MoPo Remembers

Fay Wray 1907-2004

Fay Wray 1907-2004

Fay Wray achieved cinematic immortality thanks to the hairy hand of giant ape King Kong, the monstrous resident of Skull Island that took such a liking to the blonde beauty that he was willing to die for her. While she made a total of 92 movies her distinctive scream in the 1933 adventure classic remains the definitive moment of her career.

She began acting in silent films, with her first role in 1923's Gasoline Love. Wray made the transition to sound and continued working steadily, appearing in three early horror classics, Doctor X in 1932, Vampire Bat in 1933 and Mystery of the Wax Museum in 1933 (shot in the 2-strip Technicolor process). Just before her legendary performance in King Kong, she starred in 1932's The Most Dangerous Game with Joel McCrea and Kong co-star Robert Armstrong.

She worked steadily throughout the 1930's, including an appearance with Claude Rains in 1934's The Clairvoyant. She retired in 1942 after completing Not a Ladies' Man, a film virtually forgotten today.  Wray returned to the movies in 1953 and appeared in 11 films, retiring from the screen once again in 1958. She occasionally appeared on television in the 1960's with her final performance in the television movie Gideon's Trumpet in 1980, co-starring with Henry Fonda, Jose Ferrer and John Houseman. Director Peter Jackson had hoped Wray would appear on screen one last time-- to deliver the final line of his 2005 Kong remake, "Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast." Sadly Wray passed away before the scene was filmed.

Fay Wray died in New York City on August 8, 2004 of natural causes.

 

Fay Wray at the Movies

 

Doctor X B&W Still

Doctor X (1932) Black & White Still (8X10)

 

Doctor X One-Sheet

Doctor X (1932) One-Sheet (27X41)

 

Most Dangerous Game B&W Still

The Most Dangerous Game (1932) Black & White Still (8X10)

 

Most Dangerous Game One-Sheet

The Most Dangerous Game (1932) One-Sheet (27X41)

 

Vampire Bat One-Sheet

The Vampire Bat (1933) One-Sheet (27X41)

 

King Kong B&W Publicity Still

King Kong (1933) Black & White Publicity Still (8X10)

 

Black Moon One-Sheet

Black Moon (1934) One-Sheet (27X41)

 

Cheating Cheaters Lobby Card

Cheating Cheaters (1934) Lobby Card (11X14)

 

The Clairvoyant B&W Still

The Clairvoyant (1934) Black & White Still (8X10), with Claude Rains

 

Murder in Greenwich Village One-Sheet

Murder in Greenwich Village (1937)  One-Sheet (27X41)

 

Not a Ladies' Man Lobby Card

Not A Ladies' Man (1942) Lobby Card (11X14)

 

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