Rhonda Fleming Passed Away at the Age of 97

Lawrence Kim
October 19, 2020

Actress Rhonda Fleming, star of Hollywood's Golden Age, has died at the age of 97, her secretary has said.

In her films, Fleming co-starred alongside famous actors like Kirk Douglas, Glenn Ford, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, Rock Hudson and Ronald Reagan, with whom she made four films.

Celebrated for her vibrant red hair and green eyes, Fleming was beloved by audiences for her presence in Technicolor movies, most notably 1949's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, opposite Bing Crosby.

Fleming died on Wednesday in Santa Monica, Carla Sapon, her secretary, told Variety. Her first major part was as a nymphomaniac in Spellbound, and she said she was so naive she had to look up the word in the dictionary when she was cast.

She was 16 when she was discovered by Hollywood agent Henry Willson, who introduced her to Gone With The Wind producer David O Selznick.

Fleming possessed a fine singing voice, and later in her career sang onstage in Las Vegas and in a touring act.

Fleming was born as Marilyn Louis in Hollywood, California, in 1923.

She also made her Broadway debut in Clare Boothe Luce's "The Women" and starred as Madame Dubonnet in "The Boyfriend".

Later in life, Fleming became a philanthropist.

Lovely Rhonda Fleming of Hollywood reading in her penthouse apartment in Italy on March 1, 1955.

Fleming also worked in television, on shows like The Virginian, Wagon Train, Ellery Queen, McMillan & Wife, and The Love Boat.

The lovely actress had six marriages, however most of her husbands lost their lives, in addition to being an excellent actress She also became a great philanthropist, helping with the creation of the Ronda Fleming Man resource center for women with cancer at UCLA Medical Center, due to her own sister losing her life to the disease. (People Assisting the Homeless), where she established two Rhonda Fleming Family Centers.

Her other charitable efforts include being an ambassador of Childhelp, dedicated to the care and treatment of victims of child abuse, and P.A.T.H.

Fleming was married six times, to Tom Lane between 1940 and 1942, to Dr. Lewis Morrill between 1952 and 1954, to Lang Jeffries between 1960 and 1962, to Hall Bartlett between 1966 and 1972, to Ted Mann between 1977 and 2001 and to Darol Carlson between 2003 and 2017, with the first four ending in divorce and the latter two with her spouses passing away.

It was his assistant who broke the news about the death, it occurred in Santa Monica, California, United States this past Saturday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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