R I P Rhonda Fleming great actress. 1923- 2020

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Rhonda Fleming born Marilyn Louis; August 10, 1923 – October 14, 2020

THE STAR OF THE 40S AND 50S

Rhonda Fleming, star of the 1940s and ’50s who was dubbed the “Queen of Technicolor” and appeared in “Out of the Past” and “Spellbound,” died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif., according to her secretary Carla Sapon. She was 97.

Fleming appeared in more than 40 films and worked with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock on “Spellbound,” Jacques Tourneur on “Out of the Past” and Robert Siodmak on “The Spiral Staircase.”

GREAT HUMANITARIAN

Later in life, she became a philanthropist and supporter of numerous organizations fighting cancer, homelessness and child abuse.

Her starring roles include classics such as the 1948 musical fantasy “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” alongside Bing Crosby, 1957 Western “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” and the noir “Slightly Scarlet” alongside John Payne.
Her co-stars over the years included Kirk Douglas, Glenn Ford, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, Rock Hudson and Ronald Reagan, with whom she made four films. Other notable roles included Fritz Lang’s “While the City Sleeps,” “Pony Express” and “The Big Circus.” One of her last roles was in the Don Adams farce “The Nude Bomb” in 1980, and she spoofed herself as “Rhoda Flaming” in 1976 comedy “Won Ton Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood” along a bevy of other vintage performers from Dorothy Lamour to Stepin Fetchit and Rudy Vallee.

Born Marilyn Louis in Hollywood, she attended Beverly Hills High and was discovered by the famous agent Henry Wilson while on the way to school, she told the Warner Bros. podcast. Wilson changed her name to Rhonda Fleming and she was then signed to a contract with David O. Selznick. Her first major part was as a nymphomaniac in “Spellbound,” and she said she was so naive she had to look up the word in the dictionary when she was cast.

In addition to cinema, Fleming made her Broadway debut in Clare Boothe Luce’s “The Women” and toured as Madame Dubonnet in “The Boyfriend.” In 1957, Fleming made her stage musical debut in Las Vegas at the opening of the Tropicana Hotel’s showroom. Later she appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in a one-woman concert with compositions from Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. In 1960, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Fleming also routinely guest-starred on television in series including “Wagon Train,” “Police Woman,” “The Love Boat” and a two-hour special of “McMillan & Wife.” Along with Maureen O’Hara, she was bestowed the nickname of “Queen of Technicolor” for how well her red hair and green eyes photographed in vivid color.

In 1991, Fleming and her late husband Ted Mann of Mann’s Theaters established Rhonda Fleming Mann Clinic for Comprehensive Care for Women with Cancer at UCLA in memory of her sister Beverly, and in 1992, she founded the Rhonda Fleming Mann Resource Center at UCLA. She opened the Reflections boutique to help cancer patients with items including wigs and prostheses.

She also supported Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., where she established the Rhonda Fleming Carlson Inspiration Garden in 2014.

Later career

In the 1960s, Fleming branched out into other businesses and began performing regularly on stage and in Las Vegas.

One of her final film appearances was in a bit-part as Edith von Secondburg in the comedy The Nude Bomb (1980) starring Don Adams. She also appeared in Waiting for the Wind (1990).

Fleming has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame In 2007, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.

MOVIES IN WHICH SHE ACTED:

“Queen of Technicolor”

 

1943 In Old Oklahoma Dance-hall girl
1944 Since You Went Away Girl at dance
When Strangers Marry Girl on train
1945 Spellbound Mary Carmichael
1946 Abilene Town Sherry Balder
The Spiral Staircase Blanche
1947 Adventure Island Faith Wishart
Out of the Past Meta Carson
1949 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Alisande La Carteloise
The Great Lover Duchess Alexandria
1950 The Eagle and the Hawk Mrs. Madeline Danzeeger
1951 Cry Danger Nancy Morgan
The Redhead and the Cowboy Candace Bronson
The Last Outpost Julie McQuade
Little Egypt Izora
Crosswinds Katherine Shelley
1952 Hong Kong Victoria Evans
The Golden Hawk Captain Rouge
1953 Tropic Zone Flanders White
Serpent of the Nile Cleopatra
Pony Express Evelyn Hastings
Inferno Geraldine Carson
Those Redheads From Seattle Kathie Edmonds
1954 Jivaro Alice Parker
Yankee Pasha Roxana Reil
1955 Queen of Babylon Semiramis
Tennessee’s Partner Elizabeth “Duchess” Farnham
1956 The Killer Is Loose Lila Wagner
Slightly Scarlet June Lyons
While the City Sleeps Dorothy Kyne
Odongo Pamela Muir
1957 The Buster Keaton Story Peggy Courtney
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Laura Denbow
Gun Glory Jo
1958 Bullwhip Cheyenne O’Malley
Home Before Dark Joan Carlisle
1959 Alias Jesse James Cora Lee Collins
The Big Circus Helen Harrison
1960 The Crowded Sky Cheryl “Charro” Heath
The Revolt of the Slaves Fabiola
1964 The Patsy Herself
Pão de Açúcar Pamela Jones DeSantis
1965 Run for Your Wife Nyta
1976 Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood Herself
1980 The Nude Bomb Edith Von Secondberg
1990 Waiting for the Wind Hannah
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