Linda Gray Finds Her Road to Happiness

A path well travelled

BY BONNIE SIEGLER

Linda Gray, the actress best known for her role as J.R.’s wife, Sue Ellen Ewing, on the show Dallas, just celebrated her 75th birthday in September 2015. The actress is taken aback by this milestone. “I got to this age and, honestly, I take wonderful breaths. [I find that] I am not critical or judgmental anymore. Instead, I giggle more and I don’t get hung up on things.”

Currently, Gray is looking forward to the myriad of opportunities the next decade has to offer. “I want to play with my grandchildren, travel, eat lovely foods, and be with beautiful people who don’t sap me, but energize me.” The busy actress, mom, and grandmother has discovered wellness strategies that keep her calm and centred when she becomes overwhelmed by her hectic lifestyle.

Her first memoir, “The Road To Happiness Is Always Under Constructions”, just arrived into bookstores and her recent role in Hallmark Channel’s “Perfect Match” was a favourite among viewers. “I don’t take all of this for granted,” says the iconic star. “I take a ‘gratitude walk’ every day because, number one, I have legs. When I had polio as a child, it was iffy. When I began writing my book, I realized my life has been very interesting in a non-sensational way. ”

EXERCISE
Besides her daily morning ‘gratitude walk,’ the former model meditates for 20 minutes every morning, exercises with free weights to boost her bone density, and then occasionally jumps on her rebounder trampoline. “I’ll watch morning television or listen to some Aretha [Franklin], Stevie Wonder, mixed with Sting, and Tony Bennett, while on my rebounder.” Gray places an emphasis on how much she loved music: “It’s for the soul.”

HYDRATION
Throughout her morning routine, Gray hydrates her system with six cups of water mixed with lemon juice. She says, “I don’t stand there and gulp it down…it’s a gradual thing, but it’s all about hydration.”

SKINCARE
For healthy skin, Gray dry brushes her entire body in the shower once she has completed her walk and meditation. “It only takes a few minutes, but it takes off all of my the dead skin. Afterward, I moisturize my body and I’m ready for my day.”

SUNSCREEN
Living and walking on her ranch outside of Los Angeles, Gray is a big fan of SPF protection and favours an organic-tinted moisturizer with a high SPF factor. Gray uses an oil to remove her makeup at night.

“I like to go through the ingredients of every product because I don’t like putting toxins and chemicals on my skin,” she says. There are a lot of those on the planet now; you can’t escape them anymore.”

FOODS
Gray is very cautious of not only what she puts on her skin, but what she eats as well. During the filming of the last incarnation of Dallas, Gray brown bagged the food she brought to work. “[I brought] a couple of hard boiled eggs, an apple with almond butter for that 3-o’clock crash, and a bag of goji berries mixed with pumpkin seeds,” she says.

For Gray, a typical breakfast can include some poached eggs on top of sautéed baby spinach, as well as a protein shake with almond milk, frozen pineapple and coconut oil. “I have lots of energy until a late lunch, which could be an arugula salad with salmon tossed with olive oil and lemon dressing. All my meals are very clean.”

THE PUBLIC EYE
Gray admits that growing older in the public eye can be a challenge. “I have been in the public eye most of my life and people remember me when I was 35 years old. Well, time changes, and skin gets looser,” she says. However, Gray hasn’t let age sap her confidence. “I think I look pretty good. My smile, the light in my eyes and a positive attitude are the results of a life well lived.” VM