Born on Sept. 15, 1907, the luminous actress gained immortality in the paw of a giant gorilla, in the 1933 horror classic, "King Kong."
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
A native of Alberta, Canada, Wray moved to Los Angeles and started getting screen roles while still a teenager.
"The First Kiss"Before Fay Wray became famous as a star of horror films, she appeared in a slew of westerns and romantic dramas.
Left: In "The First Kiss" (1928), Gary Cooper starred as a fisherman trying to win the hand of a society girl played by Wray.
Wray and Copper also co-starred in "The Legion of the Condemned" (1928), "The Texan" (1930), and "One Sunday Afternoon" (1933).
"The Wedding March"Fay Wray appeared in two films directed by Erich von Stroheim, including the 1928 drama, "The Wedding March" (left). Wray played the object of von Stroheim's romantic obsession, but who watches from the sidelines as von Stroheim's cavalry officer is forced by financial difficulties to marry the daughter of a wealthy businessman.
"The Texan"Fay Wray as Consuelo in "The Texan" (1930).
"The Sea God"Richard Arlen and Fay Wray appeared together in numerous films, including "The Sea God" (1930).
"Dirigible"Fay Wray played one point of a love triangle (a married one at that) in Frank Capra's 1931 adventure, "Dirigible," about aviators flying zeppelins to the South Pole.
"The Unholy Garden"In "The Unholy Garden" (1931), Fay Wray played opposite Ronald Colman, as a thief who tries to romance Wray in order to get at her father's hidden treasure.
"Doctor X"Fay Wray starred in "Doctor X" (1932), a horror-comedy based on a play, "The Terror," about the investigation of a serial killer who fells his victims when the moon is full.
"Doctor X"Fay Wray encounters a horrifying figure, and an owl, in "Doctor X" (1932).
"The Most Dangerous Game"Produced by Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper (who would later direct "King Kong"), "The Most Dangerous Game" starred Leslie Banks (left) as a Russian count whose favorite pastime is hunting human prey. Fay Wray and Joel McRae played shipwreck victims who find their island sanctuary is anything but.
"Mystery of the Wax Museum"Fay Wray and Lionel Atwill reteamed for the 1933 horror classic, "Mystery of the Wax Museum," in which a sculptor's true face is revealed - as is the fate of murder victims who look uncannily like the wax figures in his gallery.
As was the case with "Doctor X," "Wax Museum" was filmed in an early two-color Technicolor process.
"The Vampire Bat"Poverty Row studio Majestic Pictures hired Fay Wray and Lionel Atwill, and leased sets from Universal's "Frankenstein," for "The Vampire Bat" (1933), about the mysterious deaths of townspeople in a European village due to . . . loss of blood!
"King Kong"In 1933 Fay Wray was cast in the biggest role of her career, with the biggest costar, as a naive young woman recruited by a filmmaker for a mysterious voyage, to Skull Island ...
Wray's ear-splitting shrieks along the way led many to dub her "The Queen of Scream" ... setting a decibel standard rarely, if ever, equaled since.
"King Kong"A publicity still from "King Kong" (1933), in which the giant gorilla battles all manner of prehistoric creatures while protecting the blonde woman in his paw (Fay Wray).
"King Kong"In "King Kong" (1933), Fay Wray played Ann Darrow, an unemployed woman whose shot at acting fame leads her to a fateful encounter with a giant gorilla.
"King Kong"Bruce Cabot and Fay Wray in "King Kong" (1933).
The Eighth Wonder of the WorldAfter Kong is captured and brought to New York City, he appears on stage along with the adventurers and young woman responsible -- Bruce Cabot, Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong -- in "King Kong" (1933).
"King Kong""King Kong"'s classic status was due in no small part to Fay Wray's performance as the beauty who conquered the beast.
When Naomi Watts considered taking the role in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake, she asked the advice of her "Mulholland Drive" director, David Lynch. He replied, "Anyone who sits in the paw of King Kong is a movie star for life."
"One Sunday Afternoon"Fay Wray in "One Sunday Afternoon" (1933), a comedy in which a married dentist (Gary Cooper) tries to rekindle romance with an old flame (Wray).
"Madame Spy"In "Madame Spy" (1934), Fay Wray played the Russian wife (and a spy!) married to a German intelligence officer (Nils Asther).
"Viva Villa!"Fay Wray starred opposite Wallace Beery as Pancho Villa in the 1934 "Viva Villa!"
"Viva Villa!"Fay Wray as Theresa in the 1934 "Viva Villa!"
"Mills of the Gods"Fay Wray in the 1934 drama, "Mills of the Gods."
Following "King Kong," Wray's star dimmed, and she appeared in programmers such as "Alias Bulldog Drummond," "Murder in Greenwich Village," and "Smashing the Spy Ring."
She continued to perform for decades to come, including in "Tammy and the Bachelor" (playing the mother of Leslie Nielsen) in 1957, and in such TV shows as "Perry Mason," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Playhouse 90," "77 Sunset Strip" and "Wagon Train."
Her last appearance was in the 1980 TV movie "Gideon's Trumpet," opposite Henry Fonda.
Wray was scheduled to make a cameo appearance in Peter Jackson's remake of "King Kong," but died on August 8, 2004 - five weeks shy of her 97th birthday - before she could go in front of the cameras one more time.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan