Family tree of Rhonda FLEMING

Actor, Singer & Musician

AmericanBorn Marilyn LOUIS

American film and television actress and singer

Born on August 10, 1923 in Hollywood, California, USA , United States

Died on October 14, 2020 in Santa Monica, California , United States

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Rhonda Fleming (born Marilyn Louis; August 10, 1923 – October 14, 2020) was an American film and television actress and singer. She acted in more than 40 films, mostly in the 1940s and 1950s, and became renowned as one of the most glamorous actresses of her day, nicknamed the "Queen of Technicolor" because she photographed so well in that medium.

...   Rhonda Fleming (born Marilyn Louis; August 10, 1923 – October 14, 2020) was an American film and television actress and singer. She acted in more than 40 films, mostly in the 1940s and 1950s, and became renowned as one of the most glamorous actresses of her day, nicknamed the "Queen of Technicolor" because she photographed so well in that medium.


Early life
Fleming was born Marilyn Louis in Hollywood, California to Harold Cheverton Louis, an insurance salesman, and Effie Graham, a stage actress who had appeared opposite Al Jolson in the musical Dancing Around at New York's Winter Garden Theatre from 1914 to 1915. Fleming's maternal grandfather was John C. Graham, an actor, theater owner and newspaper editor in Utah.Fleming began working as a film actress while attending Beverly Hills High School, graduating in 1941. She was discovered by the well-known Hollywood agent Henry Willson, who changed her name to Rhonda Fleming.Fleming said later, "It's so weird ... He stopped me crossing the street. It kinda scared me a little bit – I was only 16 or 17. He signed me to a seven-year contract without a screen test. It was a Cinderella story, but those things could happen in those days."

David O. Selznick
Fleming's agent Willson went to work for David O. Selznick, who signed her to a contract. She had bit parts in In Old Oklahoma (1943), Since You Went Away (1944) for Selznick and When Strangers Marry (1944).
She received her first substantial role in the thriller Spellbound (1945), produced by Selznick and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. She later said, "Hitch told me I was going to play a nymphomaniac. I remember rushing home to look it up in the dictionary and being quite shocked." The film was a success and Selznick offered her another good role in the thriller The Spiral Staircase (1946), directed by Robert Siodmak.Selznick lent her to appear in supporting parts in the Randolph Scott Western Abilene Town (1946) at United Artists and the film noir classic Out of the Past (1947) with Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas at RKO.Fleming's first leading role came in Adventure Island (1947), a low-budget action film produced for Pine-Thomas Productions at Paramount Pictures in the two-color Cinecolor process and costarring fellow Selznick contract player Rory Calhoun.Fleming auditioned for the female lead in the Bing Crosby film in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949), a musical loosely based on the story by Mark Twain. Fleming exhibited her singing ability, dueting with Crosby on "Once and For Always" and soloing with "When Is Sometime". They recorded the songs for a three-disc, 78-rpm Decca album conducted by Victor Young, who wrote the film's orchestral score. Fleming's vocal coach Harriet Lee praised her "lovely voice", saying, "she could be a musical comedy queen." The film was Fleming's first in Technicolor. Her fair complexion and bright red hair photographed exceptionally well and she was nicknamed the "Queen of Technicolor."Fleming next starred with Bob Hope in the hit film The Great Lover (1949), which established her as a star. She later said, "After that, I wasn't fortunate enough to get good directors. I made the mistake of doing lesser films for good money. I was hot—they all wanted me—but I didn't have the guidance or background to judge for myself."In February 1949, Selznick sold his contract players to Warner Bros., but he kept Fleming.In 1950 Fleming portrayed John Payne's love interest in the Western film The Eagle and the Hawk.
Fleming was lent to RKO to play a femme fatale opposite Dick Powell in the film noir Cry Danger (1951). Back at Paramount, she played the title role in the Western The Redhead and the Cowboy (1951), costarring with Glenn Ford.In 1950, she ended her association with Selznick after eight years, although five years remained in her contract with him.

Fleming signed a three-picture deal with Paramount. Pine-Thomas cast her as Ronald Reagan's leading lady in the Western The Last Outpost (1951), John Payne's leading lady in the adventure film Crosswinds (1951) and with Reagan again in Hong Kong (1951).
Fleming was top-billed for Sam Katzman's The Golden Hawk (1952) with Sterling Hayden, then was reunited with Reagan for Tropic Zone (1953) at Pine-Thomas. In 1953, Fleming portrayed Cleopatra in Katzman's Serpent of the Nile for Columbia. That same year, she appeared with Charlton Heston in the Western Pony Express for Paramount and in two films shot in 3D, Inferno with Robert Ryan at Fox and the musical Those Redheads From Seattle with Gene Barry for Pine-Thomas. The following year, she starred with Fernando Lamas in Jivaro, her third 3D film, at Pine-Thomas. She went to Universal for Yankee Pasha (1954) with Jeff Chandler. Fleming also traveled to Italy to play Semiramis in Queen of Babylon (1954).

Late 1950s
Fleming was a member of a gospel singing quartet along with Jane Russell, Connie Haines and Beryl Davis.Much of the location work for Fleming's 1955 Western Tennessee's Partner, in which she appeared with Payne and Reagan, was filmed at the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California. A distinctive monolithic sandstone feature behind which Fleming's character hides during an action sequence later became known as the Rhonda Fleming Rock. The rock is part of a section of the former movie ranch known as Garden of the Gods, which has been preserved as public parkland.Fleming was reunited with Payne and fellow redhead Arlene Dahl in a noir at RKO, Slightly Scarlet (1956). She appeared in other thrillers that year: The Killer Is Loose (1956) with Joseph Cotten and Fritz Lang's While the City Sleeps (1956), costarring Dana Andrews, at RKO. Fleming was top-billed in an adventure film for Warwick Films, Odongo (1956).Fleming played the female lead in John Sturges's hit film Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), costarring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. She supported Donald O'Connor in The Buster Keaton Story (1957) and Stewart Granger in Gun Glory (1957) at MGM.In May 1957, Fleming began performing a successful nightclub act at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. She later said, "I just wanted to know if I could get out on that stage – if I could do it. And I did! ... My heart was to do more stage work, but I had a son, so I really couldn't, but that was in my heart."Fleming was Guy Madison's costar in Bullwhip (1958) for Allied Artists and supported Jean Simmons in Home Before Dark (1958) in a role that she later considered her favorite.Fleming was reunited with Bob Hope in Alias Jesse James (1959) and appeared on an episode of Wagon Train. She appeared in the Irwin Allen/Joseph M. Newman production of The Big Circus (1959), costarring Victor Mature and Vincent Price, for Allied Artists, whom Fleming later sued for unpaid profits.Fleming traveled to Italy again to film The Revolt of the Slaves (1959) and was second-billed in The Crowded Sky (1960).

In 1960, Fleming described herself as "semi-retired," having earned money through real-estate investments. That year, she toured her nightclub act in Las Vegas and Palm Springs.

During the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s, Fleming frequently appeared on television with guest-starring roles on The Red Skelton Show, The Best of Broadway, The Investigators, Shower of Stars, The Dick Powell Show, Wagon Train, Burke's Law, The Virginian, McMillan & Wife, Police Woman, Kung Fu, Ellery Queen and The Love Boat.On September 30, 1951, Fleming sang live on NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour, broadcast from the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.In 1958, Fleming recorded her only LP, entitled Rhonda. For the album, which was released by Columbia Records, she blended current songs such as "Around the World" with standards such as "Love Me or Leave Me" and "I've Got You Under My Skin". Conductor-arranger Frank Comstock provided the musical direction.On March 4, 1962, Fleming appeared in one of the final segments of ABC's Follow the Sun in a role opposite Gary Lockwood. She played a Marine in the episode titled "Marine of the Month".In December 1962, Fleming was cast as the glamorous Kitty Bolton in the episode "Loss of Faith" of the syndicated anthology series Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews.

Later career
In the 1960s, Fleming became involved with other businesses and began performing regularly on stage and in Las Vegas.One of her final film roles was a bit part as Edith von Secondburg in the comedy The Nude Bomb (1980) starring Don Adams. She also appeared in Waiting for the Wind (1990).Fleming has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2007, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.

Personal life and death
Fleming worked for several charities, especially in the field of cancer care, and served on the committees of many related organizations. In 1991, with her fifth husband Ted Mann, she established the Rhonda Fleming Mann Clinic for Women's Comprehensive Care at the UCLA Medical Center.In 1964, Fleming spoke at the Project Prayer rally attended by 2,500 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The gathering, which was hosted by Anthony Eisley, a star of ABC's Hawaiian Eye series, sought to flood the United States Congress with letters in support of mandatory school prayer following two United States Supreme Court decisions in 1962 and 1963 that invalidated the practice. Joining Fleming and Eisley at the rally were Walter Brennan, Lloyd Nolan, Dale Evans, Pat Boone and Gloria Swanson. Fleming declared, "Project Prayer is hoping to clarify the First Amendment to the Constitution and reverse this present trend away from God." Eisley and Fleming added that John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Roy Rogers, Mary Pickford, Jane Russell, Ginger Rogers and Pat Buttram would also have attended the rally had their schedules not been in conflict.Fleming married six times:
Thomas Wade Lane, interior decorator, (1940–1942; divorced), one son
Dr. Lewis V. Morrill, Hollywood physician, (July 11, 1952 – 1954; divorced)
Lang Jeffries, actor, (April 3, 1960 – January 11, 1962; divorced)
Hall Bartlett, producer (March 27, 1966 – 1972; divorced)
Ted Mann, producer, (March 11, 1977 – January 15, 2001; his death)
Darol Wayne Carlson (2003 – October 31, 2017; his death)Through her son Kent Lane (b. 1941), Fleming also had two granddaughters, four great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.Fleming was a Presbyterian, but she may have embraced the Jewish faith of Mann, as she was interred in his plot at the Jewish Hillside Memorial park in Culver City, California upon her death.She was a Republican who supported Dwight Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential election.Fleming died on October 14, 2020, at Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica at the age of 97.On the 100th anniversary of Fleming's birth, Turner Classic Movies honored her on Summer Under the Stars, programming a 24-hour block of her films. It was Fleming's first time on the lineup.



Radio appearances


External links

Rhonda Fleming at IMDb
Rhonda Fleming at the TCM Movie Database
Rhonda Fleming photos
Rhonda Fleming photos
Rhonda Fleming images of films
Photos of Rhonda Fleming in Spellbound Archived November 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine by Ned Scott
Rhonda Fleming Rock at the Iverson Movie Ranch
Iverson Movie Ranch: History, vintage photos

Biography from Wikipedia (see original) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0


Geographical origins

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