Rhonda Fleming


Actor
Rhonda Fleming

About

Also Known As
Marilyn C. Louis
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
Born
August 10, 1923

Biography

A striking, red-headed leading lady of the 1940s and 50s, Rhonda Fleming was dubbed the "Queen of Technicolor" because of her highly photogenic green eyes and flaming auburn hair. She was signed by David O. Selznick directly out of high school and, after appearing in bit parts, was cast in her breakthrough role (her first in color and her first musical) opposite Bing Crosby in "A Connect...

Photos & Videos

The Killer is Loose - Lobby Card Set
Inferno (1953) - Lobby Card Set
While the City Sleeps - Pressbook

Family & Companions

Tom Lane
Husband
Married in 1940; divorced in 1942.
Lewis Morrill
Husband
Doctor. Married in 1952; divorced in 1954.
Lang Jefferys
Husband
Actor. Married in 1960; divorced in 1962.
Hall Bartlett
Husband
Producer, director. Married in 1966; divorced in 1972.

Notes

Some sources list 1925 as Ms. Fleming's birth year.

Fleming described her first onscreen appearance in Technicolor: "Suddenly my green eyes were green green. My red hair was flaming red. My skin was porcelain white. There was suddenly all this attention on how I looked rather than the roles I was playing. I'd been painted into a corner by the studios, who never wanted more from me than my looking good and waltzing through a parade of films like "The Redhead and the Cowboy". --quoted in PEOPLE, 1991

Biography

A striking, red-headed leading lady of the 1940s and 50s, Rhonda Fleming was dubbed the "Queen of Technicolor" because of her highly photogenic green eyes and flaming auburn hair. She was signed by David O. Selznick directly out of high school and, after appearing in bit parts, was cast in her breakthrough role (her first in color and her first musical) opposite Bing Crosby in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1949). Featured mostly for her decorative good looks, Fleming graced a number of Technicolor B-epics such as "Yankee Pasha" (1954), countless Westerns ("The Eagle and the Hawk" 1950) and in film noir played several femme fatale roles, such as the nervous secretary who frames a private eye for murder in "Out of the Past" (1947) and the adulterous wife in "While the City Sleeps" (1956).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Burt Lancaster: Daring To Reach (1996)
The Nude Bomb (1980)
Love For Rent (1979)
Maggie Lester
Last Hours Before Morning (1975)
Vivian Pace
Backtrack (1969)
Carmelita Flanagan
Run for Your Wife (1966)
Nita
The Patsy (1964)
Instant Love (1964)
The Revolt of the Slaves (1961)
Fabiola
The Crowded Sky (1960)
Cheryl Heath
The Big Circus (1959)
Helen Harrison
Alias Jesse James (1959)
Cora Lee Collins
Home Before Dark (1958)
Joan Carlisle
Bullwhip (1958)
Julia "Cheyenne" O'Malley
The Buster Keaton Story (1957)
Peggy Courtney
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
Laura Denbow
Gun Glory (1957)
Jo
Odongo (1956)
Pamela Muir
While the City Sleeps (1956)
Dorothy Kyne
The Killer Is Loose (1956)
Lila Wagner
Slightly Scarlet (1956)
June Lyons
Queen of Babylon (1956)
Semiramis
Tennessee's Partner (1955)
Elizabeth Farnham, also known as "The Duchess"
Yankee Pasha (1954)
Roxana [Reil]
Jivaro (1954)
Alice Parker
Serpent of the Nile (1953)
Cleopatra
Inferno (1953)
Geraldine Carson
Pony Express (1953)
Evelyn Hastings
Those Redheads from Seattle (1953)
Kathie Edmonds
Tropic Zone (1953)
Flanders White
The Golden Hawk (1952)
Captain Rouge, also known as Jane Van Corte and Lady Jane Golphin
Hong Kong (1952)
Victoria Evans
Little Egypt (1951)
Izora
Crosswinds (1951)
Katherine Shelley
Cry Danger (1951)
Nancy [Morgan]
The Last Outpost (1951)
Julie McQuade
The Redhead and the Cowboy (1951)
Candace Bronson
The Eagle and the Hawk (1950)
Madeline Danzeeger
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949)
Alisande La Carteloise
The Great Lover (1949)
Duchess Alexandria
Adventure Island (1947)
Faith Wishart
Out of the Past (1947)
Meta Carson
Abilene Town (1946)
Sherry Balder
The Spiral Staircase (1946)
Blanche
Spellbound (1945)
Mary Carmichael
Since You Went Away (1944)
In Old Oklahoma (1943)
Dance hall girl

Cast (Special)

The Life and Times of Gary Cooper (1995)
Interviewee
Ronald Reagan: An American Success Story (1989)
Remembering Bing (1987)
The Wildest West Show of the Stars (1986)
Legends of the Screen (1983)
Guest
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's Road to Hollywood (1983)
Guest
The Red Skelton Chevy Special (1959)
Guest

Cast (Short)

The Lion Roars Again (1975)
Herself

Life Events

1940

Spotted on the street by an agent while she was a 17-year-old high school senior; signed to a contract by producer David O Selznick who changed her name to Rhonda Fleming

1943

Film debut (in bit part), "In Old Oklahoma"

1945

First film role, as a nymphomaniac in "Spellbound"

1973

Broadway debut, "The Women"

1976

Starred in the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera revival of "Kismet"

1980

Final movie before "retirement", "The Nude Bomb"

1991

Made first TV appearance in almost 20 years as Robert Mitchum's wife in the TV-movie "Waiting for the Wind"

1991

With husband Ted Mann founded the Rhonda Fleming Mann Clinic for Women's Comprehensive Care at UCLA

Photo Collections

The Killer is Loose - Lobby Card Set
The Killer is Loose - Lobby Card Set
Inferno (1953) - Lobby Card Set
Inferno (1953) - Lobby Card Set
While the City Sleeps - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for While the City Sleeps (1956). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
Out of the Past - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several Behind-the-Scenes photos taken during production of the classic Film Noir, Out of the Past (1947).
Out of the Past - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for RKO's Out of the Past (1947). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
Out of the Past - Movie Posters
Here are a few movie posters from the classic Film Noir, Out of the Past (1947).

Videos

Movie Clip

While The City Sleeps (1956) - You'll Be Mine Walter (Vincent Price) who's just inherited a media empire, on the phone with wife Dorothy (Rhonda Fleming), who's in mid-dalliance with his ambitious underling Harry (James Craig), in Fritz Lang's While The City Sleeps, 1956.
Cry Danger (1951) - Better Grab Me Quick Settling in at an LA trailer park, newly cleared convict Rocky (Dick Powell) with his landlord (Jay Adler) when we discover why he's there, Nancy (Rhonda Fleming), the wife of his still-jailed also-innocent friend, arriving, early in Cry Danger, 1951.
Home Before Dark (1958) - Never Mention It Again Home from her year's stay in the mental hospital, husband Arnold (Dan O'Herlihy) recommends a nap for Charlotte (Jean Simmons), who's worried that she may have insulted step-sister Joan (Rhonda Fleming), in Home Before Dark, 1958.
Inferno (1953) - It's Not Like Killing Him Exactly Opening from director Roy Baker and Frank Cockrell’s original screenplay, much to be inferred as William Lundigan and Rhonda Fleming undertake suspicious activities in the Mojave, in the 20th Century-Fox 3-D Technicolor Western-Noir-Thriller hybrid Inferno, 1953, also starring Robert Ryan.
Inferno (1953) - Made To Order Introduction of Larry Keating as Emory, manager of Carson enterprises, on the phone, who has no idea that secret lovers Gerry (Rhonda Fleming) and Joe (William Lundigan) have seized the unexpected opportunity to leave her husband and their boss (Robert Ryan) to die in the desert, early in Inferno, 1953.
Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957) - No Women Gambling Still in Dodge City, Marshal Earp (Burt Lancaster) drops in to enforce his rule against women gambling on the north side, Laura Denbow (Rhonda Fleming) his target, in John Sturges' Gunfight At The O.K. Corral, 1957.
Spiral Staircase, The (1946) - When You're Cured The tempestuous secretary Blanche (Rhonda Fleming) informs the mute Helen (Dorothy McGuire) of her plans, dodges the tippling Mrs. Oates (Elsa Lanchester) then runs into trouble in The Spiral Staircase, 1946.
Alias Jesse James (1959) - Where Can I Find Jesse James? Bob Hope is life insurance salesman Farnsworth, in Missouri to buy back the policy he sold to Jesse James (Wendell Corey), whom he doesn't realize robbed his train earlier, and who visits with his bombshell fianceè Cora (Rhonda Fleming), in the Western comedy Alias Jesse James, 1959.
Alias Jesse James (1959) - Bret Maverick, Etc. Irritating citizen Queasley (Will Wright), Bob Hope and bride Rhonda Fleming, in a shootout cameo sequence, first James Garner in Maverick mode, then Ward Bond, James Arness, Roy Rogers, Fess Parker, Gary Cooper, Jay Silverheels and Bing Crosby, near the end of Alias Jesse James, 1959.
Golden Hawk (1952) - Throw The Wench Back In Amid battle between ships helmed by Spaniard Del Toro (John Sutton) and pirate Gerardo (Sterling Hayden, title character), previously unmentioned prisoners appear, Columbia getting full Technicolor value from a dunked Rhonda Fleming, as Dutch “Jane,” in The Golden Hawk, 1952.
Killer Is Loose, The - A Cop's Widow Lila Wagner (Rhonda Fleming) gets nowhere trying to convince husband Sam (Joseph Cotten) to quit police work after he gets an urgent call about an escape in The Killer Is Loose, 1956.
Instant Love (1964) - Your Tie Was On Fire At a "Festa Junina" in the state of Parana', the introduction of aging ladies' man Claudio (Rossano Brazzi), inspired to feats of derring-do by visiting American Pamela (Rhonda Fleming), early in Instant Love, 1964.

Trailer

Family

Harold Cheverton Louis
Father
Effie Louis
Mother
Beverly Engle
Sister
Older; died of a rare form of ovarian cancer in 1990; Fleming founded the Rhonda Fleming Mann Clinic for Women's Comprehensive Care at UCLA (1991).
Kent Lane
Son
Born in 1941; father Tom Lane.
Victoria Mann Simms
Step-Daughter
Roberta Mann Benson
Step-Daughter

Companions

Tom Lane
Husband
Married in 1940; divorced in 1942.
Lewis Morrill
Husband
Doctor. Married in 1952; divorced in 1954.
Lang Jefferys
Husband
Actor. Married in 1960; divorced in 1962.
Hall Bartlett
Husband
Producer, director. Married in 1966; divorced in 1972.
Ted Mann
Husband
Exhibitor. Born c. 1926; married in 1977; retired owner of Mann Theatres, a theater chain; fifth husband; died on January 16, 2001 at age 84.

Bibliography

Notes

Some sources list 1925 as Ms. Fleming's birth year.

Fleming described her first onscreen appearance in Technicolor: "Suddenly my green eyes were green green. My red hair was flaming red. My skin was porcelain white. There was suddenly all this attention on how I looked rather than the roles I was playing. I'd been painted into a corner by the studios, who never wanted more from me than my looking good and waltzing through a parade of films like "The Redhead and the Cowboy". --quoted in PEOPLE, 1991

Named City of Hope's Woman of the Year