Clifford Gray (born Percival Davis. Alternate names: Clifford Grey, Tippi Gray, Tippi Grey, Tippy Gray, Tippy Grey. January 5, 1887 – September 25, 1941), was a British-born songwriter, film actor, and composer who also competed for the United States in bobsled from the late 1920s to the late 1930s.
Born in Birmingham, England
, Gray was educated at the King Edward VI school. Starting work as an actor after graduation, Gray moved into screen writing and song writing. He married Dorothy Gould
, and they stayed married until her death in 1940. They had two children. Gray died in Ipswich, Suffolk
Gray competed for the United States in bobsleigh
, winning a gold medal in the five-man event at the 1928 Winter Olympics
in St. Moritz
. He then followed up with a gold medal at the following Winter Olympics
in Lake Placid, New York
, this time in the four-man event. Gray also won a bronze medal in the four-man event at the 1937 FIBT World Championships
in St. Moritz. While winning all these medals for the Americans
, Gray retained his British citizenship. Gray's children did not find out about his gold medals until after his 1941 death. This was caused by Gray's personal modesty.
Gray's entertainment career spanned from 1914 until his 1941 death though fourteen of his works were used after his death.
As an actor, Gray appeared in 24 films between 1914 and 1922, starring in such films as The Crucible
(1914, pre-Arthur Miller
play of the same name), Madame Cubist
(1916), The Best Man
(1921), and The Man from Home
As a film songwriter, Gray's music appeared in 18 works between 1929 and his 1941 death. This included "Sally" (Sally
, 1929), "Sanitago" (In Gay Madrid
, 1930), "While Hearts Are Singing" (The Smiling Lieutenant
, 1931), "March of the Musketeers" (The Great Ziegfeld
, 1936), and "Good Luck" (Yes, Madam?
, 1940). After his death in 1941, Gray's best known song "If You Were the Only Girl (in the World)
" appeared in three films, including Lilacs in the Spring
(1954), The Bridge on the River Kwai
(1957), and The Cat's Meow
As a film writer, Gray wrote 35 plays between 1925 and his 1941 death, including Rome Express
(1935), and Yes, Madam?
(1939, which became a film the following year shown in the previous section). His best known screenplay after his death was Hit The Deck
which became a musical play in 1955.
Joining the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers
in 1925, Gray worked with Oscar Levant
, Jerome Kern
, and Al Goodman
. All told, Gray wrote 3000 songs in his life. Gray's great success was "If You Were the Only Girl in the World".