More accessible to the average viewer than surgical footage—and an outstanding extra feature—is a complete monologue by Gray, A Personal History of the American Theater, videotaped in 1982. The live performance was taped in front of an audience and, although visually very primitive, offers a far different experience of watching Gray perform. At 95 minutes, this bonus actually runs longer than the feature film itself. The monologue is about Gray’s experiences in the ‘60s as a theater actor.
Tragically, Spalding Gray took his own life in 2004 following struggles with severe depression and a traumatic brain injury sustained in a car accident in 2001. The Criterion Collection has also issued the perfect companion piece to Gray’s Anatomy, Steven Soderbergh’s 2010 documentary about Gray’s life, And Everything is Going Fine. Together, the two films provide the perfect introduction to the late monologist’s work, as well as a fantastic way for longtime fans to remember him.