The film, which won an Oscar for Best Original Score and managed to convince a whole generation of the sartorial merits of legwarmers, led to the highly successful spin-off series on NBC which topped the ratings in the mid-Eighties. Playing Leroy, Ray was one of the few actors to star in both the film and the TV series and it was largely due to his presence that both were an instant hit. His chiselled looks and athletic physique combined with his formidable dancing talents made him a heartthrob among the programme's largely teen audience. In hysterical British fans turned up in their thousands as he and fellow cast members toured the UK, performing the show's greatest hits. Like his character in Fame , he was plucked from obscurity and was among the many who skipped school to attend the auditions for the film.
Gene Anthony Ray May 24, — November 14, was an American actor , dancer , and choreographer. He was known for his portrayal of dancer Leroy Johnson in both the film Fame and the — Fame television series based upon the film. He began performing early in life, street dancing  at block parties. Ray, said. Ray won the part of Leroy Johnson in the film Fame , which was released in His mom was dealing drugs during the filming. It was not pretty.
Fame was a cleverly edited slice of life at Manhattan's High School of the Performing Arts, where Leroy Johnson, noted for his balletic routines and flying mood swings, was one of several gifted hopefuls under the aegis of the tough, stick-wielding teacher Lydia Grant played by Debbie Allen and the stroppy Professor Shorofsky the late Albert Hague. It was Michael Gore's exuberant title song - Fame! Gene Anthony Ray was born on May 24 in Harlem and grew up street dancing. Later, like his character in Fame, he enrolled at the High School of the Performing Arts, only to be expelled after the first year. Ray was 17 when he auditioned for Fame.