Spalding Gray's Body Found in River

03/08/2004 AT 04:57 PM EST

Authorities in New York have confirmed that the body of a man pulled from the East River this past weekend was that of "Swimming to Cambodia" actor-writer Spalding Gray, the Associated Press reports.

The discovery, made Monday with the help of medical X-rays and dental records, comes almost two months to the day after Gray, 62, walked out of his apartment in Lower Manhattan and simply vanished.

The cause of his death was still under investigation, according to Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner. But Gray was known to have been deeply troubled and had attempted suicide on a previous occasion, after a horrific head-on car crash during a 2001 vacation in Ireland left him disheartened and in poor health. (He had tried jumping from a bridge near his Long Island home in October 2002.)

Just last week, Gray's wife, Kathleen Russo, had expressed a dim hope that her husband might still be alive. She last saw him on Jan. 10.

"Everyone that looks like him from behind, I go up and check to make sure it's not him," Russo said in a phone interview with AP earlier this month. "If someone calls and hangs up, I always do star-69. You're always thinking, 'Maybe.'"

As the news service also notes, Gray, whose mother committed suicide when she was 52, spoke openly about taking his own life. In a 1997 interview, he even provided an epitaph for his tombstone: "An American Original: Troubled, Inner-Directed and Cannot Type."

Gray is survived by Russo, three children and a brother, Rockwell Gray, an English professor in St. Louis.

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