Here are 10 things you should know about Jane Bryan, born 101 years ago today. She may not be well known to the average person on the street, but she’s a familiar face to movie buffs, which is impressive considering her career spanned just four years.
Warren William, the King of Pre-Code, was born 123 years ago today in Aitkin, Minnesota. He specialized in portraying charming scoundrels around whom no ingenue was safe, and he was great at it. But offscreen, William was quite a different character.
Here are 10 things you should know about Warren William…
Actress Gail Patrick, born Margaret LaVelle Fitzpatrick 106 years ago today in Birmingham, Alabama, was the supporting actress audiences of the 1930s and ’40s loved to hate. She played haughty, unsympathetic women who generally received their comeuppance, much to the delight of moviegoers.
Here are some fun facts about Ms. Patrick’s life and career…
Fay Wray was born Vina Fay Wray 109 years today in Cardston, Alberta. We have a special fondness for Ms. Wray, given that, some years ago, we enjoyed a brief but memorable encounter with her. Here are 10 FW Did-You-Knows:
- Though born in Canada, Wray grew up in Utah and Southern California and began working as an extra in pictures as a teen. Her first credited roles were in westerns made at Universal.
- In 1926, The Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers chose her as one of thirteen young actresses most likely to be stars in Hollywood (Janet Gaynor and Mary Astor were among the other twelve chosen that year).
- After early success in westerns, Wray became known as a scream queen, due to a run of horror pictures she made in the early 1930s, among them King Kong, Doctor X, Mystery of the Wax Museum, The Vampire Bat and The Most Dangerous Game.
- Wray was paid $10,000 for her work in King Kong, a picture that was so successful it is said to have saved RKO Pictures from bankruptcy.
- Wray valued her writing abilities over her acting career. She published an autobiography—On the Other Hand: A Life Story—and saw one of her plays, The Meadowlark, produced. (She collaborated with Sinclair Lewis on another play, Angela Is Twenty-Two.)
- She was offered the role of Rose in Titanic (1997), but turned it down, leaving the role open for Gloria Stuart.
- Though she lived there only a few years, there is a fountain in Cardston that is named after Wray.
- In the 1950s, Wray worked frequently on television, appearing twice on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and in three episodes of Perry Mason, among many others.
- Peter Jackson had hoped to have Wray speak the final line in his 2005 remake of King Kong, but she passed away, aged 96, before the picture finished filming.
- Two days later, the lights on the Empire State Building were dimmed for 15 minutes as a tribute to her.
Happy birthday, Fay Wray, wherever you may be!