Birthday wishes to RHONDA FLEMING who was 96 on 10th August, 2019.
Rhonda was born Marilyn Louis in Los Angeles in 1923. She wanted to be a singer but was spotted by an agent who worked with David Selznick, resulting in a contract for Rhonda.
Rhonda had a small part as Ingrid Bergman’s patient in SPELLBOUND.
In an interview I heard recently ,Rhonda said that Hitchcock was very nice to her. She also said, “ I adored Ingrid Bergman – she was wonderful to me.”
(The 20 minute interview can be heard at pdl.warnerbros.com)
Another small role, as George Brent’s assistant , in THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1945).
On loan to Paramount for A CONNECTICUT YANKEE AT KING ARTHUR’S COURT (1949), Rhonda’s singing voice was heard for the first time and this was her first Technicolor film.
(My memory of this film is the wonderful number, ‘Busy Doing Nothing’ with Bing ,Cedric Hardwicke and William Bendix.)
I haven’t seen SERPENT OF THE NILE (1953), but it looks fun , with Rhonda as Cleopatra and Raymond Burr as Mark Anthony!
Rhonda said she got on well with Ronald Reagan, with whom she made four films.
Rhonda got into femme fatale territory in CRY DANGER.
RHONDA also made 4 films with John Payne.
Rhonda was Joseph Cotten’s wife in THE KILLER IS LOOSE – she is stalked by Wendell Corey.
Rhonda joined an all star cast in “While the City Sleeps” in which she played the unfaithful wife of newspaper publisher, Vincent Price.
Rhonda was the sensible sister of Arlene Dahl in “Slightly Scarlet.” They were convincing as the siblings.
Another good role as the scheming wife of Robert Ryan in INFERNO.
One of my favourite Fleming roles, in GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL. Rhonda plays a gambler whom Wyatt Earp (Burt Lancaster) falls for.
The RHONDA FLEMING ROCK at Iverson Movie Ranch. (from TENNESSEE ‘S PARTNER). Yes, a rock which is named for Rhonda!
It was pretty much a given that Rhonda would get her name at Grauman’s Chinese ( and deservedly so), as her husband Ted MANN owned the theatre in 1981.
Rhonda wrote : “To my Mann, Ted. Love Rhonda Fleming. 9-28-81.”
Rhonda was married to Ted Mann from 1977 for 23 years till his death in 2001.
Rhonda took to the Las Vegas stage in 1957 at the Tropicana club. One review said, “Her voice was the big surprise of the evening. As a film actress, she has hardly been called upon to do any singing – she offered a variety of songs – ‘With a song in my Heart’, ‘So In Love’ and ‘Hello Young Lovers.”
And there is a recording Rhonda did, some of which can be heard on You Tube.
”The Queen of Technicolor.”
By coincidence, ARLENE DAHL was 94 today.
Two lovely ladies.