October 31, 2014: Remembering Wray Douglas

I received word today of the passing of longtime Stargate Special Effects Supervisor Wray Douglas.  It’s shocking and sad when someone so young leaves us, but doubly so when it’s someone as gentle and even-keeled as Wray.  Despite the occasional onset chaos or the rigorous demands of his job, he was always the calm in the eye of the storm – precise, professional, and infallibly pleasant.  I remember finding it ironic that, even though he specialized in pyrotechnic displays and visual spectacle, Wray was actually a very calm, quiet and fairly shy guy. Whenever I’d see him on set, I’d have to engage him in conversation first but, once we started talking about what he had planned for a certain scene or shot, his eyes would positively light up, that big smile of his would appear, and he’d happily chat until he was called away – usually to blow something up.  He loved what he did and it showed in his work and his attitude.   If you needed something from him, he would deliver in a big, big way, consistently surpassing expectations.  He was, without a doubt, the very best at what he did.

One of my favorite Wray stories came via former Stargate Co-Executive Producer Damian Kindler who was on set one day to oversee production on one of his episodes.  That particular afternoon called for a fairly intricate series of explosions – again, Wray’s specialty.  The director yelled “Action!”, the scene played out, and the SPFX team triggered the charges.  The series of explosions were nothing short of astounding and left everyone in attendance absolutely stunned.  And, as cast and crew stared, dumbfounded, Damian glanced over and spotted Wray and his long-time partner in onscreen mayhem, SPFX Master Scott Stofer, standing off by themselves, giggling in delight.

And that’s what I’ll always remember most about Wray Douglas: that almost childlike delight and palpable love he had for his craft.

The last time I saw Wray was back in September of 2010.  He was as relaxed and happy as ever, looking forward to a new, more relaxed, less explosive charge-laden chapter in his life.  And in that day’s blog entry, I’d written:

“Today, we said goodbye to Special Efffects Wiz Wray Douglas who rides off into the sunset after a dozen+ years spent sparking, flaming, dropping, ratcheting, and generally blowing all manner of shit up here on Stargate. You’ll be missed, buddy.”

And he will.  Big time.

29 thoughts on “October 31, 2014: Remembering Wray Douglas

  1. This was pretty shocking. My deepest condolences to you and his other family and friends. I remember seeing him in the SG1 DVD special features and from what I could tell he was a really cool guy. Very sad.

  2. My condolences to his family and friends. 🙁
    His work on Stargate was enjoyed immensely.

  3. My deep condolences to Wray family and friends.

    I hope he rides off into the sunset to a nice place full of explosives and all kinds of pyrotechnics to play witth.

  4. Joe, these blog entries are always so sad. Thank you for introducing us all the great people you work with, in front and behind the camera, and then letting us know when they pass.

    My first thought was, didn’t Wray Douglas step in for his working partner once for a Q&A? I looked back and found this:

    http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/november-22-2008-special-effects-master-scott-stofer-answers-your-questions/

    It turns out, it was the other way around. The questions were directed to Wray Douglas and his twin partner in crime, Scott Stofer, stepped in to answer them. Obviously they shared one of the coolest jobs in show business.

    My sincere sympathies go out to Wray’s personal and work family, and all his friends. His work was enjoyed by millions.

  5. Sad to hear Wray has passed away. I met him on the SGU set in 2010. He was indeed a very nice fellow.

  6. So sorry for the loss of your friend and associate.

    Praying for his friends and family.

  7. Sad news, sorry for the loss of your friend, condolences to his family and friends. He really did know how to blow things up with a passion.

  8. Thank you for the news and lovely remembrance Joe. Sincere condolences to Wray’s family and friends. May he enjoy eternity knowing that he did indeed bring wonder and delight to millions by just being his kind self and through his good works. Rest gently.

    2cats – Carol

  9. My condolences to you and Wray’s family, including his Stargate family. I knew of Wray’s work through Ivon’s Special Features. Remember the explosion on SGA Vegas? I loved that. Thanks for all the big bangs on Stargate. RIP.
    Chev

  10. Very sorry to hear of Wray’s passing. He played an important part in making the magic of SG1 become real. He will be missed. Sincere condolences to you, his colleagues and family.

  11. I’m so sad to hear this news. His work was spectacular in every way. And it sounds like he was still a kid at heart, and truly loved what he did. He really helped to make Stargate one of the best sci-fi shows ever.

    My sincerest sympathies to his family, friends, and to all who worked with him.

  12. Sorry to hear the news, it’s like the passing of Vince Flynn, my favorite thriller author? A mere coulpe of years younger than me, it makes one think about life.

  13. Thanks for this fine post, Joseph. I’m an old friend of Wray’s. His brother Kirk asked me to say a few words at the celebration of his life. As I didn’t know much of his career after about 1995, I was wondering if it would be ok to use some of your post in the eulogy. Please advise.

    1. Hi Allan,

      Of course. Feel free to use as much as you like.

      Wray was great at what he did and just a great guy all around. I have nothing but positive memories of him.

  14. Oh wow. How incredibly sad. So sorry for your loss and my condolences as well to friends and family of Wray Douglas. I apologize for the delay.

  15. How I came upon this I can’t remember – nor is it important – but Wray is my brother, thank you on behalf of my family for what I can only say is the most accurate portrayal of Wray I have ever heard – even though time has passed – he will forever be the most gentle, kind and brilliant men – Thank you – I will be sure to share this with our parents

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