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Canadian History for Kids: Fay Wray

March 2, 1933 – Canadian actress Fay Wray stars in motion picture King Kong.

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive, looks at the amazing actress Fay Wray.

Canadian actress Fay Wray maybe had something else in mind when she was told the leading man was tall dark and handsome!

The film King Kong is about a gigantic ape called Kong who dies in an attempt to seize a beautiful young woman.
The movie is famous for its stop-motion animation. The movie opened at the 6,200-seat Radio City Music Hall in New York City and the 3,700-seat RKO Roxy across the street on Thursday, March 2, 1933.

Crowds lined up around the block on opening day, tickets were priced at $.35 to $.75, and, in its first four days, every one of its ten-shows-a-day were sold out – setting an all-time attendance record for an indoor event. Over the four-day period, the film grossed $89,931.

The film had its official world premiere on March 23, 1933 at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
The film made roughly $2 million in its original release, with an opening weekend estimated at $90,000. RKO saw a profit for the first time in its five-year existence.

Fay Wray was born Vina Fay Wray near Cardston, Alberta, Canada, on September 15, 1907. Her family moved to Arizona when she was still small in order for her father to find better work than what was offered in Alberta.

After moving again to California she found was plenty opportunity to take advantage of the chances that might come her way in the entertainment industry. At the age of 16, Fay played her first role in a motion picture.

She is regarded as Hollywood’s first “scream queen”. This was due to the 1932-1933 season when she made the early Technicolor thrillers Doctor X (1932) and Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933). She also co-starred in The Vampire Bat (1933) at Majestic and at RKO she made The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and, of course, King Kong (1933).
Miss Wray was originally offered the role of the ‘Older Rose’ in Titanic (1997) but turned it down.

She was also offered a cameo role in the 1976 remake of “King Kong” but turned it down because she did not like the script.

Fay Wray passed away, August 8 2004, in her apartment in Manhattan, not far from the Empire State building, at age 96.

And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!

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