OTTAWA (December 9, 2005) ? Best known as the heroine in the hands of an infatuated ape ? King Kong ? Fay Wray also stared with such leading men as Gary Cooper, Joel McCrae and Henry Fonda. Now, the Cardston, Alberta native will star on her own postage stamp. The Fay Wray stamp will be available for sale in post offices across the country on May 26, 2006, as part of a set celebrating Canadians in Hollywood.
?Celebrating Canadian accomplishments is a prime component of the Canadian stamp program,? said John McCallum, Minister responsible for Canada Post. ?We have shared our great wealth of talent with the world in many venues. With this stamp, and the others in the set, we again celebrate our homegrown stars and their place on the world stage.?
Born in Cardston, Alberta in 1907, Wray later moved to Arizona. At the age of 14, she went to California dreaming of a movie career and before long, began picking up small parts in westerns and comedy shorts.
In 1926, Erich von Stronheim cast Wray as the female lead in The Wedding March ? her own all-time personal favourite role. Shortly after, she played opposite Gary Cooper in the war drama, Legion of the Condemned and was re-teamed with him for 1928?s The First Kiss. But it was the classic ?beauty and the beast? film, King Kong (1933) that secured Fay Wray?s place in film history. Wray was cast as an actress who becomes the love object of a monster gorilla. After a rampage in the streets of New York, Kong scales the Empire State Building with Fay Wray in his hairy hands. With stunning special effects, King Kong places high on lists of the best films ever made and has been remade into a new movie that is being hailed as the 2005 holiday season?s blockbuster release.
Following her retirement from acting, Wray turned to producing plays and writing short stories and her autobiography. According to Wray?s biography notes on Yahoo!® Movies, Wray came to terms with the original source of her fame and her reputation as one of Hollywood?s original ?scream queens? and grew to look fondly on her simian co-star and the magical cinematic accomplishments of King Kong. After her death in August 2004, at the age of 96, the lights at the Empire State Building were dimmed in her memory.
Additional details about the Fay Wray stamp issue and other subjects of the Canadians in Hollywood set, will be announced in the New Year.