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|Also Known As:||Vina Fay Wray||Died:||August 8, 2004|
|Born:||September 15, 1907||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Alberta, CA||Profession:||Cast ... actor screenwriter|
Gripped in the giant hand of "King Kong" (1933) in a simulated New York City on the RKO backlot, Fay Wray emitted screams of terror that reverberated throughout a nation stunned by the Great Depression. By the time the Canadian native was cast in the role of Ann Darrow, human inamorata of the eighth Wonder of the World, Wray was already a successful Hollywood actress whose previous leading men included William Powell, Gary Cooper and Fredric March. Her reputation with the major studios undermined by her marriage to brilliant but unstable writer John Monk Saunders, Wray divorced, remarried and retired on her own terms in 1942. The death of her second husband, screenwriter Robert Riskin, drove the aging actress back to work in character parts, including a comical turn as an affluent hypochondriac in "Tammy and the Bachelor" (1957). An iconic figure in cult film circles, Wray eventually turned her back on performing to enjoy frequent public appearances as herself. Living well into her nineties, Wray turned down the offer to contribute a cameo appearance to director Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of "King Kong" shortly before her death from natural causes in late 2004. Though she appeared in all manner of movies, from dramas and comedies to horror films and the early Westerns in which she had performed her own stunts, Fay Wray was resigned to the fate of being remembered principally for just one role, as well as for the honor of being cinema's first bona fide scream queen.
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