R.I.P. Forrest Compton, who played Col. Edward Gray on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

He also starred on a soap opera inspired by Perry Mason.

There was a pecking order in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter (Frank Sutton) chewed out Private Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors). He was a drill sergeant in the Marines, after all. But even Carter had to answer to somebody. That somebody was Co. Edward Gray, portrayed by Forrest Compton on five seasons of the Andy Griffith Show spinoff. He was the one who chewed out Gunnery Sergeant Carter.

It was the first major television role for Compton, who had served in the 103rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during World War II. (His character served at the Battle of Iwo Jima.) After the war, Compton went to college in his home state of Pennsylvania before heading to the Ivy League for a Master's degree from the Yale School of Drama. It was there he met and befriended Paul Newman.

His military and acting experience also served him well as a frequent guest star on Hogan's Heroes — he appeared as various characters in six episodes — not to mention as a military figure on The Invaders12 O'Clock High and My Three Sons.

In the 1970s, Compton found a home on daytime television, landing the lead role of Mike Karr on The Edge of Night, a legal soap opera inspired by Perry Mason. In fact, the series was meant to actually be a television adaptation of Perry Mason, until the network and creator Erle Stanley Gardner fought over whether to give Perry a love interest.

Compton was the third actor to fill play Mike Kerr on the series, a job he held from 1971–1984, when the soap came to an end.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Compton died on Sunday, April 5. He was 94 years old. 

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EarlThomas 52 months ago
Please play the old Vegas show with Robert Urich and Starsky and Hutch and The Adventures of Ellery Queen
mike 52 months ago
Please play Dennis The Menice TV series👦 from the late 1950's also Lassie 🐶🐾TV series from the 1950's !📺 Love to see them again !
DoubleNaughtSpy 52 months ago
Bummer. Best appearance in a Gomer Pyle episode: "Gomer, The Good Samaritan." Best rip of Sgt. Carter ever!

Guess that leaves Ronnie Schell (Duke) and Elizabeth MacRae (Lou Ann Poovie) as the last remaining semi-regulars of the series.
BrittReid 52 months ago
I remember him from Hogan's Heroes. R.I.P.
Moody 52 months ago
I don't know what the writer means with Co. Edward Gray but his rank on Gomer Pyle, according to his collar insignia was Lieutenant Colonel which is abbreviated LtCol by the Marines. He played the part well I thought. RIP Mr. Compton.
markrooks Moody 52 months ago
It’s true that the article should have referred to him as LtCol (silver oak leaf v. Eagle for “Full bird” colonel) but it is common in the military to drop the Lt as they did in the show. Same as LCDR becomes Commander in the Navy.
Moody markrooks 52 months ago
Yep, I'm well aware of that. I am a 22 yr Air Force veteran (SMSgt). I was just wondering what the "Co." in the article meant. It's obvious the author had no idea what rank he was or how to abbreviate it & was too lazy to look it up.
markrooks Moody 52 months ago
Yeah, I see what you mean.
15inchBlackandWhite 52 months ago
Wow, I had no idea he was still alive. I always thought Col. Gray was very cool. RIP.
cperrynaples 52 months ago
EON was one of my favorite soaps! When I heard about Compton's death, my first thought was why did it have to be corona?After that, I explored a link on Wikipedia that showed a recent picture of him and how he lived a full life! Even in his '90's he was still active in his community! RIP Mike Karr!
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