will continue to be for many years to come. everyone really will remember your name! thanks for the memories. you will live forever in my memory!
    james

  71. DoctorLA

    Although I hadn’t talked to Tony in almost 8 years, I was as surprised and saddened by his passing as everyone here. I knew Gene Anthony Ray well (Tony to his close friends and family, since his mother’s name was Jean), having lived next door to him in L.A. in 1985-6 during the second to last season of the Fame TV series. I travelled several times with him to Europe – Norway, Switzerland, the Barcelona Olympics in 92, the Cannes Film Festival and Montreux Jazz, not to mention Trinidad in 1991.
    He definitely was a unique and exquisitely talented individual. But there was a dark side to his genius and I can’t help wondering if he would still be with us today if he had better tamed his demons.
    I miss you Ton’
    God Bless
    KL

  72. Christopher Verutty Williams

    He was defenitly one of the best he could have been the next Fred Astaire,but unfortunatly circumstances did not allowed it.But i believe that everything happened for a reason.I think people like Lydia(DEBBIE ALLEN)one of my favourites Venesia (EARTHA D ROBINSON) and the fame dancers can back me up….

  73. Craig A. Johnson

    He was a great brother. I just finished watching
    Fame the movie on cable 06.21.04. The time is 12:00am Tuesday morning, in Memphis,TN. It was GREAT to see his face. As, a young boy I wanted to be just like him. I would sit and watch him on the TV, with a big SMILE. Now at age 35 , I am a professional cheerleader coach, I love my job and I love to work with youth. Leroy was a star that I shall never forget. An inspiration to me as a young boy, now I am a MAN. He was truly a blessing. Peace and love for my Brother, CRAIG

  74. Craig A. Johnson

    As a youny boy I watched him on tv. He was great an inspiration to me at a young age. From him I have started my cheerleading company called ECA Cheer Association here in Memphis,TN. Watching him on tv on a cable station 06.21.04 @ 12:00am in the morning. Such a GREAT Talent. May GOD rest his soul. Leroy, I wish I would have been blessed to meet you in person, one day I willmeet you in spirt and soul. You were a FERCE Brother. YES you Were and Still are. (SMILE) peace. Craig

  75. rc

    You know a few days ago I happened to walk past my 13 year old daughter watching the movie Fame on cable t.v. a few days back, not really thinking much of it at the time, but I guess it was in the back of my mind, because one morning I woke up to find her surfing the net and I asked her to look up Leroy of Fame, when she did imagine my shock to find that he had departed this life, that such an amazing talent could depart this word without any media recognition is so disheartening, sometimes even if you don’t see or hear all of people that you think you should it still brings a smile of happy remembrance to know that they still of the world, to learn through a search engine that he is no longer here, well, it leaves me speechless except to say that his talent is a great loss and will sorely be missed.
    RIP My Brother
    rc

  76. arianna

    i’m italian…
    scrivero’ in italiano…volevo dire che mi dispiace moltissimo che debbano morire persone speciali come gene…credo che nessuno lo dimentichera’…guardo ancora la serie fame…
    gene i remember your name…
    kisses arianna

  77. Lisa Dayne

    It is with such sadness that I have learned of the death so many months ago of Gene Anthony Ray. As a peer of his I naturally recall vividly his incredible raw talent at dance, remnding me of the Nicholas Brothers and the late great Gregory Hines too.
    May G-d bless this marvellous man who I do so wish was here today running his own Academy of Dance.
    Fondest thoughts always
    Lisa Dayne
    London, UK

  78. tj

    you will be missed, like the songs say “remember my name” and i always will, dance your butt off and “light up the sky like a flame” you will always have fame in my book.

  79. Drew

    I had the privilage of meeting Gene in 96-97. He was a great guy that still had big dreams. He was on his way to Milian to open up a dance studio he said, he went through alot with drugs and alcohol but, always kept a positive attitude and was kind to everyone he met and never treated anyone as if he was better than.
    He will be truly missed.

  80. Eliott Grenoble

    Gene Anthony Ray had such sex appeal….May you rest in peace my multi talented brother…You will not soon be forgotten….

  81. Angie

    Goodbye Gene….i’ll always remember your amazing talent, and I will not forget you..I remmember your name! May you dance forever in heaven, sweet angel.

  82. Ro

    In queste settimane stanno riprogrammando il telefilm “Saranno Famosi”, il mio mito d’adolescenza. Rivedere Leroy mentre balla in alto verso il cielo, mi fa pensare che lui in questo momento sta continuando a ballare assieme agli altri angeli. Grazie per le emozioni che ci hai donato, Leroy.

  83. michael t

    i just recently learned that gene anthony had passed . i loved watching him in the movie fame. they also said he was hiv positive and that aids might have been a factor of his passing. i also have aids and gene keot his faith and did not let any one or anything stop him until the end. god bless him and all the work that he has done in the years following. he is truly unforegttable. all the work i do will be for himn and all otherwe have lost to aids and others will still keep up the fight.

  84. Nikki Smith

    I just want to say that I watched FAME as a child growing up. I had heard about Gene Anthony passing and I want to give his family and friends many blessings and prayers. I recently purchased the FAME dvd where I relived the raw energy and talent that Gene poured out. He is definitely a diamond in the ruff that shined brighter than any jewel ever could. Gene I wish you could have stayed with us a little longer and although your gone, your presence still lingers on!!

  85. Lana Seats

    Hey,
    I too was stunned to learn of Gene Anthony Ray’s death….he was indeed a great dancer. I no longer live in NY but I remember back in the mid to late 80′s passing him as I walked in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. I enjoyed his character “Leroy”…he made it so real. They have recently been playing “Fame” on the cable stations and I enjoy it everytime. We always seem to lose great talent so young…..RIP

  86. sally

    Well I am from London and I only found out the he died in March 2004. And it was by chance, my sister saw his picture in a local newspaper that he had died. I was very shocked and upset, I liked him to very much too. Aids is not predjudice… it gets anyone.
    ps. did you know Jasmine Guy was an extra in fame back in the day? I just noticed her the other day.

  87. Patricia Patterson

    Like so many others Shocked was the only word
    that comes to mind. I too like others am so sorry
    to hear of the early life passing of Gene Anthony
    Ray. The entertainment business is a very hard
    row to hoe. It never ceases to amaze me that we
    think that it is (a blessing) It is a cruel occupation. Much cruelty resides in this industry.
    It is like the fairy tale of “Cinderella” and the
    ball. Remember how the beautiful horses turned into rats? Fairy tales are beautiful but they are
    lies. Anyone who lives beyond middle age and does
    not suffer great sadness, trouble in the industry
    can count themselves BLESSED. It is a terrible
    disception. Gene Anthony Ray was a wonderful dancer and he made all of us feel proud. Fame was
    also a very inspiring program of young people who
    dared to dream of a chance in entertainment. I once had the chance, my door closed to that life
    and I thank God that it did, for no matter how
    much progress I may have made…at last the road
    down the yellow brick road straight to a hell on
    earth. May Gene Anthony Ray’s family know that
    he continually makes us smile as we watch his performances on the old Fame. Christ is soon to
    come I only hope that we will know this and try to ready ourselves. Thanks to the NAACP Awards
    for letting us know! August 27,2004 Post a tribute

  88. Gianluca

    I saw you in bologna in 2003, an incredible emotion…
    We never forget you, never
    We are sure that you are happy now, you are dancing with angels….
    Thank you very much for your steps on owr world..
    Cucca
    PS Anyone know where he had lived?

  89. 80sKid

    There was a Fame reunion show on the BBC last year. I think that Gene died shortly after it was aired. Doris, Bruno, Danny, Leroy, Ms Grant showed up.
    Anyway, Gene came across as a decent, witty, wise, somewhat grown-up person and was able to laugh at some of his past failings. He was in good shape also, not like the stereotype of people with the bug. Also, did a really funny double-act with the guy who played Danny – it was obvious that they were enjoying the trip down memory lane.
    At the end of the show, they all got together for a version of ‘Starmaker’ – not a dry eye in the house, even with Debbie Allen and the Doris actress trying to steal the show.
    Gene was talent with a capital T – shame that he died so young. I, like a lot of people, will always remember his name.

  90. Lucy

    I always felt so luckly growing in the 80′s along side Fame. The music still makes me want to dance. I was so sorry to hear that Gene Anthony Ray had passed away. He made so many of us believe that we can dream he gave us so much joy through his work and I hope that his return home is all that he dream and he has found true peace. My prayers go to his family and friends.

  91. marie m

    I know you are in a better place now, this life isn’t for those who suffer – the other side is where you get better and free from pain, I hope you are happy Gene.

  92. maria

    I just read about your passing as I was reading where are they now stuff on the internet and when I read of ur death, I was shocked. You were a great performer. God be with you and rest in peace. You were one of a kind

  93. Rosemary S. Fort-Darego

    Almost a year has past and I kind of felt you may be sick, I guess I didn’t want to know the worst–you have physically passed from this world. You will always live–dancing in so many, many hearts. I am watching “FAME” now and you were so gifted, so beautiful and I miss you and what could have been with all your talent. You had the most beautiful and warmest smile.
    Love always,
    Rosemary

  94. Concetta

    Now in Italy they are sending in wave once again the series
    “FAME”…..I have regarded with much pleasure even if, watching Gene to dance, I cannot think that not there is more!!!
    Now it will dance in sky with the angels!!!
    Bye Gene

  95. Denis Rizzi

    Only two days ago a friend of mine told me about your death… I couldn’t believe it and immediately I started to search news about you on the web … what a sad, sad truth…
    I’m Italian and I had the luck to meet and know Gene Anthony Ray in a sunny day here in Italy in 2002. I was walking in Piazza Maggiore in my hometown, Bologna, with a girl and in front of San Petronio’s Cathedral I saw him and I couldn’t believe it ! The great Leroy was there, 15 meters from me, he was on the phone and walked. Around him a lot of people recognized him but nobody stopped him even only for a greet : they were all amazed and surprised, me too. After 5/10 minutes I convinced myself that it was an incredible and unique chance to know a true mith of my childhood and I said to me: come on, let’s go ! I got a deep breath and I asked: Sorry, are you Gene Anthony Ray ?
    I swear … I said right that, I called him with his true name and he was so nice and sweet. “Oh my God … someone that doesn’t call me Leroy for once !” He came towards me, then a big hug like when you meet an old friend: he kissed me too !!!! I wanted only greet him and shake his hand but he was so friendly … He asked my name and what about my life, then we talked about what he was doing in Italy.
    He was truly a nice guy, I remembered to him what a big star he was for me and that his character “Leroy Johnson” was known all over the world and that I found so incredible and amazing talking to him in so friendly way, a man that was a real mith and that he had worked with people like Janet and Michael Jackson.
    He laughs about all that then he said to me : “Dear Denis … yes I know Janet Jackson and Michael is a friend of mine… and so ? they eat, drink, piss and shit like any other … I like living and meet common people, I like a true person not a fake one…
    These words impressed me so much and it’s in this way that I’m thinkin’ about him now, like a true good boy with a great talent… Thanks Gene Anthony for those 10 minutes you gifted to me in your too short life, you made me happy and proud !
    One year is passed and I didn’t know….
    may your show be the best one in Heaven !
    Ciao Gene Anthony, un saluto e un abbraccio… come ad un vecchio amico
    Denis Rizzi, Bologna

  96. venus

    u were a gift from above. no matter what your personal life entailed u maintained true stardom.
    i will miss u always. and look forward to seeing u dancing from the clouds above me.
    rest in peace

  97. Starr

    I PAY BY BEST WISHES TO HIS FAMILY AND GENE WILL BE SURELY MISSED AND TODAY I WAS WACTHING TV AND THE MOVIE FAME WAS ON SO I WATCHED IT I STARTED TO REMEMBER HOW TALENTED AND HOW MUCH OF A STAR HE WAS.I ALSO CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HIM DANCING IN THE CLOUDS. REST IN PEACE GENE ANTHONY RAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AND TO AALIYAH YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY HEART AND I WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU AND SO WILL EVERY ONE ELSE. CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU. BUT, UNTIL I GET THERE KEEP SINGING AND DANCING. REAST IN PEACE AALIYAH DANA HAUGHTON.
    WE LOVE YOU BOTH AND MISS YOU VERY MUCH.
    WE’LL SEE YOU WHEN WE GET THERE.
    REST IN PEACE ALSO TO TUPAC AMARU SHACKUR AND CHRISTOPER WALLACE AKA BIGGE SMALLS AND JAM MASTER JAY AND LISA LEFTEYE LOPEZ AND BIG PUN AND TO EVERYONE ELSE THAT WE LOST AND TO ANY FAMILY MEMBERS THAT LOST ANYONE IN THE PAST YEARS OR ON 9/11 I AM VERY SORRY FOR YOUR LOST.MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU. TAKE CARE.
    REST IN PEACE AND WE LOVE AND MISS YOU GUYS SEE U SOON.MAYBE.LOL.

  98. Dawn

    The last few weeks I have been in the mood to watch the movie ” Fame “. I wanted my 7 yr old to have the inspiration ” You can be anything you want to be ” by watching the movie. Of course with all the curse words it was kind of tough but I let her watch it because of the motivation and the triumph that all the kids went thru throughout their High School Years. I just saw the DVD version of Fame and saw Gene in an interview. It was apparent that he had suffered a stroke, so I came to check how he was and was saddened to hear the new of his passing from this website. I know that Gene is dancing with the angels as his mother said…he was a great inspiration to so many, including myself, and I hope to pass that tradition of love for ” Fame ” onto my daughter, the future generation.

  99. /

    Never will we forget this great man leroy that touched us all on the 1980! tv fame oh what a gifted actor and talent we enjoyed this show should continued for all new generations to see the best dancer who ever lived leroy made us proud especially black folks

  100. Rhian, C.I.

    I love the movie fame, as a dancer it just gives me great inspiration to go further in the world of dancing, at the same age as the actors n actresses in fame, (when it was made) i have great ambition to persue a dance career, n gene had a great iffluence on that, as he did not have any dance classes just the passion of dance in his heart carried him on… I was shocked to find out of his death. but i will still look up to him as a great man who lived an amazing life.

  101. tyrone t

    man just watched the movie eddie and saw gene anthony and saw the credits and noticed it was him the one and only leroy wow really saddened about his death god bless you my brother

  102. Patrick Walsh

    I Had only found out about Gene’s death the other day, while I was casually brousing the internet. To my dismay, I read about his death in another website and was moved to read about it. coincidently, I watched Fame on DVD the night before and Loved every minute of it. My heart goes out to the relatives and friends of Gene Anthony Ray, I just got a soft spot for him in the film and enjoyed his brash determinism.
    May he rest in peace.

  103. Lynn

    I was deeply sadden and confused about the passing of Gene Anthony Ray “Leroy as he is known from fame”. I can not understand why it takes so much for us as people to report on our own. It does not matter how the incident happens, we are just as intrigued as any would be. I did not hear about Gene’s passing of Jermaine Stewart’s passing. It does not matter what they do in their personal life. They are apart of history and information should be made available. Thank the web-master of this site for the tribute.
    God Bless Gene’s family and friends.
    God Bless

  104. Cynt

    I didn’t know Gene Anthony Ray died until New Year’s Eve 2003 when I just so happened to catch the ABC news review of celebrities who passed away that year. Needless to say I was both shocked and saddened. I thought that he was a bonafide talent who had soooooo much potential. Also, both the movie Fame and it’s TV spin-off are all-time favorites of mine. I recently found the movie on DVD and have watched it several times. I’m just waiting for the TV show to come out on DVD so that I can enjoy both him and my other favorite from fame, Michael DeLorenzo. (There is something good to be said about those old TV shows). Gene will definitely be missed.

  105. Nathan

    Well, i’m a little late it’s 2005 and i just happened to go and check up on Leroy. I was wondering what happened to him. I saw him probably at his worst, when he was pretty much homeless in Rome, Italy. But the Fame thing always got him a couch to sleep on. He slept on our’s one time, and we had a strange time with the guy. It’s wierd he never got past the fame thing. Well, i feel bad for kick him out now. Maybe if we had been move caring he wouldn’t have come to the end so soon. nathan

  106. Marla

    I learned only last night of Gene Anthony Ray’s death. My boyfreind and I were watching “Fame” on dvd and my boyfriend said “did you know Leroy passed away?” I knew Gene had been sick, so I deciced to seach the web to see if it was true.
    Fame is my favorite tv show as well as movie. I’ve been singing and acting since age 3, but when I saw Fame at age 10 Gene Anthony Ray inspired me to dance. 2 summers later, My brother and I were in a Manhattan Mcdonalds and saw Gene sitting at a booth with his co stars Carlo Imperato and Lee Currari. I happened to be wearing my Fame tee shirt that Day. I was too shy to approach the guys, as I worshiped the ground the walked on. It was Gene who approached us , he said he liked my shirt and asked us to sit with them.
    I will always remember Gene Anthony Ray as the guy who taught me to do a perfect split, and a beautyful man.
    I’ll miss you, and by the way, I DID make it into THE HIGH SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND ART. (THE FAME SCHOOL)

  107. robert garrett

    i watched fame when it first aired i liked it cause it had music in it. but when they aired the show me and my brother did not miss a show gene seemed to be such a cool dude i did’nt know about his life style i though he had plenty girls. but besides that he will be missed alot when you grow up watching some one and you dont see them anymore even thou you never met them it hurts.

  108. Sabina

    My sister and I learnt today that Gene went to the sky…Thank you for having been in our life and having made so many persons dreaming by your dance, your act, everything…
    When I watch Fame (my favorite tv show since i was a lil girl!!:-) ), I instantly smile…So Thank U for the magic touch you bring on many faces and spirits…

  109. Maria

    Fame is my favorite film. I can’t belive you’re not with us anymore. I loved you as Leroy. Ofcourse, as your mother said, you ARE dancing with angels in heaven now. All of us misses you. We will never forget you “..I’m gonna live forever..” Ofcourse you will live and dance forever in our hearts.. May God bless your soul, Rest In Peace Gene. We love you very much.
    Love , Maria

  110. Eric

    Gene was a remarkable talent and a wonderful friend, I had the honor of dancing beside him on Broadway in “Carrie” the musical. I only found out today 04/19/05 that he passed and am profoundly saddened. Aloha Gene.
    Eric

  111. Tonya

    I just finished watching the movie “Fame.” As a little girl I love watching the t.v. series “Fame” and had this biggest crush on Leroy. As I was watching the movie today, as a grown women now, that crush came back. So I started wondering what happened to Gene Anthony Ray. I looked him up on the web, and to my surprised I found out he had died. He passed over 2 years ago and I just found out today. That was really a tragedy, but I know he is still dancing.
    You are truly missed!!
    Tonya

  112. Yakema

    My condolences to the family of Gene Anthony Ray. He was a truly gifetd dancer who had such a talent that only he (i wish) would have truly embraced. His passion was felt through every move. He will be missed.

  113. Brittany

    Omg.I luved him. I saw Fame for the first time and i fell in luv with his character. Then i went to look him up on the net and I found out he had died .I was deeply sadden and I am only 14. He will be missed. He was a Fabolous dancer. He left the earth way 2 soon.

  114. Misha

    I had the pleasure of actually knowing Gene. We met for the first time during the first casting of the movie. We were up for the same part and as you it, Gene was by far such a raw and natural talent. Over the years we would keep in touch and to those who knew him well, he was just the same wonderful loving soul many have come to adore. Issues with certain addictions were only due to the hardships of getting work after fame.
    Gene was a true talent whos brightt light was dimmed way too soon. he was a friend to so many and one thing I have to say about him is, even with his all his issues and the things he had to deal with, he never once said ” why me”….
    My friend, I know you are dancing with the best of them now….but here on this planet we will always continue to miss YOU and what gifts your brought to us. Peace and love always, Misha

  115. Dellaphine

    Today is May 16th 2005 and I just learned of the death of Gene Anthony Ray for whom I pray the Angels dance with him and take/make those same awesome flying leaps in Heaven. I grew up with Fame, the television show, and like all other young African-american girls, I had a crush on Gene.
    But my fondest memory of him, outside of his raw talent and truly phenonmenal dancing ability… was how Gene and his talent…..was always upfront in the establishment’s face….raw, edgy, real, truthful, beautiful and unapologetic. Yeah, in an age and a time when so many African-americans are apologizing and compromising, Gene simply….wasn’t, didn’t and never bowed down. He always stood tall.
    Rest in Peace, My Brother….you are and always will be an inspiration to all of us…..ALWAYS!
    Keep Dancing, Gene!

  116. Diane

    I too, was astounded to hear of Gene Anthony Ray’s passing. But he indeed left a great legacy behind him that will never ever be forgotten. The perils of alcohol and drug addiction open up many more doors of self-destructive behavior. Tony, I know you are still dancing wherever you are…Diane

  117. Cathy G., Tampa, FL

    I was shocked and saddened to learn ,just yesterday, that this talented man had passed away without more fanfare and recognition.
    Reading all of the tributes posted here has made be very proud to know that he will continue to live on in our memories forever.

  118. Page

    Gene will be missed, my heart goes out to his family and friends. I recently purchased about 15 episodes of Fame the Tv series just so I would have those electric, wild and hot dance moves that can only be imitated but never duplicated. I’m so glad that Gene beat out all those hopefuls for the part of Leroy, I wish I could have been blessed with a chance to meet him in person. I’m glad I get a chance to see his great talent everyday.
    God Bless

  119. Alison

    I’m french and I like this serie ‘Fame’ and I think it’s so sad… i know that he’s died for a longtime now but I’m still sad… he was my fav’ character in ‘fame’… maybe ‘cos he was a very big actor, dancer and singer… We miss U Gene!!

  120. Paola

    Well…I too am very VERY shocked !!
    I just found out (6-16-05)…just decided to check Fame out online and I saw his picture on the Memorial page. WOW. I was completely shocked.
    Still am.
    At 15, I watched Fame for the first time a couple of months ago and loved it!!
    Its so sad…he was a damn good dancer and my favorite character from the movie..not to mention he was sexy (had to let that out).
    R.I.P
    I certainly will never forget you Gene.
    God Bless him and his family…
    Paola

  121. DaLawn Simpson

    A band memeber told me a few years ago that they had seen Gene Anthony Ray on tv and that he looked pretty bad. That brought to mind when I saw in a magazine a long time ago mentioning that Gene was jogging thru Central Park in New York and some mugger stabbed him in the chest. When the guy recognized him he ran and called an ambulance.
    It’s funny how French braids are so popular now but did you know that Gene was the first guy on tv with that hairstyle?
    I flipped open a news paper when he had just passed and saw his picture with the shocking news. I almost fainted before even reading the article. Dance on Gene dance on.
    I’m not a dancer but he has always kept me motivated when I’m strecthing or going to the gym.
    You know I had to dedicate my debut cd to him on the ‘The Low C# Theory’ by Jauqo III-X.
    Hate to see you gone Gene.
    DaLawn.

  122. stacu

    Well I am the latest of them all. Gene Anthony Ray. I just finished watching Debbie Allen in the 1980 production of West Side Story and decided to look up “Fame”. Wow, Gene Anthony Ray dead from a stroke at 41. He lived a hundred lifetimes in his brief time on earth. He can never be forgotten. His power, his grace, his outrageousness. How do you deal with losing someone so so special? Trouble’s over Gene Anthony. And thank you . . . for everything.

  123. The Truth Hurts

    Hate to say it folks but Fuck Gene Anthony Ray. I have said this about few, but I actually had a smile on my face when I heard this guy died. Once in an apartment on 2nd Avenue, Gene Anthony Ray the Hypocrite, embarrassed me by attacking me verbally in front of friends, about all things, smoking pot! Gene Anthony Ray, may have been having a hard time, but i saw his eyes that day, and he lulled me into a conversation and then attacked me to the point i had to leave this apartment. I got even with him on the street a few weeks later when I called his bluff. FUCK HIM – I’m so glad GENE ANTHONY RAY IS DEAD!!!!

  124. scott c

    We are all both ordinary and extra-ordinary. Perhaps Gene Anthony Ray was more of the latter. Its easy to lavish praise on an individual when they come to pass; of course most of us writing these tributes have no real knowledge of the person which makes its hard to be personal.
    All I can say is; the character “Leroy” was part of my childhood, so intense, magical, dream like to an extent……… Maybe just mabye, Leroy was playing himself, which if you think about it, could explain his premature exit.
    You see for people like Leroy, “Fame” was just that, take it away and you have to find substitues…….
    Of coure he would never find an other “Fame” and lets hope he did not die a broken man………
    God bless you and thanks for the magic.

  125. caroline

    I just found this site, I was thinking of saying something that was appropriate. I read the previous tribute, which really does say it all.
    You write like a “Beautiful Dreamer”
    Perfect.
    Caroline

  126. Bryan

    I found out last night Gene Anthony Ray past away. Almost 2 years afterward. I remember watching one of the “Where are they Now” episodes and seeing what appears to be one of Gene’s last interviews. I’m crying because such a talent is gone in s short an amount of time. He was so much and I wanted him to be greater than he had already become. Funny when you see famous actors and they’re no longer in the limelight I guess we assume they’re on sabatical. Gene was still dancing. A true Lord of the dance and acting for his oh so brief time.
    LONG MAY YOU REIGN and Thank You

  127. Sue

    He was wonderful to watch on screen. I enjoyed this handsome brother, I did not know about his passing at the age of 41. Unless I’m confusing him with someone else, I thought he made appearances on Solid Gold too. I had no idea how rare of a find he actually was. There will never be another Gene Ray he will be missed, but not in the memories of his fans, so dance on brother dance on.

  128. G. Miller

    i grew up loving him. i didnt even know he passed i just saw him on tv now right before he died. his looks, personality, and soul had changed, i knew in my heart he was addicted. i came online and found out. although he died of a stroke. DRUGS AND ALCOHOL KILL PEOPLE!!! He was a beautiful soul taken away too soon. maybe he rest in peace / :(

  129. amanda

    I saw the fame reunion show and I feared for GAR.
    His glazed eyes said it all. I was not surprised to hear he left us early. Lets not get too nostaligic, Gene Anthony Ray was an addict. This is why we has taken so early…..
    That said, he was brilliant and an icononic figure of the 80s.
    Your were distinguished by being both unique and brilliant. Raw brillance x
    See you in heaven……
    Amanda x

  130. michelie

    A NEIGHBORS SON BROUGHT OVER A VSH TAPE OF THE AWARDS & I COULDN’T BELIEVE HE’D PASSED ON TO GREEN PASTURES!! I LOVED HIS CHARACTER IN FAME! HE WAS SO TALENTED.. SO SAD HE LEFT US!! SO SAD HE HAD PROBLEMS!! GOD BLESS HIM!! MY HEART GOES OUT TO HIS MOM!! I LOVED FAME & WILL WATCH IT WHEN POSSIBLE!! HE’S NOT SUFFERING ANYMORE! PEACE OUT!!

  131. DeeToo

    AIDS…Mankinds latest curse.
    Takes poor and rich.
    One mistake. One error of judgement.
    A ‘life’ lesson to be learned.
    Gene…We had some laughing times. I remember you.
    Dee
    XXXXX

  132. Hannah

    I just watched FAME the film for the second time after seeing the musical in London.I was just looking online for picture of Gene Anthony Ray as I was completely smitten by him, such a gorgeous young man and I am so sad to hear that such a talent has been taken. My love goes to all his friends and family. xx

  133. kathy hageman

    just found out about “leroy’s” death today while watching a show on VH1 about ‘child stars of the 80′s.’ they had included the cast of fame… nia peeples, danny, leroy… and talked of his death. he was able to take my imagination and leap away with it for an hour a week. he was strong and stubborn and talented and raw and real. he was amazing.

  134. Stacie

    I too juet found out today about Gene Anthony Ray’s passing TWO YEARS after his death while wathing VH1 about the child stars of the 80′s. I am very shocked yet saddened to learn of his passing, but will forever remember “Leroy” for using the extraordinary and amazing talent God had given him.

  135. Brandon Gilliam

    Although I wasn’t born when Fame the movie came out and justa baby when the series was out, I have always admired Gene’s talent. There was something about his swagger that made me interested in his talent. There are millions of dancers but only one Gene Ray aka”Leroy.” Gene is proof that there is a God. Only he could make something with as much talent and appeal as Gene.

  136. Ralf Josat

    Finally I found it the DVD about the first season of Fame. But the happiness about it was short, when I read it in the reviews. Gene Anthony Ray died more than two years ago.
    This wonderful actor and dancer gave me so much power, set so much free in me that I quit my boring economics studies and turned to be dancers. That was in the early 80ies in Germany.
    Funny to say, but I even named my first car “Leroy”.
    When I try to explain students how to perform, very often Gene in the role of Leroy comes into my mind and everybody knows him.
    So he will never be forgotten.

  137. NANO

    The first time I saw Fame (the movie)was with my grandparents, and all the characters were in fact older than I was then. My grandma said, as we were going out of the theater: “Performer :what a weird job”.
    As for me, I was just mesmerized by the movie.
    Tonight I watched it one more time (the first time on DVD, in fact) the characters are now almost old enough to be my chidren (!) and it’s still a very exciting movie. As these actors were so talented, I wanted to check what they had become and discover on the Web that G. A. Ray passed away more than 2 years ago already. He died poorly, some talk about drug addiction and AIDS. Well, I know now exactly what the movie and my grandma were talking about: fantastic job, but even if you’re really good,it’s such a hard one…
    You’ll always “live forever and fly high” in our dreams, Gene.
    NANO, Paris

  138. Ben

    I did’t cry, when grandma died. I did not cry, when grandpa died a couple of time later. But today a few tears ran over my face cause I found this informations about “Leroy’s” death.
    When I was a young boy of 12 the “Fame”-movies were shown in german tv. I was fascinated and wanted to be like Leroy. Later I was the rebel in my school, started to do some kind of sports to look like Leroy. Today I’m 37 an Leroy is still in me and a part of what I am.
    A few minutes ago I just wanted to find out, what became of him after “Fame”. I wanted to write him some words if I found out his email address. But now I regret, that I googled for “what became of Leroy”.
    Rest In Peace …Leroy. We’ll miss you.
    Ben, 37, german/Germany

  139. Rudy Hayer

    I watched the movie a few years ago and I loved it. Leroy was my favorite character. For Christmas I got the First Season of Fame and I have been watching it. My mom used to watch it in High School. Then today we decided to see what he’s doing and we found he’s dead. Watching the Series has inspired me to be as good a dancer as “Leroy”. I have been dancing for 4 years being one of few boys at the dance studio. I will never forget him.
    Rudy

  140. andre soriano

    Although I hadn’t seen (Tony-Ray) in atleast 7 years. I was very sadden to hear of his passing. I first met Tony at a club around 1983 and did not see him again until about 1987. When we hung out during the NY club scene…especially Iguana Cafe. He had a great personality who enjoy life. I also believed that he was unfairly treated by Hollywood

  141. Stanley

    Gene A. Ray, gifted and talented. It seems that when the good die young from mistakes, we can not change that, but we must certainly learn from them. I’m sure that he would have wanted that!

  142. Michele M

    I was truelly sadden this morning to learn That Gene Anthony Ray had passed. I was listening to my favorite morning show and they happened to mention his name and made a comment about him being dead. I thought I had heard wrong, because I hadn’t heard anything about hime dying. When I finally got up that morning I googled his name and found out that not only had he died, but that he had been dead for 2 years. i can’t believe there wasn’t any coverage of it. Mr. Ray was a wonderful dancer and actor. I too watched him on the tv serious FAME. He will be saddly missed. When he danced I felt his soul pouring out.

  143. Steven D. Baker

    I received The First Season of FAME for Christmas. I watch an episode every night. I was in junior High when Fame first aired, and out of high school when the last episode aired. The show, and actors helped me through a difficult time of growing up and let me dream. I decided tonight to go online and see what the actors where doing these days. I am tremendously shocked and saddened to hear of Gene’s death and upset that I had not heard anything about it. My deepest sympathy to his family and their loss, and the loss to the world of such a wonderful Actor, Dancer and insperationer to so many young people from the 80′s and now to all the future young people that will be able to see him on the DVD’s. Dance with the Angels Gene Anthony!

  144. Rex

    Fun guy – hugely talented – showed up the dancers onboard in every conceivable way with his God given talents on stage when performing – lived next door to him on the Star Princess for a while – open heart, cheeky sod :)
    RIP Gene
    Rex.

  145. Phyllis

    I just saw a special about child star’s of the eighties. I am very saddened about Gene’s death. He was by far the most talented dancer on the show FAME. His body was in such great shape a true performer. I watched FAME all time in the eighties when it was a huge hit. I pray that he is resting in peace with god.

  146. Cassandra

    WORTH WATCHING: There are two film clips of Aaliyah being interviewed in 1995 (I think?), go to FILM PAGE on Pogus Caesar – OOM Gallery in england. I believe Caesar made a documentary with Aaliyah in Amsterdam. Although the clips are small its well worth listening to our LOST ANGEL SPEAK…RIP AALIYAH+

  147. S Down

    Whoa, i am shocked to say the least!! – I’ve just watched ‘Fame’ with my 17 year old daughter on Sky – and ALL through the movie all i got from her is ‘wow, that Leroy’ is HOT!! and ‘OMG, his body is just AMAZING!! lol which is quite amusing as i was about 10 when the movie first aired and he was my favourite character! (ok ok as i grew up i thought he got hotter and hotter..) – Anyways, after the movie, i was ‘press ganged’ into finding a picture of him on the internet, which is when i came accross this website!! that was about 2 hours ago now, and i am still kind of shocked. I thought maybe living in England, was why there was nothing on the news about his passing or anything, but i see from other messages on the board that it was other countries also! – Such a shame that the Moviemakers didn’t recognise his talents and pay tribute of somekind towards him, although maybe it was a personal choice of his family to just let him go quietly with no fuss or something, who knows. Anyways i was an avid watcher of ‘Fame’ the series when i was growing up (and watched the movioe whenever it was on the tv (nothing changes there hence being 33 and just finished watching it). Watching shows and movies like that shows people around the globe, that things happen in life, which we would prefer them not to, but it is down to the individual how they cope with and deal with situations. So here is MY tribute to a great character in a movie, who i am sure had many a hearts going ‘pitter patter’ amongst the teenage population of the world, and a great guideline for others to look towards when they were troubled in thier times.

  148. tansheia williams

    It is a shame how these actors who were such a inspiration in people’s lives growing up as a kid, just dissappears and not given any other work and you never hear anything else from them, and then you find out they are gone. that is so sad. I’ll miss you “Leroy” Gene.

  149. J'Khouri

    MAN!!! This is so SURREAL to me right now and I feel completely out of touch by this. I had not heard of his death until recently. Like a few others have mentioned, this is both a shock and a sad ending to a life that inspired SOOOO many. To all…there is new strength with each tear we cry!!

  150. Ann Glasper

    I was just thinking about what an amazing talent Gene was and thought I would look him up on the internet to see what he has been up to and I was shocked to find he had passed over two years ago! He was a joy to watch. What a gift he gave to so many people by sharing his talent. He will be truly be missed.

  151. EL

    I THINK I JUST FOUND OUT THE GENE PASSED AWAY. I WAS ABOUT 5 OR 6 WHEM “FAME” THE MOVIE CAME OUT. ITS ON OF THE EARLIEST MEMORIES I HAVE. I WAS BORN RIGHT IN NYC. THE THOUGHTS OF GENE, BRING BACK MEMORIES OF MY LIFE THEN. MAINLY MY PARENTS BEING TOGETHER AND THE LIFE WE HAD IN NYC. WHILE MY PARENTS HAVE LONG SPLIT UP, WHENEVER I SEE GENE OR HAVE THOUGHTS OF THE MOVIE FAME, IT TAKES ME BACK TO THE ONLY TIME IN MY LIFE I CAN REMEMBER BEING HAPPY. GENE ANTHONY RAY WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF MY MEMORY. NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING HIS DEATH. WHO HE WAS WILL ALWAYS LIVE ON IN MY MIND. I MISS THOSE DAYS, I MISS MY FATHER.

  152. Arno Smits

    I always was e great fan of Gene. I watched the TV series from the beginnen and danced at the fame competition in Holland. I was very shocked. I wil always remember Gene because he was a great rolemodel for my mother and me.

  153. Robin

    I remember dancing with Gene at Julia Richmond H.S. before he became a star, what a character. He was always willing to help you with dance. I was shocked to hear of his death. He was so talented.
    I pray that the Lord Jesus will comfort his mom and family.

  154. LuckyBooT

    I was ten years old when I first saw FAME. I was an avid fan of this movie. I just recently watched it again and I still find Gene (leroy) as riveting as ever!!! Showbiz is so good at forgetting those who contributed their raw talents for a little bit of fame.
    But I know, this quintessential artist- this actor and dancer will NEVER be forgotten. He had true passion for what his was doing, you can not forgot someone who has a spirit like that.
    You know, if you pay close attention – you can really see ALL OF HIS LIFE through his art.

  155. lacey

    I HAVE JUST WATCHED THE FILM “FAME” FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AGES AND I HAD A HUGE CRUSH ON HIM THEN AND I STILL LOVE HIM TO THIS DAY.I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM AND LOVE HIM FOREVER!!!

  156. Baitz

    Leroy Johnson was such an incredible character and nobody could have played him better than Gene. He was as cool as the Fonz! He changed my life and made me wanna dance!
    Love and Respect!

  157. Mia

    I love Gene Anthony Ray. He is 1 of my favorite dancers. I’m only 13 but who ever said fuck him can go to hell. yall just hatin’.

  158. Peter Giovanni

    I worked with Tony in his show created for Princess Cruise Lines aptly named Gene Anthony Ray and Friends. It was so much fun and he was such a joy to work with. We hit it off immeadiately. Hanging out in the corridors at night, we’d all tell stories of working in the biz, then one day he asked me to do his makeup, he always said to me “Peter, Bitch, you can’t look better than me on stage, make my nose smaller!” So, I did, and we’d have a great laugh and wonderful photos to remember him by. Sorry I saw this site so late, it was sad to see him go but his memory will forever live on in our hearts.

  159. jonny

    I am 35 ys and i live fame when i was a kid Gene Anthony Ray was a top dancer shame he lost his fight with cancer…. R.I.P

  160. Starla

    Although now I am past wanting things and dreaming thru as I used to do when I watched FAME, I still remember my childhood whenever anyone mentiones this incredible and unforgettable show. It was a performance that made my childhood equal to any most beautiful dream that a teenager could have(I was in love with Bruno), and I owe it one big TX, with such sorrow and saddness in my heart to hear–accidentally–of Gene A. Ray’s passing away. He was such a remarkable young ‘devlish’ angel without whom FAME would not be FAME. He is in Heaven, as he knows that so many people loved and still love him-he will shine there forever!!! Rest in Peace, sweet ‘Leroy J.’, you will be truly missed for long yet.

  161. Gregory

    Tony,
    You most certainly are dancing with the angels and I know that you must be teaching them a new step or two. We miss you bro.
    See you soon
    Pianist Gregory Ross
    Hollywood, CA

  162. Rodney

    I watched FAME on TV the other night after about 20 years. I was immediately taken back to my childhood and the joy of watching the movie for the first time. The opulence brought to the set by Gena A. is inescapable. I will always remember your name.

  163. Nikki Daniels

    Wow, Im surprised and upset to find that such a talented being like Gene has moved on from this earth. I just spent the whole long weekend reliving my childhood as a dancer myself watching a FAME marathon and it really reminded me of my passion and that is MUSIC and DANCE and SINGING…… it always inspired me and did so again this weekend! Gene was sucha star on the show and thats why i thought i would look him up and see what has become of him – and much to my disappointment i find this…… I am one also who will ALWAYS REMEMBER THE NAME: GENE ANTHONY RAY!!!! U R a TALENT and an INSPIRATION STILL>>>> xoxoxo 11:11 Dx

  164. Zingisa

    I remember hearing that Gene has died of AIDS. I think it was 2004 but I did not believe it cause I leave in SA and I thought its one of those things that the media always say about the celebrities, but last night I was reminded again of Gene when I watched Fame on TV. I then thought that I must really find out. I feel really after reading all of these and the hearts he touched. I feel very very sad that he really died. I only watched Fame the movie so many times and I coud see how talented he is. You will really be missed Gene.. We love you.

  165. Katherine

    TCM2 aired Fame (the movie) this evening in England and I went on-line to see what happened to Gene, only to discover he died in 2003!!! Shame on me. May he rest in peace. I used to watch Fame (the TV series in the eighties and would not miss an episode if I could help it. Watching it tonight brought back memories. May his soul rest in peace amen. God blesshis family in Jesus name.

  166. Torrey McClinton

    I was a dear friend of Gene A Ray, I was so shocked to hear about his dieing. We spent many great times together and talks by phone.
    I still have the four page letter he wrote me, and it will be cherished. Gene was a rare talent wild and crazy guy and a dear friend. Thank you Tony for letting me be a close friend we helped each other. I will miss making up those dance steps for us to use we we went out in N.Y.C. to the clubs. I will miss you calling me Michael Jackson lost brother, your smiles, hanging out, dancing, and the tears we shared together when we had deep conversations.
    you were a great friend, I love you, miss you, God Bless you Tony.
    Torrey McClinton. Atlanta

  167. ChicagoChild

    I am looking at E! which is showing something about kid stars from the 80′s.
    I had NO IDEA that Gene Anthony Ray had died in 2003!
    That was one talented child and one of THE reasons to watch Fame.
    I always wondered why I never heard much about him after Fame went off the air.
    Somebody should have GRABBED that talent and made it shine.
    It’s a shame, I’ll tell you that.
    He’ll come back bigger and better!

  168. STEPHANIE

    I REMEBER GENE FROM FAME I WAS IN MY TWENTY WHEN FAME FIRST AIR ON TV. HE WILL BE TRUELY MISS. MAY GOD BLESS ALL HIS LOVES AND FRIEND THAT, TRUELY KNEW HIM. MAY GOD BLESS.MAY YOU REST IN PEACE GENE.

  169. Angie

    Today is 8/14/06 And I’m just finding out that Leroy was died I’m Shocked I listen to Black radio/T.v STATIONS AND HAVE BEEN MUTE TO THIS sHOCKING INFORMATION i’M CRUSHED. ALL I CAN SAY IS REST IN PEACE LEROY MY FINE FINE AFRICAN BROTHER AND YES I WILL REMEBER YOUR NAME GENE ANTHONY RAY. GOD BLESS HIS FAMILY.

  170. MS THOMAS

    TO MY SUPPRISE I JUST LEARNED OF GENE ANTHONY RAYS PASSING. OH, I HAD SUCH A CRUSH ON HIM GROWING UP. GENE WAS MY FAVORITE STAR AND DANCER ON FAME. I LOVED TO SEE WATCH HIM DANCE. YOU COULDN’T HAVE TOLD ME THAT HE DID NOT HAVE PROFESSIONAL TRAINING WHEN HE WAS ON THE SHOW. I HAD LOOKED FORWARD TO HEARING HIM DO ANYTHING ON THE DANCE TIP. OOH MY GOOODNESS…………….

  171. kara

    YES,FAME WAS MY ALLTIME FAVORITE..AS A LITTLE GIRL SITTING IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION…WAITING FOR FAME TO COME ON…IT WAS ABIG INSPIRATION ON MY LIFE..TO CARRY OUT MY TALENT IN DANCING…AND TO STAY POSITIVE ABOUT ANYTHING I WANTED TO DO IN LIFE…I REMEMBER GENE BEING VERY STRONG AND VERY GIFTED IN DANCING..AND ACTING…IM VERY SORRY THAT THE POWERFUL DANCER AND ACTOR WAS TAKING BY SOMETHING,THAT DOESNT HAVE A FACE TIME OR PLACE..AIDS IS A VERY IMPORTANT ACADEMIC..WE ALL NEED TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TOO…AND WITH THIS LEGEND COMING FORTH…HE LEFT US WITH THE INSPIRATION FOR ALL TO GO FORTH WITH OUR LIVES…AND TO REMEMBER IS VERY IMPORTANT TO BE TESTED..SO IN HIS MEMORY..WE SHOULD ALL BE TESTED…BECAUSE KNOWING IS BEAUTIFUL…MY FAMILY LOVES YOU GENE…AND REST IN PEACE…MUCH LOVE FOR A VERY VIBRANT AND TALENTED PERSON.

  172. Lisa

    “Gene Anthony Ray”. wow !! I’m just logging on the computer and I read the headline “Faces of AIDS”. so I go into it and “Much” to my suprise I see “Leroys” face and name. I am totally shocked!! I always wondered what happen to him and why he wasn’t out there somewhere still star’g in movie/film roles. what a talent to loose. In his role he was so down to earth. raw at times but straight to the point. He was a great actor/dancer, especially for someone who had never been professionally trained. Leroy, you are greatly miss around the world. May you rest in peace and your family and loved ones continue to remember you and move on with their lives as well. Lots of love from Milwaukee, WI

  173. Shawn

    Wow!! I couldn’t believe what I was reading about Gene Anthony Ray this morning. Where have I been? I was so surprised to hear of his death. But it did help me to have flashbacks to my youth and remember the days when I had the biggest crush on him. I still remember the large poster of him at poolside that I kept on the wall besides my bed. ( I still keep it in the closet. LOL ) Fantastic actor and a superb dancer. He was mesmorizing!!! I never had the pleasure of meeting him but he was a friend in my head and heart. My deepest sympathy to his family.

  174. Dar Harrington

    Now that I have closed my mouth at the article I just read on Aids patients…..I have to leave my heart felt sadness of Gene Anthony’s departed life. I love to dance and loved to watch him dance. My Love will always be with him. My Blessings to his Family…………
    -Dar-

  175. Theresa

    I was shocked to learn that Gene Anthony had passed. When i was a little girl fame was one of my favorite shows. I had the biggest crush on him. I never missed a show. My heart goes out to his family,and friends. He will be sorely missed may god bless him and keep him in his loving arms.

  176. Gina

    Oh my God, not three days ago I was thinking about him wondering what ever happened to this wonderful dancer in Fame and Tamu. So this really shocked me. He is embedded in the tapestry of my life and is missed!

  177. NICOLE

    AS A YOUNG GIRL WATCHING FAME I WAS FASCINATED WITH GENE ANTHONY RAY (LEROY) AND WAS INSPIRED TO ATTEND THE HIGH SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS WHERE I GRADUATED PROUDLY. I WAS SO SADDENED TO HEAR THAT GENE ANTHONY HAS LEFT US BUT JUST KNOW THAT YOU MADE A TREMEDOUS IMPACT ON Y LIFE. YOU WILL BE GREATLY MISSED.

  178. Cherrie

    I was just reading the Article on AOL about AIDS’ many victims. I was shocked to see Gene Anthony Ray I knew he had passed on but I had no idea of what. As a little girl watching the t.v. series he was my first crush.I took ballet just because of him as a girl. R.I.P. Mr.Ray!

  179. Geraldine

    I to was sad tolearn of Gene Anthony Ray’s death,at such a late date. I have often thought of the show,and wanted to know what the cast of talented young people were doing. I’m so sorry such a talent is gone. The best scene ever was of him and his “Fame” father dancing on the wing of a plane. I wish one of the stations that air old series would air the Fame shows.
    I do believe he is dancing with the angels.

  180. Teresa

    Just like so many of yall I was surpised to here of Gene Anthony had died I can’t believe it’s been that long and I didn’t even know what a shame But let us all not let his death be in vain make yourself awear that aids has no respect of person
    If can kill a man of so much importance it can kiil all who are having sex or sharing neddles I know theres other ways but these are ways that you invite on your self remeber his name and remeber the leason he has thought us. Thanks Anthony.

  181. Karen

    WOW! I am saddened to learn of Gene’s passing. Where was I that I did not hear of this when it happened or even in the following years?!?! I feel so out of touch!!!
    I loved him as Leroy. I had a major crush on him. Wow.
    Rest in peace my brother. May God care for your soul.

  182. MARIE

    I JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT GENE AND HOWARD ROWLINGS MYSELF AND AS I WRITE THIS I STILL SHED TEARS; MY GOD KEEP HIS FAMILY CLOSE AND HIM CLOSER; I BELEIVE HE IS IN HEAVEN BECAUSE GOD IS A FORGIVING AND LOVING GOD. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT HIS HARD TIMES I JUST WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE TO HELP; I LOVE HIM NO MATTER WHAT AND IT IS A DAMN SHAME AMERICA WASN’T MORE AWARE OF HIS PASSING!!!!!!
    RIP GENE YOUR DANCING STILL TOUCHES MY SOUL

  183. Luvvi

    I am ashamed that I am only now finding out that Mr. Ray passed on almost 3 years ago.
    I was listening to my Kids from Fame album and went online and saw that there had been a 2003 reunion and then read “…filmed just a few months before Gene Anthony Ray passed.” What????????!!!
    Fame was one of my favorite shows. I liked quite a few of the actors/actresses on the show, the music but oh, I used to love to watch “Leroy” dance. That muscular body, the energy that snapped under the surface of his skin, the leaps…..he made me want to read Othello after seeing “Desdemona”! He was talented and inspiring and I’m ashamed that I am writing this after he has gone on and sorry to hear that he endured any suffering. I plan on watching “Fame” re-runs any chance I get and will forever be grateful for the peformances Gene Anthony Ray gave us. I hope his family and friends will accept my gratitude on his behalf.

  184. Fiona

    Fame,remember my name,we certainly will Gene.Nobody could dance like you on the show.Desdemona was and still is a favourite song of mine.You gave me so much pleasure as a teen in the 80′s.
    I picture you dancing with all the angels in heaven.God bless and rest in peace.

  185. paula simone

    …………Its now 2006 for me and ive just finished watching a reairing of an episode of FAME. This series WAS my childhood i loved it and all those in it especially Gene Anthony Ray and Lee Curreri. Anyway, seeing this episode promted me to get ‘on-line’ and see what all those great guys are up to these days, its been 24 years for me! I was horrified and so saddened to learn of Genes passing….and 3 yrs later…….I was lucky enough to see its cast in concert in England many times over.
    You were loved by millions Gene, you will never be forgotten. PAULA. ENGLAND

  186. Sue

    Gene Anthony Ray, what an inspiration you have been to so many millions of people. Your energy and your spirit will keep radiating every time anyone sees you on screen and your smile shines so brightly from every photograph. It makes me so sad that you had to go so soon. Thank you, and I hope you feel the love that so many people have for you.
    Sue

  187. Trulani

    Gene Anthony Ray…baby you are truly blessed, and I know you are dancing with the angels..being fierce as ever. Save a dance for me.
    Peace and blessing.

  188. A.Thomas

    I live in Toronto, and they just started re-airing Fame episodes on our music video channel. I was a child in the 80′s, and watched Fame a few times, too young to understand how much hope and inspiration this show generated for so many people. Now that it’s back on, I am watching everytime I get the chance. I think this man was an amazing dancer. I didn’t know he died, and I am so sorry to hear that he passed away so quietly. It almost seems he was cast away from media attention, and forgotten. This tribute site you have all contributed proves that he has not been forgotten, and the impact of the character he played was very strong on the tv viewers. I hope that we don’t cast away “the arts” so quickly, what a dead world it would be without the joy of dance, music, entertainment.
    Gene Anthony Ray…you have blessed us all with your talent, may you dance in eternal bliss.

  189. meemsta

    My sister and I were massive FAME and Gene fans in the 80′s. We have recently been going crazy over the resergence of FAME on a local TV station. We learned of Gene’s passing just today.
    He was a talented man.
    Rest in Peace.
    Meemsta and Janegrl
    xoxo

  190. L. Surjik

    I too, am becoming recently reacquainted with the Fame troupe through its re-airing. I was just under the age of the actual performers when they first hit TV – a musician in a small prairie province, isolated and wishing I could have been in a school like that.
    I am only today learning of Gene Anthony Ray’s death.
    Seeing the series through 40 year-old eyes now it’s easy to confirm what I only knew intuitively as a 17-year old: that Gene Anthony Ray was a most genuine performer, the true heart of the show. He could cut through the saccharine-sweet writing to communicate something uniquely expressive and real.
    I hope he knew comfort in his last days.

  191. roger l Toronto

    I just found out while searching for the series on DVD. What a shock! Very upsetting. Here in Toronto out local “Much More Music” has begun re-airing episodes from the first season of Fame. I’ve wondered earlier this week why such a gifted man hadn’t rose to a much greater level of stardom. Gene Anthony Ray was truly the most gifted, awe inspiring dance prodigy I had ever seen. I’m even more impressed to have learned that he never attended a dance school prior to the original movie.
    My heart aches.
    Roger at 40

  192. Gez Wyn

    omg. Gene is my all time insparation m only 16 and have been dancing 3 years and Gene is the 1 who i look up too. im currently studying performing an and dance in college. im from wales in the UK college is a bit different to the american college. but Gene lives on with me. godbless.

  193. Laurie Bergen

    I just finished watching fame on muchmusic here in Canada. I just wanted to say, that Gene will be remembered and will live on in people like myself and in my children who also watch the show. Shining stars never fades!
    God bless

  194. Kathee

    Like many of the tributes I have read, I too watched Fame as a teenager and fell in love with “Leroy” and his magnificent dancing. After watching reruns on Much Music, I Googled a search on Gene and was deeply saddened to hear of his passing three years ago. He was a huge inspiration to me as a kid and had real talent. Type casting can be such a curse. I hope he is dancing with angles now…

  195. Sandra

    I just learned of his passing and am very saddened by this. I had always wondered of him and what he was doing. I loved him in the movie “Fame” and in the series. He will be greatly missed!

  196. Woman

    Someone has posted Fame episodes on YouTube. Check it out! Fabulous!
    Thank you, Mr. Ray. I will always love your work.
    Peace to your family and friends.

  197. Lola

    I was looking up the cast of Fame this past weekend & saw the website for YouTube. You are right it is excellent. I was also looking to buy the series, which I can now. This is where I learned about Gene Anthony Ray. I was so floored. I loved all the Fame charachters & have often wondered over the years what they have been up to. When I was in High School Fame was the biggest show to watch. My best friend & I would always go to dance on Fridays & ask our instructor to teach us the moves we had just seen that week. I was even nicknamed lil Leroy because he was my favorite as well as Bruno. I no longer dance, but my daughter does. She even watches the dance blurbs on the web site with me & tries to mimick them. What great innocence age 3 is. To my hero, you will always be remembered forever in my heart. To the Ray family, God bless you all.

  198. Bliss

    My daughter and I are watching “Fame” right now. She loves to dance and I borrowed the movie from our local library so she could see it. For me, Gene Anthony Ray as Leroy steals the show. I decided to look him up on the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) and was shocked and saddened to see that he passed on several years ago. But like someone else said, he’s dancing in a better place now. Lawd, some of the moves he did in his first dance scene made me blush and that just does NOT happen. LOL

  199. stee

    I loved Gene A.Ray!! I had such a crush on him while fame was on television. I had the chance to meet him once on the A train. He still looked great. I was too sad to read of his death. I hope he is dancing in heaven.

  200. Fred K

    I am touched when I read all of these tributes to Mr. Gene Anthony Ray. I knew he touched my life and so many others, but I had no idea this many. Everything being said is true: He was a gift from God! He almost had ME at the School for Performing Arts. As has been said before, he is now dancing with the angels – pain free. RIP

  201. Jo

    Gene Anthony Ray was my hero all through my childhood. He was the living proof that dreams do come true, and angels can dance. He will be so sadly missed.

  202. julie

    I’m from Ontario, Canada and started watching Fame on Much Music.
    The reason why I watched the show was because of Gene Anthony Ray..His dance moves were superior and he was enormously talented.
    He will be missed and hopefully he now dancing with the angels !

  203. Barbara

    Gene “Leroy” you are the best dancer ever…..every time fame was on I dream so much that one day I will meet you! You energize me!!! I was just reading all the mess and I learne that you where an amazing person in real life 2…my heart go to your mum and your family.
    I love you
    I hope to meet you in the next life…..

  204. Rose

    I just learned of Gene’s death today when I was reading an article on AOL about those that we’ve lost to AIDS. I watched every episode of fame. We was extremely talented for someone who received no formal training. God rest his soul. I watch my nephew dance and I see Gene. Dance with the angels with that beautiful smile. My prayers go to his family.

  205. Rose

    It amazes me how somethings with little or no value can be reviewed over and over again, but I grew up watching Fame, and consider myself a fan of (Leory)and the show’s cast. I didn’t learn of his death until today, my Kid’s and I were online doing some research on HIV in the African American Community. May God continue to Bless you Leory and your Family. You will be missed, Goodnight my Brother.

  206. Casey Nelson

    Gene was a friend of my mothers.
    She was Mrs. Berg on the series “Fame”. My mother loved him and admired his talent immensely. I was spending Christmas on Maui with her, my father,two brothers, respective wives, girlfriends and kids. While returning from surfing Honolua Bay with my two brothers, we spotted Gene walking with a girl who’s name escapes me now. We pulled up and told him we were Ann’s sons and that we were here on vacation. The only thing out of his mouth was “Where’s Ann”!?. Anyone with his popularity would have been skeptical. He and his friend agreed to get in the car with three unknowns and drive back to our condo in Kahana. We thought it best that we didn’t warn Mom so as to magnify the effect of seeing Gene. She almost had a heart attack. I’ve seen her thrilled but not like this. She looked like a little girl at Christmas. Rightfully so. It was after all Christmas.
    He spent several hours with us laughing,dancing,and charming us until it was time to go. He enriched our vacation more than anyone could have dreamed. Especially mom. Mom loved Gene. She passed on June 2nd, 1992. I personally cancelled casting calls for her that day and am thrilled that she worked up until the end. She took with her the memories of working on Fame. All of them were special. The one of Gene surprising her in Hawaii was another in a long line of beautiful moments in mom’s life. For this, I want to thank Gene from the bottom of my heart. From Bud, Andy, Sean and Casey, may Gene’s next dance be peaceful throughout eternity.
    Much Love,
    The Nelsons

  207. Darrell Standring

    For some strange reason, I started looking up “Fame” music on youtube.com. And so I started looking into the cast I grew to love in the 80′s, when I was struggling with my own ambitions to become a performing artist.
    Unfortunatley, I was unaware of Gene’s passing, and I am truly sad to know that he is gone. I can’t get out of my mind the performance he gave in the movie “Fame”, nor will I ever forget his performance in the “Fame” TV show, “Desdemona”!
    Gene, you touched my life in such a profound way when I was a teen, and I will forever strive to continue on in this world as a person who reflects the gift you’ve given to us all.
    Rest in Peace, my friend! Until we meet again,
    Darrell Standring
    San Francisco, CA

  208. Tember N,Zimbabwe

    l’m 29 now, was and still a big fan of FAME.l was watching TV today and happened to come across the movie ‘Fame’.l then decided to go on the internet so l could find out what some of the cast members were up to.l was shocked to find out that Gene had passed on some time ago.lts so sad how death can rob us of the loved ones.The worst part is that each and everyone of us is unique in our own way and are irreplacable.REST IN PEACE BRO..

  209. Glycerine

    I loved Fame as a teenager; both the movie and especially the TV program. I had a Fame nightshirt and all of the albums. I was a huge fan and was excited recently to find reruns on Muchmoremusic. As I searched online to see where all of the actors and dancers are now, I was shocked to read of Gene Anthony Ray’s death, now three years ago. I cannot understand how I didn’t hear of this before. Leroy was always my very favourite, and I am very sad to learn of Mr. Ray’s passing.

  210. Debbie

    Just finished watching another re-.run of FAME here in Spain. My daughter, Rebekah, is also a dancer and is too young to remember the first run but as she says the clothes may be hilarious but the dancing hasn´t dated!! What a tremendous loss to the danceworld! Gene Anthony your talent and enthusiasm will live on forever. You are sadly missed.

  211. Troy

    I don’t know how to describe Gene’s death. I really miss seeing him on TV. I am a eighties kid and wanted to dance like Gene, but the splits and the moves were way to advanced for me even to attempt. For that matter any professional dancer to attempt. I was really looking forward to seeing more of him on Tv.
    I really will miss him greatly.
    We love you Gene and thanks for the memories.

  212. Simo

    Words cant’ say what Gene’s memories can do! I grew up with Fame and I fall in love with him at fist sight…. I miss him greatly. Yor are always in my mind and my soul. Thank’s for yuor smiles that made me crazy and made me dream.

  213. Mark

    I too grew up with this amazing program………found out this news by chance!!!!
    I had just purchased the whole of series 1 on DVD and have just watched the episode ‘Tomorrows Farewell’.
    This is the one where Leroy tells his brother to move out……Whilst watching I was thinking what a brilliant actor & dancer and can remember thinking exactly the same thing 23 years ago.
    I decided to google his name to see what he was doing now in case I could purchase some of his more recent films etc etc……..and I met with complete devastation.
    Mr Ray…. you were one of my tv heroes in 1983 and still 24 years later you are still one of my tv heroes……and I cannot say that about many actors.
    Although we never met….. rest in peace my friend and BRAVO!!!!!
    From Mark in England!!!!

  214. Debbie

    When somebody dies, it’s always sad… However, it’s not death itself, but it’s the legacy that someone leaves behind that counts… And ‘Leroy’ certainly did. RIP Gene and everybody who has already left us… xxx from Debbie in Groningen, The Netherlands

  215. Wendy Flint

    It’s amazing where the web takes us. Cynthia Gibb is on a movie I’m watching tonight, and I wanted to see what else she has starred in since Fame. I went to the movie database and looked up each character from Fame to see what they all were up to these days. I never heard that Gene Anthony Ray had passed away. What a shame. I grew up in the 80′s watching this show. It was always an inspiration and such a great pool of raw talent, huh? You will be missed Gene, truly. Thanks to the blogger for keeping this entry and comments alive.

  216. Andrew Welford

    I purchased myself Fame season 1 last week it took me right back to my childhood, I new that Gene had been ill from a documentary I watched in 2003 then I seen last night on a Fame web site that Gene Anthony Ray had past away later that year, what a shock so much talent gone he will be sadly missed always. My sister and I grew up watching Fame in the 80s, when it started we would jump up and dance all over the fount room could never get enough of it. Even now at my young age of 38 still love it. Gene you will be sadly missed and always in my thoughts.
    Rest in peace and Don’t ever stop dancing…

  217. jessica green

    wow!
    this is really sad. I was just reading on the net about famous people who died of aids and Genes name was on there. I see other bloggers message that he died of a stroke, I’m not sure but , still it’s sad that after four years I am just learning of his untimely died. I guess its just like the lavert guy, his death was only skimly talked in the media about. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends. You will be sadly missed as I often wondered how you were doing. Now I know!

  218. jus

    in my early teenage years i was a mad fan of Fame and was lovin’ Gene Anthony Ray. me and my mate used to have a competition as to who could have the most posters and pics of him on our bedroom walls & ceilings!!!
    The Kids from Fame were the first concerts i ever went to and we were so close to the stage we were in our element watching Gene and the rest of the cast. he was a brilliant dancer, i loved his songs and he made the 80′s a special time for me. i still have their albums,annuals & badges etc!!
    i was saddened to hear of his death a couple of years ago whilst watching a docu about the cast of Fame. have just come across this site and felt i had to leave a message.
    it may be a well worn saying but.. FAME REALLY WILL LIVE FOREVER !!!!
    RIP GENE ANTHONY RAY – you r sorely missed

  219. LM Dallas

    I learned about a year ago that GAR had passed. He (and the entire cast) inspired me as a teen back in the 80′s. I even had the opportunity to work in show business with Debbie Allen,before embarking on a career in television news. Leroy, and Cocoa and Bruno and Mr. Shorofski and Ms. Berg and and and…will always “truly” live forever in our hearts. Thank you Lord Jesus for the promise that things will all be okay in the morning once we all “get to the house”. Bless you Lil’ Gene….

  220. Paul Rodgers

    I remember watching the film “Fame” and then I became hooked on the TV show. Gene was such a powerful force in “Fame”. He was Like Prince before prince was famous; in the sense of who is he, where did he come from, is he straight or gay? Unfortunately it is true that the flame that burns twice as hot burns twice as fast. I rented the film today from the library. And of course Leroy stole the show and that girl’s audition. What was she thinking?

  221. karen

    jesus theres so many tributes to ‘leroy’. in my youth i thought i was the only one that was totally mesmerised by him, but obviously not. i didnt even know he had died til tonight and i feel so bad now. he was pure raw talent.

  222. Jewel Gaynor

    I purchased the film FAME and after viewing it, became curious about the cast, i.e. “what ever happen to, etc.” and searched for Gene Anthony Ray. I was surprised that he died… I enjoyed his role in the TV series and it’s unfortunate that his life was stolen by wrong choices. If anything can be learned by this, it’s the Power of Choice… So for those of us who are just learning of Mr. Ray’s passing, let’s ask ourselves why and take stock of our own lives. Are we who we want or meant to be? If not, why not? If so, praise the Lord and continue therein. If not, then consider our own obituary. How will it read? What transpires between Birth and Death is our call. Faith without works will always be dead. Let’s live our lives to the fullest…. I’m approaching 49 and it ain’t over… Be encouraged.
    In closing, if you died today, are you confident of Heaven being your home. Have you guaranteed your salvation? Jesus died that you would have eternal life. He desires that you live an abundantly blessed earthly life. He is Lord. Accept Him today. Invite Jesus into your heart. He loves you.
    Let’s pray… Father I believe that you’re God and you send Jesus to die for my sins and now He sits at your right hand. I renounce the works of satan and acknowledge that I’m a sinner and ask your forgiveness and thank you for it. Jesus dwell within my heart, make me whole, cleanse me from unrighteousness and shed your love through my heart-that I may love others. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and my heavenly language (tongues) that I may praise you in spirit and truth. Thank you for saving me and enabling me to become a born again Christian through you, Jesus. Thank you for salvation. Thank you for loving me with such great love. And thank you for leading me to this point to receive you as Savior. The devil is defeated. Jesus, you are Lord and you, God are still on the throne. Amen.
    Welcome to God’s family. I love you in Jesus. Ta-ta for now and Abundant Blessings to you… and if anyone thought this was inappropriate, know that the invitation is given at funerals too! Believers call them Homegoing Celebrations! There is never a wrong time to get right with God… And I’m certain those that have just experienced healing aren’t complaining… Hallelujah!

  223. Jewel Gaynor

    I purchased the film FAME and after viewing it, became curious about the cast, i.e. “what ever happen to, etc.” and searched for Gene Anthony Ray. I was surprised that he died… I enjoyed his role in the TV series and it’s unfortunate that his life was stolen by wrong choices. If anything can be learned by this, it’s the Power of Choice… So for those of us who are just learning of Mr. Ray’s passing, let’s ask ourselves why and take stock of our own lives. Are we who we want or meant to be? If not, why not? If so, praise the Lord and continue therein. If not, then consider our own obituary. How will it read? What transpires between Birth and Death is our call. Faith without works will always be dead. Let’s live our lives to the fullest…. I’m approaching 49 and it ain’t over… Be encouraged.
    In closing, if you died today, are you confident of Heaven being your home. Are you assured of salvation? Heaven or hell? Jesus died and was resurrected for your benefit and that of having eternal life. He desires that you live an abundantly blessed earthly life. He is Lord. Accept Him today. Invite Jesus into your heart. He loves you.
    Let’s pray… Father I believe that you’re God and you send Jesus to die for my sins and now He sits at your right hand. I renounce the works of satan and acknowledge that I’m a sinner and ask your forgiveness and thank you for it. Jesus dwell within my heart, make me whole, cleanse me from unrighteousness and shed your love through my heart-that I may love others. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and my heavenly language (tongues) that I may praise you in spirit and truth. Thank you for saving me and enabling me to become a born again Christian through you, Jesus. Thank you for salvation. Thank you for loving me with such great love. And thank you for leading me to this point to receive you as Savior. The devil is defeated. Jesus, you are Lord and you, God are still on the throne. Amen.
    Welcome to God’s family. I love you in Jesus. Ta-ta for now and Abundant Blessings to you… and if anyone thought this was inappropriate, know that the invitation is given at funerals too! Believers call them Homegoing Celebrations! There is never a wrong time to get right with God… And I’m certain those that have just experienced healing aren’t complaining… Hallelujah and don’t forget to find a good teaching church and start reading your Bible!
    Recommended ministries: Joyce Meyer (joycemeyer.org); Creflo Dollar (worldchangers.org); Kenneth Copland (kcm.org); and Frederick K.C. Price (faithdome.org)

  224. Jeanette

    It is an injustice that Gene Anthony Ray’s death was not only reported but that fans did not have a chance to mourn together and celebrate his life and talent. Thanks for the blog. I feel like a fool only learning about his death today when I googled Mr. Ray to learn what had become of him. Rest in Peace!

  225. Trenia in Chicago

    Wow~I just watched the movie for the first time in years and decided to do a search. I had no idea he was dead. Never heard anything about it. He will be missed.

  226. Thorsten

    Wow, I´m from Germany and I see the movie Fame just in this moment in german TV and so I googled him to learn more about other films he played in.
    I never heard about his death until i see this site.
    I will miss him.

  227. antonella tuscano

    Ho sognato un tempo non troppo lontano di volare e la danza mi ha permesso di farlo.Poi ho conosciuto te jene anthony ed il sogno è diventato realtà.Porterò per sempre nel mio cuore il ricordo di un ballerino unico con una personalità straordinaria che lo poneva al di sopra di chiunque altro,ma porterò soprattutto per sempre nel mio cuore il ricordo di un ragazzo fragile,sensibile,di rara bontà e modestia nelle notti romane anni 90!GRAZIE LEROY MA GRAZIE ANCHE A JENE ANTHONY PERCHè PERSONE COME TE NON MUOIONO MAI MA BRILLANO NEL CIELO E NEL CUORE DI TUTTI QUELLI CHE COME ME TI HANNO AMATO!CONOSCERTI è STATA UNA DELLE COSE PIù BELLE DELLA MIA VITA.ANTONELLA DA ROMA

  228. Isabel

    Was just driving back home today and for some reason Gene came to mind. I realised that i had never googled him to find out what he was up to. Fame is one of my childhood movies and one of my favourites so have it in my collection. Gene is dead , I can’t believe it. For the past four years thought this man was alive.someone with so much passion to dance,has still been an inspiration to many to fulfill their dreams. His legacy still lives on. He will never be forgotten.

  229. Christopher

    I grew up loving Gene from a distance. He was just the most professional dancer that we have seen in a long time. No one has been able to come behind him and take the audience like he could. It still bring tears to me tha he is no longer with us.
    Gene do take your final dance with the angels and keep everyone smiling.
    Love always

  230. Cassandra

    I sit here with tears streaming down my cheeks at the discovery that Gene passed away many years ago and i only just discovered it today. I only commented today to a friend that he was perhaps the most talented and believable of the cast of FAME. I love you Gene, may you rest in peace and dance on clouds.

  231. Tracy

    I live in New Zealand and also watched Fame religiously. I have just finished watching the movie and also googled Gene only to find out about his death many years ago. What a waste of talent. Hopefully he’s at peace now.

  232. Brett

    He was gorgeous and talented. He is part of the reason I came out in the early 80s. I miss his talent and charisma. Like a long lost love, I miss him sweetly and dearly.

  233. Rhonda

    To everyone who wrote in,
    thanks you all for all the care, concern, and the abundance of prayers. He will be missed. I too watched “FAME” but I had a very different seat. I actually watched the boy grow into a man. I am amazed at the many lives he touched by doing what it seems like he was born to do, “DANCE” Maybe there is something to the process of being born feet first.(smile)One thing for certain. He is pain free and two things are for sure.Wherever you find music and a stage in heaven. You’ll find Tony.
    Til we meet again Tony.
    Your big sister

  234. crystal

    you were my friend.when i went thru a divorce and was a battered house wife you hid me and my child from my crazy husband. you did not know me but i was intrduced to you from a mutual friend. Years have passed and i wanted to tell you thank you for giving me and my little girl a chance at being domestic violence free.I was sad to learn that you have gone on.My daughter has 2 sons and I am about to wed a good man. I miss u Gene R.I.P.
    Crystal

  235. Troy

    I have been to this site before and I look at how many more posting have been applied since mine and there are a BUNCH. I once was told that, true fame is not how much you love, but how much you are loved by others.” The vastness of these post we know that we will “REMEMBER HIS NAME.”
    WE WILL MISS YOU GENE…
    GOD BLESS AND THANKS AGAIN FOR THE EVERLASTING MEMORIES AND WHAT IT TAKES TO GET TRUE FAME.
    Troy

  236. mike liverpool uk

    sat on you tube today looking back at the kids from fame series.. so sad that he has passed away.
    he really had to endure some tough times, but i bet there were times when he had to pinch himself. a star of a world wide hit, and pin up for millions of girls. through his art he gave alot, to alot of people rest in peace

  237. andre soriano

    Hey TonyRae,
    This is freakie, today I was bored and decided to surfing on line…Tony you came to my mind and decided to google your name. To my surprise,! today is the anniversary of your death pretty weird huh. Miss the crazy nights and mornings lol. hanging out with you in the NYC Bar scenel
    Still makes me laugh the day you jump pigy-back on Sergio’s back having just met him.
    RIP my freind

  238. big fan

    I grew up watching Fame, my room was decorated with Fame memorabilia, and owned all of the albums. I am sitting here watching all the Fame dvds that were given to me as a gift, I am sharing with my children all my memories of the show. Those were the days. My crush was Gene Anthony Ray it was a big crush. I am now a dance studio owner and feel 12 again just watching it, it has definitely played a role in going after my dreams. So sad for the tragedy in the Ray family. Pretty shocking, makes me so sad how troubled and lost he must have been. What a reminder of where our hope has to be.

  239. Marcel

    He was the best raw talent of his day. I’ve spent time reading the tributes in his BLOG and find it a disappointment that “Posted by sarah on January 16, 2004 1:30 PM” spoke of his illness. Not that it is shameful. It is however, private. She could just have stated that she met him. It was not necessary to clarify at what specific illness facility.

  240. Bernie

    Just watching the film Fame and decided to google Gene Anthony Ray to see where he was now. Never knew how his life had turned out. To me he is frozen in time as the sex symbol of my late teens. When some of my friends liked Bruno it was always Leroy for me. Here I am a middle aged 41 year old woman and I remember Leroys character as if it was yesterday. Amazing dancer, gorgeous, sexy, wild….
    To any of Gene Anthonys family or friends reading this – remember all the pleasure and entertainment he gave to teenagers all over the world in the 80′s. Gone but not forgotten….

  241. Nina

    Just the other day, for some reason, I remembered my all-time favourite show when I was a kid and decided to look for some information on the Fame cast. I was literally shocked to find out that my favourite dancer has passed away. So much time has passed by since I watched the movie or the show – it was never aired in Croatia, and hearing about Gene’s death brought me straight back to those beautiful days of childhood and big dreams.
    Thank you Gene for being a Big Dreamer and great Starmaker. I will definately always Remember your name.
    Thank you for giving me my dreams!
    May you dance in heaven forever!

  242. Julius Anthony Pace

    Gene you were one of a kind. When I watched you in fame (the movie and television series) to me you were like the guy next door. You will be sincerely missed. Rest in peace “Leroy.”
    I’ll always remember your name!
    JP

  243. Farrah

    Gene Anthony Ray, was one man that I truly adored. I was very upset to hear of his death. Way too soon! I thought he was one of the most gorgeous men I ever saw, and for me it was love at first sight. I hope you are happy and dancing wherever you are.
    Love Farrah

  244. Calvin N Philly

    I thought after all these years that his death was not true,but after a while,you come to the realization that it’s true,which makes me sad because he reminds me of my older Brother.But the good thing about this is that because he is an Israelite,that means that the Most High will Reincarnate him as the Righteous Israelite that he was supposed to be.

  245. Philippe

    Searching information about Fame, I just learned today that Leroy passed away in 2003. It touched me deeply. I felt like that a part of my teenager’s time was fading away. I admired him, his energy and his commitment. Stars never die. Rest in peace.

  246. Mikki

    I learned these days on Xmas (while watching the 1st session of fame)that Leroy passed away in 2003. It touched me so deeply, because Leroy was the man I admired and loved so much in the 80ies. He was a part of me when I was a teenager and so I feel like that part of me just fade away.
    I never will forget him……
    HEROES NEVER DIE!!!!!!

  247. Linda Chavis

    While watching the the movie fame I was remembering how I could never take my eyes off Leroy’s dancing. It was hipmotizing to watch him then and I still love to watch him every chance I get. I beleive Gene Anthony Ray should be listed with the hollywood greats such as Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., Fred Astaire and Bo Jangles. Maybe a different style but equally as great.
    Jesus wept.

  248. KCSunshine

    As an eighties kid myself, now grown up and directing a production of Twelfth Night set in the 80s, I was trawling through Fame imagery and thought I’d check out what ol’Leroy was doing these days – I’m stunned! Amazed I hadn’t heard before, but what a shocking waste of a talent. I really, really loved Fame with an addiction as a little kid (8+) and we all thought we were going to be in it when we were older.
    My tribute to G.A.R. is Malvolio comign on in grey zip up hoody, gery jogging pants, yellow t-shirt and yellow legwarmers in THAT scene! So 80s, so iconic!
    RIP

  249. Troy

    I will be visiting New York very soon,… does anybody know where I can find Gene’s burial site? I would really like to visit. Will be coming a long way from Tennessee.

  250. Deborah Carr

    I have a program called VEOH TV on my laptop and saw in the updating program old series of Fame. I grew up with this program and absolutely loved! As many have stated before me, Gene Anthony Ray “Leroy” was very talented and truly enjoyed watching him dance! I went on line to try to see what he was now doing and was so shocked to see he had passed! May the peace of God that passes all understanding continue to be with his family.

  251. Leigh

    I loved watching Leroy. He was one of the reasons I went to the School of the Arts. When I ran across the 1st season in a pawn shop…I had to get it. I decided to google Leroy to see what he was up to. Aghast! He is no longer with us. He will be missed.
    Leigh

  252. Dave

    Gene-
    I still remember the day we met on Greenwich Street by 7th Ave and I am here remebering you twenty years later. Rest in peace….
    Love.
    xxoo DAVE

  253. Timothy B

    I just got finished watching fame. I had a performance yesterday, i dance, and my friend told me that i remind her of leroy. i laughed, because i always looked up to him. RIP MR. GENE ANTHONY RAY
    xoxo TIM

  254. Barbara

    I knew of Gene’s passing but I saw the Fame movie last night for the first time is quite awhile.
    I loved the movie and the tv show.
    Gene Anthony Ray was an incredible dancer, way better than anything you see today. He could do it all. God blessed him with a wonderful gift. It still saddens me so that he is gone, and so young.
    I am glad to have read his mom is ok.
    God rest his soul, and thank you Gene for the entertainment you gave and are still giving us.
    That man could dance!!!!
    I love the part when he was just there to help his cousin out and she stunk, he outshined her and everyone!! She reminded me of the losers of American Idol, cursing them out.

  255. Robin

    5/10/08
    I just watched FAME. I hadn’t seen it for a while. It brought back memories of the excitement of my youth and how such a movie was so inspirational. I enjoyed it. It seemed timeless. It was a mix of dreams and reality. I was happy, I cried. I was surprised that those feeling still surfaced after seeing it after all of this time.

  256. Carol

    I just watched Fame again. I make sure to watch it when it comes on either cable or t.v. I love this movie!! I especially enjoyed watching the different characters. I was heart broken to hear that Gene Anthony Ray had passed. I think I was in shock for a few minutes. I will and do miss him. And will ALWAYS watch Fame.

  257. gil from france

    He was so magic ,his body ,his eyes and when he danced it was a real pleasure to see him. than you for all Mr GENE.
    IF ANYONE HAD MEET ,HIM IS IT POSSIBLE TO EXPLAIN HERE WHAT KIND OF MAN HE WAS IN REALITY.
    I will come back to read it later thanks

  258. julie Crouzet

    quoiqu’il se passe ,qu’il arrive, il y a des gens dont on oublie pas la grace la classe. Gene en fait part! julie.

  259. Colin Mathura-Jeffree

    When I was a child we watched FAME in New Zealand.
    My brother , sister and I had a passion toward dance- so much so that our Mother enrolled us in Ballet and modern dance….at school when people found it they thought it was amazing because of Leroy on FAME. I would brag- “yeah its just like that…” I was like 8/9 years old!
    It had a strong part of making me who I am today…with sweat!
    Gene Anthony Ray was a stunning man and intense performer.
    BUT now as an adult I see such a warmth in his eyes.
    I wonder if he ever knew what he gave the world…Im certain that the heavens are blessed with him.
    Im so saddened to have read he had died. His inspiration will live through FAME.
    Colin
    New Zealand

  260. Frédéric Dirr

    Gene Anthony Ray était un homme vrai, il à vécu sa vie avec l’énergie d’une personne qui voulait rendre possible que plusieurs communautés puisse vivres ensemble. L’art de la danse, les blancs les noirs, toutes les communautées qui puissent se réunirent pour en finir avec la haine. Vive l’AMOUR……..
    Fred

  261. Maria

    I was sitting here watching my favorite show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” and of course I thought of my favorite male dancer, Gene Anthony Ray. I wondered what he was up to these days, so during a commercial I “googled” him. I was blown away when I found out he had died…almost 5 years ago!!! How could I have not known?!? Then it hit me, I was caring for my brother who died almost a year later in 2004 from lung cancer. My brother was just 42. Wow, two very bright lights taken too soon. May they rest in peace.

  262. Marlene

    I too love Gene Anthony Ray, and attended his funeral. It was sad. His mom even came to my house because of a letter I had written to her, which really touched her. I almost didn’t let her in , because I didn’t know her and I don’t open my door to strangers, so she slipped the letter I had written to her under my door, and when I read it, I could have passed out. I was so sorry and embarrased for not letting her in at first. Anyway, I met Gene at a club once, and he was the sweetest, considerate person I ever met. When he kissed me, I thought I’d never wash my face again. Back to the funeral, the only celebrites that was there was “Debbie Allen” and the dancer Eartha from the show fame. I forgot Earth’s last name. Debbie came in so late, that they had already closed the casket, and they had to reopen just for her. I think that was planned because she wanted to make a big entrance coming down the aisle with her huge fur coat. I also came in with his manager ‘Selma Rubin and her husband, they were very nice too. I met his nephew and his aunt who were very nice to me considering I didn’t know anyone there. To be honest, I think I was about the only fan there, everyone else seemed to know each other and probably were his family and personal friends. It was a very huge funeral though. If anyone wants the address to his burial, email me, as I have it and have been to it twice already, but he doesn’t have a headstone, and probably won’t get one, so I was glad to put flowers down with his name on them. The cab driver helped me find his spot. I can give you all the details, I’m sure he would be happy to have you pay respects. Out of respect, I dont want to put his grave info on this blog for public viewing, for personal reasons and for the one or two haters to see. Email me at peace352@wetv.net, and put Gene’s name in the subject field. AND PLEASE, ONCE I GIVE YOU THE INFO, DON’T POST IT ON THIS BLOG AS IT’S PRIVATE, but I am more than happy to give it to his true fans. THANKS
    Marlene

  263. wmcalp

    Honestly I found the series Fame rather pretentious. When I watched it, I felt as though the cast were conveying a feeling that they were somehow above the world, with that “I’m going to live forever” or “I’m going to shoot like a star”. The cast also conveyed the feeling that they were above being ordinary human beings, but destined to some fanatical euphoric place that only few could achieve; seemingly by backbiting, backstabing, being obnoxious, arrogant and defeatist. I hated the show; didn’t like Leroy as an actor or singer; didn’t care for the cast and certainly didn’t like his coache’s attitude either, yet I watched the program anyway, trying to figure out how or why did they have such a narccistic(sp) and arrogant approach to mere entertainment. Yet, reality has proven that they are not those stars that they cracked themselves up to be or able to live forever based on their own reasoning. Yet Leroy in particular proved to be just a mere, fragile and vulnerable human beings subject to the same fate as any other human being.

  264. MHill

    I was saddened by the news of Gene’s death; I knew him as “Tony”. We grew up in the same neighborhood; I lived on 154th St. and he lived around the corner, on 153rd St. I remember this little boy that could dance his behind off, and at all our block partys you could count on him to be one of the performers. I knew several members of his family, all of them had a very giving spirit.

  265. Jazmin

    This Is Very Sad.
    I Know U Are Watching Me Write This, But May God Bless Your Soul.
    And I AM Gonna Be A Good Dancer And Im Going To Try To Be The Best Dancer..

  266. Andy Campbell

    Whilst checking to see when the rest of the Kids From Fame series are being released I came across the info re the death of Gene Anthony Ray.
    He and all the other talented actors in the series gave me and my best friend Sandy who lived with me at that time,such happy times,as fairly young men living in London in the early 80′s. What a wonderful time and happy memories.Dancing in Bolts etc.
    So sad to hear of another talented young mans death.
    Thank you for the fun and memories of Fame, and Kids From Fame
    Andy Campbell
    23 October 2008

  267. Barbra

    I knew him as Tony. I am heartsick at the news of his death. I had no idea. I met him at a Bloomingdale’s after hr party in the 80s while working for Calvin Klein. He and his friend Regina joined us for a Thanksgiving Day Parade showroom party we hosted and later for dinner at my Scarsdale home. People followed him down the street like the Pied Piper. He would do some groovy dance moves and kicks and we’d all go crazy. He was so full of raw talent and life, I know he will be eternally missed by many. Peace be with you.

  268. BJ

    I’m a 25 year-old gay young black man and two years ago I knew absolutely nothing about Gene Anthony Ray or Fame. Needless to say the movie came out before I was born and I was a baby while the TV show aired. I have a friend who turned me on to the movie and the hype associated with it. I instantly fell in love with none other than “Leroy” and I think he is so HOTT!!! Due to my infactuation, I researched the movie to see what actor played the role of Leroy and obviously I found out that he was played by Gene Anthony Ray. I had became highly interested in what he was doing now ,however, I was so disappointed to found out that he had passed away. But let me say that not only was I fascinated by his good looks and talent but I admired his free spirit as a person. Thats something I aspire to myself as that kind of attitude can take you to another place in life mentally. Even after his death he is still gaining fans and has defintely gained one in me.

  269. davone massenburg

    i was a production assistant for lorimar pictures in 1987,and i had the chance to hang out with tony at his marina del rey apartment and drank many nights at the cheesecake factory right across the street.tony and his friend daryl as well as myself,all atended the fame rap party in june of 1987…i miss him and all his colors…davone massenburg…

  270. tarayc7

    Gene Anthony Ray (Leroy)
    It was because of him that I realized that dancing was more than what we saw on the streets. Because of him, I realized that dancing was such a beautiful thing. It takes a beautiful person on the inside to make such a small thing like dancing, pure, beautiful,elegant and graceful. Because of him I am a true dancer at heart.
    I was truly saddened to hear that he had passed away at such a young age. But it was refreshing to catch a glimpse of him in Austin Power’s goldmember.
    The world has lost a great talent, a great friend, a great son and a great dancer.
    Will you remember his name…
    Tarayc7

  271. Audrey

    Just learned the sad news. I met him when I was 10 yrs old back in 1983. He lived in the same apartment complex I lived in in West Hollywood on Palms Ave. He used to be at the pool all the time and would end up dancing and entertaining me. He was just so sweet. He invited my parents and I at the premiere of “Wargames” and got us some passes to see Fame tapings. All I remember is that he was not pompous at all, he was a very loving person, and was full of hope for the future. The whole cast of Fame was actually very gracious during my visits, often stopping tapings when I wanted to speak to them. When I came back to the U.S.A in 1998, I wanted to reconnect with him, but learned he had moved to Italy (an irony, since I was in France before). Gene, I too wish we could have seen each other again and will always remember the kind words you had for me when we went to Islands on Pico with my family, may you rest in peace…

  272. Terri Lane

    Amazing how many people have posted here and for so long; if only Tony knew how respected and admired he was, perhaps it would have given him the strength to get past the booze and drugs and soldier on. There would have been so many opportunities for him in television and film today – his intensity was real and so was he. He left an indelible impression on all of us, whether we knew him personally or not. Judging by the posts from those that did know him, he was truly special, and I continue to feel his loss and will always remember him. =:)

  273. gil

    HELLO,
    i’m gil from france,i can’t explain the reasons but i would like to speak with someone who knew gene .
    I m shure he was a real very sympatic man.And i don’t speak about his talent , what a wondeful dancer…
    What’s append really , drugs ,aids how a so wonderful person can be so alone, it’s impossible?
    I know debbie allen try to help him but it was’nt enough.
    If she reads me ,she can answer me, i’ m just a simple man who live in France but i’ve received your message gene , thanks for all .
    GIL

  274. Jennifer

    It’s never to late to say good-bye. I grew up as a teenager watching Gene on Fame. I felt like my heart dropped when I read he had died in 2003. I wrote about him being my hero when I was in tenth grade and had the opportunity to write him about it. He’ll be missed by many.

  275. James

    With the news of a “new” Fame movie in the works,i only hope that this fine actor will get his due in some form,i am so shocked & sad at how little to no news of his death was passed on in and around 2003. likewise i noticed when the great Earth Kitt passed, there was just a brief mention of her in the news. So sad Gene’s death went virtually unnoticed by the media & us fans didn’t know until a long time later that he had passed. Much love to Gene he was an inspiration to many(myself included) We will remember your name!

  276. ed

    I was a theatre projectionist in 1980 when Fame came out, and thought Gene was such a sexy man in the film, Yea, I`m gay and loved watching him dance every time he was on screen. I just bought a copy of the film on VHS recently, and it brought back memories. Then I went on my computer to look up his name to see where he is today, and that`s when I learned about his death back in 2003 and that he was gay. He was such a beautiful man. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace G.A.R. We love you.

  277. Pam

    In 1982 or 1983, I am not sure exactly which year, I was doing the Universal Studios tour in Los Angeles, and volunteered from the audience to participate in a “movie scene”. Volunteers were ushered back stage, given costume accessories and quick stage instructions, and a movie about bank robbers was filmed. I was surprised to find myself with Gene Anthony Ray and two of his friends, also audience volunteers, doing this for fun. They were all so nice and friendly, he was almost embarassed to admit he had been in a real movie. I will never forget my very fun brush with “Fame”! It sounds like others had similar experiences – he will not be forgotten.

  278. Chele

    God Bless you Gene. I just watched FAME on TV One and it was better than I remembered. I didn’t know you died but just decided to look up your name on line. So sad. Such a great talent.

  279. mark ford

    With the upcoming FAME movie was curious about Gene as we had meet briefly in California before his move to Italy. Having read what has been mentioned in the obits i can now understand he was “reaching out” for help when we met. I’m remembering a nice guy, very talented who perhaps didnt have someone to pull in the reigns. He called me once when he got to Milan but we never connected.. would have enjoyed being his friend had we lived closer & perhaps uncovering a needed friendship with some tough love. My memory is long and will always smile when thinking of him. Mark

  280. Images

    Gene Anthony was an inspiration to me as a teenager and a young adult. I recently saw the new version of the movie FAME. It is nothing like the original which I just watched a few minutes ago…Wow!…It still has a phennomenal impact over me…Gene was an inspiration and beaming light for all people have dreams of being an entertainer. My prayers go out to his family and friends may he rest in peace forever!…and for those who didn’t know or appreciate him…You truly missed an opportunity…He was truly phenomenal and he will be a part of movie history forever!

  281. Zo

    Wow, Gene Anthony Ray was so cool when I was eight years old my aunt an I when to the chinese man theaters in Hollywood and I met Gene, he was so nice he even let us seat with him, he danced with such passion he will be missed R.I.P.

  282. POLO

    I’m watching a FAME marathon on centric today…I am a lesbian but even as a child I loved how he danced…and today I realize he was beautiful. I am glad they are airing this today.

  283. marvin-g

    I remebethe familyr seeing Gene in 1982 and he was telling me and the fellas about his movie Fame,we were down at the Dunbar(a bar)in Harlem he was so happy and a pleasure to talk to u will be missed.To

  284. shannon

    Wom..it is 2009 and I have been rewatching the Fame episodes on Centric. Like many, I too, thought that “Leroy” was amazing in his role. I was shocked and saddened to read of his death. I am sure he is “dancing with the angels”.

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