Mike Gray, one of the co-writers on the Oscar-nominated film “The China Syndrome,” passed away on Tuesday (April 30) of heart failure in his Hollywood Hills home, his family tells the Los Angeles Times. The author, activist and documentarian was 77.
Gray began working on “The China Syndrome,” a 1979 film about a cover-up at a nuclear power plant, after reading books and speaking with scientists about the dangers of nuclear power. His film proved incredibly timely: Three weeks after the movie opened, a nuclear actor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania went into partial meltdown.
Gray, who co-wrote the film with T.S. Cook and James Bridges, told the Chicago Tribune in 1998, “I meant ‘China Syndrome’ to educate people about what I’d found … that our heavy reliance on nuclear plants hadn’t been clearly thought through.”
At the time of his death, he was working on a still-untitled documentary about former Black Panther and Houston community organizer Robert E. Lee III.
Gray is survived by his wife, Carol, and their son, Lucas.