17 October 2020

Queen of Technicolor, Rhonda Fleming dies aged 97

The silver screen starlet, known as the Queen of Technicolor thanks to her striking red hair and green eyes, died in Wednesday in Santa Monica, California, with her death confirmed by her secretary. No cause of death was given. Fleming starred in more than 40 films, most of them in the 1940s and 50s, including Gunfight at the OK Corral, Spellbound, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and Out Of The Past. 

Born Marilyn Louis, Fleming was 16 when she was discovered on her way to school by Hollywood agent Henry Willson, who introduced her to Gone With The Wind producer David O Selznick. 

 Talented singer, she sang in the musical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court opposite Bing Crosby. Fleming’s standout beauty saw her become a nightclub star too, and was chosen to christen the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas in 1957. 

After the 70s, Fleming wound back her acting work, although her final credited role came in 1990 in the film Waiting For The Wind. After her sister Beverly was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer, Fleming became a prominent supporter of cancer research, and in 1991, she and her husband Ten Mann 0 of the Mann’s Chinese Theatre – established Rhonda Fleming Mann Clinic for Comprehensive Care at UCLA Medical Center. They went on to fund a resource centre for women with cancer three years later, and also founded the Rhonda Fleming Mann Research Fellowship at the City of Hope.

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