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Fay Wray's Geni Profile

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Vina Fay Rothenberg (Wray)

Also Known As: "Riskin", "Saunders"
Birthdate: (96)
Birthplace: Cardston, Claresholm, Division No. 3, Alberta, Canada
Death: August 08, 2004 (96)
Manhattan, New York, New York County, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Joseph Heber Wray and Vina M. Wray (Jones)
Wife of Reuben Robert Riskin and Dr. Sanford "Sonny" Rothenberg
Ex-wife of John Monk Saunders
Mother of Susan Saunders Riskin; Robert Riskin, Jr. and Victoria Ritels
Sister of Joseph Vivien Wray; Vaida Viola Wray; Willow Wynona Wray; Richard Goulding Wray and Victor Ernest Wray

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Fay Wray

Vina Fay Wray (September 15, 1907 – August 8, 2004) was a Canadian–American actress and the first ever scream queen.

In 1928, director Erich von Stroheim cast Wray as the main female lead in his troubled production of The Wedding March, which sent Hollywood in a buzz for its high budget and production values. It was a financial failure, but it gave Wray her first lead role.

She is best remembered for her role as Ann Darrow, the blonde seductress of the gigantic gorilla in the classic horror/adventure film King Kong (1933). She wore a blonde wig over her naturally dark hair for the role.

She continued in films but by the early 1940s her appearances grew sporadic. She appeared frequently on television making her final appearance in 1980. Her autobiography, On the Other Hand, was published in 1988.

In the later years of her life, Wray continued to make public appearances, and was a guest at the 70th Academy Awards, where the show's host, Billy Crystal introduced her and paid tribute to her film legacy.

Wray was approached to appear in a small cameo for the 2005 remake of King Kong, and also met with Naomi Watts who was to play the Ann Darrow role. Before filming commenced, however, Wray died in her sleep on August 8, 2004, in her Manhattan apartment of natural causes (writers of the remake did honor her, however, with a comical mention in that film). She was 96 years old, only 38 days short of her 97th birthday. Wray was interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. After her death was announced the lights on the Empire State Building were extinguished for 15 minutes in her memory.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Fay Wray has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6349 Hollywood Blvd. She received a posthumous star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto on June 5, 2005. A small park near Lee's Creek on Main Street in Cardston, Alberta, is named "Fay Wray Park" in her honor. The small sign at the edge of the park on Main Street has a silhouette of King Kong on it. In May 2006, Wray became one of the first four entertainers to ever be honored by Canada Post by being featured on a postage stamp.

Source: Wikipedia


Actress. She is best remembered for her role of 'Ann Darrow', in the movie "King Kong" (1933). She was also one of the first of Hollywood's "Scream Queens". Born Vina Fay Wray in Alberta, Canada, she grew up in Los Angeles, where she started as an extra in her teens, occasionally cast as the silent heroine in Western films. In 1926, she was selected as one of 13 actresses that the movie studios deemed had "star" potential, along with Janet Gaynor and Mary Astor. She became noticed to audiences with her role in "The Wedding March" (1928), and continued to make westerns, and branching into horror films, such as "Doctor X" (1932), and "The Vampire Bat" (1933). However, her best-remembered film turned out to be playing against an ape, in "King Kong" (1933). Her sex appeal and vulnerability in this role made her a star, and as the movie became a classic, made her name synonymous with the film. After this, her career began a slow slide, keeping her in low-budget films through the 1930s and into the early 1940s. In 1939, she divorced her husband of 11 years, John Monk Saunders, to remarry three years later to Robert Riskin, a brilliant Hollywood screenwriter who would suffer a stroke in 1950, from which he would not recover. Her last marriage was to her family physician, Doctor Sanford Rothenberg, in 1970, which would last until his death in 1991. She continued to make movies, including "Treasure of the Golden Condor" (1953), as well as a host of less-remembered movies. Her last appearance was in a made-for-television movie, "Gideon's Trumpet" (1980). In 1988, she wrote her autobiography "On the Other Hand." In 2003, she was awarded the "Legend in Film" Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. (bio by: [fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=46483611" target="_blank Kit and Morgan Benson)]

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Fay Wray's Timeline

1907
September 15, 1907
Claresholm, Division No. 3, Alberta, Canada
1936
1936
Age 28
1943
1943
Age 35
1946
1946
Age 38
2004
August 8, 2004
Age 96
New York, New York County, New York, United States
2004
Age 96
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States