Rhonda Fleming, whose long career embraced the Golden Age of filmdom and early days of television, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. At the age of 97. No reason was given, but its death was confirmed by his secretary.
Fleming is known as the “Queen of Technicolor” for her stunning red hair and green eyes, blazing appearances in such films as None of the Past at Spellbound. Overall, he has appeared in over 40 films, collaborating with directors Alfed Hitchcock, Jacques Tourneur and Robert Siodmak, among other great films.
His well-known films include 1948 musical fantasy A Connecticut Yankee to Judge Arthur with Bing Crosby, the 1957 Western Gunfight at OK Corral, and the noir Slightly scarlet, next to John Payne.
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Fleming cost some of Hollywood’s most famous names, including four films with Ronald Reagan before he entered politics. He has worked with Glenn Ford, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, and Rock Hudson, among others.
Marilyn Louis was born in Hollywood, she attended Beverly Hills High, where, legend has it, she was discovered by agent Henry Wilson on her way to school. Wilson quickly changed his name to the more attractive Rhonda Fleming, and he signed a contract with David O. Selznick.
He was thrown as a nymphomaniac on Spellbound, a term he later admitted he had to search after being cast.
Fleming appeared on Broadway at Clare Boothe Luce’s The women and toured as Madame Dubonnet in The groom.“He also made music in Las Vegas nightclubs and appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in a concert for a woman with compositions from Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.
On television, Fleming starred as a guest Wagon Train, Police Woman, The Love Boat, is in a special of McMillan and Wife.
Later in life, Fleming became a philanthropist. She and her late husband, Ted Mann of Theaters of Mann, founded the Rhonda Fleming Mann Clinic for Comprehensive Care for Women with Cancer at UCLA in memory of her sister Beverly. He also founded the Rhonda Fleming Mann Resource Center at UCLA.
He also supported the Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., Where he founded the Rhonda Fleming Carlson Inspiration Garden in 2014.
Fleming is also an ambassador for Childhelp, which focuses on the care and treatment of victims of child abuse, and PATH (People assisting the Homeless), where he founded two Rhonda Fleming Family Centers.
Fleming is survived by his son Kent Lane, granddaughter, Kelly Harman (Morgan Harman), granddaughter, Kimberly Coleman, and great-grandchildren Wagner Harman (Lindsay Harman), Page Harman, Linden Harman, Lane Albrecht , Cole Albrecht and two great grandchildren, Ronan and Kiera Harman. She also survived step-children Candace Voien, Cindy Jaeger, Jill Lundstrom and Kevin Carlson.
Donations may be made to: PATH, 340 N. Madison Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004-3504; Saint John’s Hospital and Health Center Foundation, 1328 22nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 or Childhelp, 4350 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. F250, Phoenix, AZ 85018.