Vina Fay Wray (September 15, 1907 – August 8, 2004) was a Canadian/American actress most noted for playing the female lead in the 1933 film King Kong as Ann Darrow. Through an acting career that spanned 57 years, Wray attained international renown as an actress in horror movie roles. She was one of the first “scream queens”.
After appearing in minor movie roles, Wray gained media attention being selected as one of the “WAMPAS Baby Stars”. This led to her being contracted to Paramount Pictures as a teenager, where she made more than a dozen movies . After leaving Paramount, she signed deals with various film companies, being cast in her first horror film roles among many other types of roles, including in The Bowery (1933) and Viva Villa (1934), both huge productions starring Wallace Beery. For RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., she starred in the film with which she is most identified, King Kong (1933). After the success of King Kong, Wray made numerous appearances in both film and television before retiring in 1980.
Wray was born on a ranch near Cardston in the province of Alberta, Canada, to Mormon parents, Elvina Marguerite Jones, who was from Salt Lake City, Utah, and Joseph Heber Wray, who was from Kingston upon Hull, England. She was one of six children and was a granddaughter of Daniel Webster Jones. Wray was never a Mormon herself.
Wray married three times – to writers John Monk Saunders and Robert Riskin and the neurosurgeon Sanford Rothenberg (January 28, 1919 – January 4, 1991). She had three children: Susan Saunders, Victoria Riskin, and Robert Riskin, Jr.
She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1933. In her autobiography On The Other Hand: A Life Story she declared herself a Republican.
In 2004, Wray was approached by director Peter Jackson to appear in a small cameo for the 2005 remake of King Kong. She met with Naomi Watts, who was to play the role of Ann Darrow. She politely declined the cameo, and claimed the original “Kong” to be the true “King”. Before film ing of the remake commenced, Wray died in her sleep of natural causes on August 8, 2004, in her Manhattan apartment, a month before her 97th birthday. Her friend Rick McKay said that “she just kind of drifted off quietly as if she was going to sleep… she just kind of gave out.” Wray is interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood , California.
Two days after her death , the lights of the Empire State Building were extinguished for 15 minutes in her memory.
Fay Wray interviewed on UK tv show “Wogan”, this must have been around 1988.