"Thriller" Actress "In Shock" Over Michael Jackson's Death

Ola Ray sued musician over famous video

By Owen Thomas
|  Wednesday, Jul 8, 2009  |  Updated 11:58 AM CDT
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"Thriller" Actress "In Shock" Over Michael Jackson's Death

Sony Music Video Enterprises

Ola Ray appears with Michael Jackson in "Thriller." The now-retired actress sued the musician in May over unpaid royalties.

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Ola Ray, the actress who filed suit against Michael Jackson last month after claiming he owed her royalties from the "Thriller" video, told KCRA Thursday "I'm a little bit in shock," on learning about the King of Pop's death.

Doctors pronounced Jackson, 50, dead Thursday after arriving at the UCLA Medical Center in a deep coma, a family friend told NBC News.

Ray, a resident of South Sacramento, Calif. played the female lead in the music video as Jackson's movie date, before Jackson underwent a scary on-screen transformation and plunged into a phantasmagoric dance routine. The 14-minute video, directed by John Landis, was one of Jackson's most famous performances and helped redefine music video from a promotional vehicle for songs to an art form in its own right.

Landis had also sued Jackson for royalties.

Ray did not offer KCRA, a Sacramento-based TV station, any other comment. She recently told the New York Daily News that she was a "stay-at-home mom," and avoids the limelight. She was arrested on a cocaine-related drug charge in 1992, and previously posed for a Playboy centerfold.

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