Birth Date: September 15 1907
Birth Place: N/A
Vina Fay Wray was born in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. Fay was from a large family that included Five other siblings. She moved to Arizona when she was still small in order for her father to find better work than what was offered in Alberta. After moving again to California, her parents divorced which put the rest of the family under hard times. Being in entertainment rich Los Angeles, there was ample opportunity to take advantage of the chances that might come her way in the entertainment industry. At the age of 16, Fay played her first role in a motion picture, albeit a small one. The film was GASOLINE LOVE in 1923. The film was neither a hit nor was it a launching vehicle for her career. It would be two more years before she ever got another chance. When it did come it was another lackluster film called THE COAST PATROL. The only thing it did for Fay was give her a slightly more prominent role than the film two years earlier. Four more films followed in 1926 and her career had finally left the ground. She was noticed to the extent that the Western Association of Motion Pictures chose her as one of thirteen starlets most likely to succeed in film. After three films in 1927, the following year would solidify Fay as an actress to be reckoned with. She played the lead, Mitzi Schrammell in the hit, THE WEDDING MARCH. She had made the successful transition into the "talkie" era when most performers services were no longer needed because of the sound of their voices on film. By 1933, Fay was to appear in eleven films such as THE BIG BRAIN, THE VAMPIRE BAT, and ANN CARVER'S PROFESSION. But it was another film which would place her in a role that is remembered to this day. That year she played Ann Darrow in the now classic KING KONG. After that one Fay would come by more and better roles, but she is best remembered for that one performance. The movie wound up being named one of the 100 greatest films of all time by the American Film Institute in 1998. She continued her pace in films, making eleven films again in 1934. Films that year which were added to her filmography was ONCE TO EVERY Woman, Viva VILLA!, and BULLDOG JACK. Her career was now beginning the proverbial backward slide. Movie roles were coming fewer and fewer with new stars on the horizon. Now it was Fay's services which were being curtailed. Her 11 year marriage to John Saunders ended in a painful divorce. After NOT A LADIES MAN in 1942, Fay would not be in another film until 1953's TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CONDOR. The films she appeared in during the latter 50s were not much to write home about. Several were some of the weakest ever projected. Her last performance before the cameras was a made for television movie called GIDEON'S TRUMPET. Fay Wray died of an undisclosed ailment on August 8, 2004. She was an excellent actress who never was given a chance to live up to her potential especially after being cast in a number of horror films in the 30s. She remains a bright star from cinema's golden era.
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