Actor Johnny Ray Gibbs was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up in a small 3 bedroom house with 9 siblings. His Father wasn’t around much and his mom worked 2 jobs as a waitress. His Father would send money when he could, but Gibbs was always perplexed at why he didn’t hang around. It was tough growing up with no parental supervision. He was always getting into trouble. He was mostly a loner.
How did you get involved in acting? “I didn’t watch a whole lot of T.V. growing up so I never really even thought about acting until my sister called me into the living room one day and told me that my neighbor Eric Roberts was on T.V. I thought, “How cool is that!” “I wanted to be like Eric Roberts from that day on.”
It was Spring of 1983, Gibbs and his friends were hanging out on Ft. Lauderdale Beach.They were approached by a couple of strangers and we were offered background roles for the movie “Spring Break.” “ We got paid with all the beer and pizza they wanted.”
Everything sort of comes natural to be. I really feel I was born for this. At least that is what others tell me.
Gibbs has officially been typecast as a Biker or Cowboy. His rugged looks sealed his fate. He has enjoyed every moment of it. He learned how to ride a motorcycle at 16 and a horse.
“I don’t mind playing a Cowboy. I’ve played Cowboy quite a few times now and have several projects in pre-production where I am going to play a Cowboy. I am taking lessons still today. Falling off a horse is no fun. We’ll talk about that some other time.”
Gibbs was invited to play a character in the film. “Demonic Dead.” with his childhood neighbor, Eric Roberts. “Was this really happening to me, I thought?” “It was by accident that I ran into Eric at a Hollywood convention 2 days before the movie shoot.” “I went to the hotel where the convention was being held to meet a friend to sign some movie posters. I took a break from signing and went into the restaurant to get a coffee unaware there was even a convention going on. I was approached by a young man who asked me if I was an Actor. I was like, uh yeah, but I’m a nobody why do you ask? He said I looked familiar and asked if I was at the convention. We made small talk and I told him about the film I was doing there and told him Eric Roberts was in the film and I couldn’t wait to meet him after all these years. When he told me Eric was at the convention I froze. It was kind of freaky but I already knew things were supposed to happen you know. This was meant to be.”
In the film, “No Man’s Land,” Gibbs played yet another Cowboy Bandit. This film is in post-production and soon should be out on Netflix.
Gibbs has written, “Restless Hearts” which is a definitive collection of love poems. He also has songs on YouTube.
Tell us about your songwriting. “Okay, you’re going to love this.” “I haven’t been writing songs that long. Less than 10 years. I used to post my poems on Facebook. I wrote a poem called , “Take a look in the mirror.” and posted it. A lifelong friend, Tom Grogan, who is really into music told me that my poem sounded like a song. He told me all that was missing was a chorus and a bridge. I said, uh,what? What’s a bridge. I know a bridge you drive across but what does a bridge have to do with a song? He said we have to talk. So long story short and a few trials and error I wrote my first song.”