Fay Wray, who became a cinema icon by starring opposite a giant, stop-motion gorilla, died Sunday in her Manhattan home at the age of 96. Famous for the role of Ann Darrow in the 1933 RKO Pictures classic, King Kong, Wray appeared in nearly 100 films from 1923 to 1980.
Wray’s part in King Kong was subsequently played by Jessica Lange in another star-making performance in Dino De Laurentiis’ 1977 update. Naomi Watts (The Ring, Mulholland Drive) will be the next beauty to charm the beast in Peter Jackson’s upcoming remake, slated for a Holiday 2005 release.
Wray is survived by three children, including TV producer Victoria Riskin (The Member of the Wedding, World War II: When Lions Roared).