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

Ola Ray sued musician over famous video

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    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.