In Settling accounts at OK Corral, her flamboyant beauty radiated the mythical western of John Sturges. American actress Rhonda Fleming died in Santa Monica, not far from Hollywood where she was born 97 years ago.
This film (1957) in which cowboys Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas ruled the day, and in which Rhonda Fleming played a professional poker player, will do a lot for her glory. In those post-war years, when American cinema dominated the world, her femininity, her red hair earned her the nickname “queen of technicolor“. This flattering distinction had its price then because its rivals were called Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth.
Perhaps as a sign of fate, Marilyn Louis (that was her baptismal name) was born on August 10, 1923 in Hollywood. Her father is a university professor and her mother, also an artist, plays in musicals. After studying in a school in Beverly Hills, she decides to follow the mother’s example. Very quickly, after her first steps on the radio, she went on stage on Broadway to play in the musical Blackouts.
His stage presence got him noticed by David O. Selznick, one of America’s most powerful producers. He believes in her. He renamed her Rhonda Fleming, a surname considered more attractive and above all less common than Marilyn Louis. 20th Century Fox hired her and from 1945 – she was just 22 years old – under this pseudonym, she appeared in the credits of an Alfred Hitchcock film Doctor Edwardes House which brings together Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck.
In 1956, she played under the direction of Fritz Lang in The Fifth Column and the following year in the anthology Settling accounts at OK Corral with the sacred monsters Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. By a curious paradox, his most famous role will be his swan song.
Shunned, from the mid-1960s, by the cinema, Rhonda Fleming then continued her career on television where the general public recognized her in series as popular as Kung Fu or The Cruise has fun. A philosopher faced with this return of fortune, she had confessed to Guardian from 1976: “ I got it wrong by agreeing to star in B movies just for the money.“
In tribute to the talent of Rhonda Fleming, Le Figaro, present below, two extracts from Settling accounts at OK Corral by John Sturges and Doctor Edwardes House by Alfred Hitchcock.
Settling accounts at OK Corral (Gunfight at the OK Corral ) by John Sturges released in 1957, inspired by the shooting of OK Corral, with Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming …
Doctor Edwardes House (Spellbound ) by Alfred Hitchcock, in 1945, with Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Rhonda Fleming …