Actress Fay Wray, best known for her role in 1933 movie King Kong, died on Sunday (08AUG04). She was 96.

Born VINA FAY WRAY in Alberta, Canada, on 15 September 1907, she was one of six children. Her family moved to the United States when she was three years old.

Wray was barely in her teens when she began her silver-screen career as a extra. She went on to be regularly cast as a heroine in silent movies, scoring her breakthrough in 1928's THE WEDDING MARCH.

In the early 1930s she made a number of horror movies, including DOCTOR X and THE VAMPIRE BAT, and became known as Hollywood's first "scream queen". After those movies, Wray won praise for her King Kong character's combination of sex appeal, vulnerability and lung capacity as she was stalked by the beast to the top of New York's Empire State Building.

But her career fell into decline following King Kong and she retired from movies in 1942 after her second marriage.

In 1953, she made a comeback in character roles and made movies until 1958 and worked in television into the 1960s.

Wray had a daughter, SUSAN, by her first marriage to JOHN MONK SAUNDERS, and two children, ROBERT and VICKY, with Robert Riskin.

10/08/2004 02:28