Fay Wray is widely recognized as film’s very first Scream Queen, and that’s a rightful assessment. Unfortunately, 13 years ago today, in 2004, Wray passed away as a result of natural causes. She was 96 years old.
Wray starred in some of the most influential films of her time, including King Kong, The Most Dangerous Game, Mystery of the Wax Museum and The Vampire Bat. She also surfaced in other genre works like Doctor X, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
She was a beauty, she was talented, and she’s still recognized as a game changing performer, blazing a trail for powerful female performers.
We miss you, Fay!
Sadly, Fay Wray wasn’t the only icon to pass away on August 8th. in 1965, 52 years ago, the great Shirley Jackson, who penned the legendary novel, The Haunting of Hill House, passed on at just 48 years old. She died in her sleep from heart failure thought to be caused by neuroses and prescription drugs. Today, her fiction is still remarkably influential, and still being adapted for the big and small screen alike.
And finally, we’ve got to make some noise for the amazing Karen Black, who died four years ago at 74. Ampullary cancer took this Scream Queen’s life. Among her standout cinematic genre achievements are Trilogy of Terror, Burnt Offerings, The Last Horror Film, Invaders from Mars, It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive, Mirror Mirror, Children of the Night, Children of the Corn: The Gathering, and House of 1000 Corpses.
Rest in Peace, Karen. We love you and miss you!