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Rhonda Fleming, ‘Queen of Technicolor’ in the 1940s and 50s, dies aged 97 | Film

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Rhonda Fleming, the actor nicknamed “The Queen of Technicolor” and who appeared with Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan and other film stars of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 97.

Fleming’s assistant Carla Sapon told the New York Times that Fleming died on Wednesday in Santa Monica, California.

From her first film in colour, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949) with Bing Crosby, Fleming became immensely popular with producers because of her vivid natural colouring. It was an attraction she would later regret.

“Suddenly my green eyes were green. My red hair was flaming red. My skin was porcelain white,” Fleming remarked in a 1990 interview. “There was suddenly all this attention on how I looked rather than the roles I was playing.”

“I’d been painted into a corner by the studios, who never wanted more from me than my looking good and waltzing through a parade of films like The Redhead and the Cowboy.”

Fleming, left, with Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past



Fleming, left, with Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (1947). Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar

Before Reagan entered politics, the actress co-starred with him in Hong Kong, Tropic Zone, The Last Outpost and Tennessee’s Partner. “He surprised everyone because he never looked in a mirror,” she once said of Reagan. “How many actors can you say that about?”

In the big-studio era, many new personalities were publicised as having been discovered in quirky ways: Kim Novak while riding a bicycle past an agent’s office, Lana Turner spotted in a malt shop. In Fleming’s case, young Marilyn Louis was reported to have been headed to class at Beverly Hills High School when a man followed her in a big black car and told her, “You ought to be in pictures.” She avoided him, but he turned up at her home and offered to be her agent. The man in fact was Henry Willson, a wellknown Hollywood agent who also masterminded the early careers of Rock Hudson and Robert Wagner.

At 19 Louis was awarded a six-month contract at the studio of David O Selznick and given a new name: Rhonda Fleming. She played a bit part in the 1944 wartime drama Since You Went Away, and then Alfred Hitchcock chose her to play what he described as a “nymphomaniac” in Spellbound, starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. “I rushed home, and my mother and I looked up ‘nymphomaniac’ in the dictionary,” she said later. “We were both shocked.”

Spellbound led to another suspense film, The Spiral Staircase, in which she was strangled by the villain, George Brent. With Selznick concentrating on the career of his wife, Jennifer Jones, he lost interest in his contract players, and Fleming left the studio to freelance. Her next films were Abilene Town, a Randolph Scott western; Out of the Past, a film noir with Robert Mitchum; and Adventure Island, a tropics thriller starring Rory Calhoun.

Fleming pulls a gun on John Payne in a publicity shot for The Eagle and the Hawk (1950)



Fleming pulls a gun on John Payne in a publicity shot for The Eagle and the Hawk (1950) Photograph: Cine Text / Allstar/Sportsphoto Ltd. / Allstar

She won a leading role in A Connecticut Yankee, a Crosby musical based on the Mark Twain story, after Deanna Durbin dropped out to retire to France. Crosby was so impressed that he recommended her to Bob Hope, with whom she starred in The Great Lover.

Ironically, the Crosby/Hope films that established her as a major figure proved to be ones she was never able to top. She remained a star for 15 years, but except for the Lancaster-Douglas Gunfight at the OK Corral, most of her performances came in B pictures that exploited her looks. “I made the mistake of doing lesser films for good money,” she said in a 1976 interview. “I was hot, they all wanted me – but I didn’t have the guidance or background to judge for myself.”

Among her 1950s films were While the City Sleeps, directed by Fritz Lang and co-starring Dana Andrews. She played Cleopatra in the 1953 film Serpent of the Nile. But many titles were forgettable: The Eagle and the Hawk, The Last Outpost, Little Egypt, The Killer Is Loose, Slightly Scarlet, Those Redheads from Seattle and Pony Express (with Charlton Heston).

After her film career cooled off, Fleming took a singing act to Las Vegas, appeared in TV shows and commercials, starred on Broadway in a revival of The Women and sang as the temptress Lalume in Kismet for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera.

While still in her teens, Fleming married her high school sweetheart, Thomas Lane. A son, Kent, was born in 1941. When Lane returned from Army service, Rhonda had become a star, and the marriage ended in 1947. Three other marriages also ended in divorce, to Beverly Hills surgeon Lewis Morrill (1952-1958); actor Lang Jeffries (1960-1962); and producer-director Hall Bartlett (1966-1972). In 1977 Fleming married mogul Ted Mann, who built the Mann Theater chain, and the marriage lasted until his death in 2001.After Mann died, Fleming married for a sixth time, to Derol W Carlson, who died in 2017.


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This Is Us, Season 5 Premiere: Twitter Reactions

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This is us…crying over last night’s episode!

The emotional roller coaster that is This Is Us returned last night for a special two-hour, Season 5 premiere.

I was beyond excited because the writing on this show is spectacular and I was dying to find out how they resolved last season’s cliffhangers.

From Kevin and Randall exchanging words that they can never take back to Rebecca forgetting where she is in the middle of town, I NEEDED ANSWERS!

View this video on YouTube


NBC

Well, not only did they explore those storylines, but they also found ways to incorporate current events, without it feeling forced…like the pandemic:

…and police brutality. It even led to one of these most heartbreaking conversations ever had on the show: Randall explaining to Kate about the pain Black people are forced to mask to make others feel comfortable.

“If I made things better for you, then where does that leave me? I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. That has been my pattern all my life and honestly, Kate, it is exhausting. I’m exhausted.” #ThisIsUs

And after all of those emotional scenes, still, nothing prepared me for the last 30 seconds of the premiere episode. HOW IS SHE ALIVE, YALL?!?!

Anyway, the premiere was excellent and I’m already excited for what’s to come next week. But I’m not the only one! Here’s what other fans thought about the return of This Is Us:

2.

oop. not randall telling kate her white woman tears will not work this time lmao #ThisIsUs

4.

I’m convinced this is the #ThisIsUs writers room tryna keep track of things AND STILL SURPRISE US

5.

“You were born out of tragedy. Multiple tragedies. All that loss. All that sadness. Look right here in this room. Look what you did with all of that. Do you see it?”

#ThisIsUs @NBCThisisUs @SterlingKBrown

6.

cultural impact:

█   
█ 
█ 
█  _
kate, randall, & kim kardashian
kevin turning 40 turning 40
#thisisus

7.

“i’m exhausted.”

– Randall Pearson and all the Black people around the world.

#ThisIsUs

8.

#ThisIsUs wow. just wow. that CLIFFHANGER. goodbye i am wow i wow no words… the entire premiere. insane.

11.

This is Us really hit white fragility and Black mental health/trauma just the way I needed them to ❤️ #thisisus #Randall

14.

Beth Pearson is phenomenol. The way she supports Randall, encourages him and gives him strength is phenomenal. My admiration for her keeps increasing more and more after each season😍 #ThisIsUs

15.

Mandy Moore has never gotten enough credit for the fact that she pretty much plays 3 (or 4!) different characters on this show!! She crushes every single one. #ThisIsUs

16.

Look at the symbolism of one father walking out as another walks in. Jack being the answer to Williams prayer even when Jack is battling to believe. #ThisIsUs #thisusnbc

17.

watching #ThisIsUs and the way they transitioned the season finale into the recent present.

18.

Words can’t express how outstanding that season 5 premiere was. The writing. The acting. ALL OF IT. How can a group of people create such a masterpiece?? HOW?? Without fail the most emotional I’ve ever been watching @NBCThisisUs. Absolutely brilliant. I’m blown away.👏

#ThisIsUs

19.

The #ThisIsUs writers are fucking geniuses. How they were able to seamlessly blend their previous storylines with the current world issues IS SO CRAZY.

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Best Bachelorette Twitter Reactions From Episode 3

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Well, um, I don’t know what show Clare thinks she signed up for…but The Bachelorette might not be the one for her!!! I’m plenty fine with her packing up her car with her fiancé and making way for Tayshia.

ANYWAY, here are the best tweets from last night’s ridiculous episode:

1.

I don’t want to call it early, but in a bizarre turn of events, I think this photo shows both the worst Bachelor AND Bachelorette of all time. #TheBachelorette

2.

ABC: We need an older woman to be #thebachelorette so we can give America the mature, less dramatic season it deserves.

Clare:

5.

Me too brah…This is the look we all have had since the start of this season🤣🤣🤣 #TheBachelorette #bachelorette

10.

Apparently Claire got this close to Zach before realizing he is in fact not actually Dale #TheBachelorette #bachelorette

11.

THEY BROUGHT IN CHRIS HARRISON TO SEND HIM HOME???? WHAT JUST HAPPENED??? #TheBachelorette

14.

Claire asking about info about Dale has the SAME vibes as Angela asking around about dwight pepper spraying Roy #TheBachelorette #BachelorNation #bachelorette

15.

“I didn’t get what I needed from you guys” says Clare after spending the whole night asking them about dale 🤦‍♀️ all the guys deserve better than her #TheBachelorette #TheBacheloretteABC #thebachlorette

16.

clare: “i can’t believe they just roasted my fiancé like that”

everyone else:
#bachelorette

17.

FIANCÉ ????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME ??? this is so disrespectful #TheBachelorette #bachelorette

18.

The cameraman when Clare said “they’re dishing out my fiancé right now” ????? #TheBachelorette #bachelorette

21.

never once did i think in the year of our lord 2020 i would find myself rooting for someone like bennett #bachelorette

22.

Clare: the men seem to be making some jokes about Dale

*Bennett seizing the moment*

#bachelorette #TheBachelorette

23.

Bennett: “Can we stop talking about Dale?”
Clare: “Dale, Dale, Dale…” #TheBachelorette #BacheloretteABC

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Zoey 101 Theme Song Follow Me Music Video

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Not me getting emotional over a time capsule…

In the video, the original actors are back on set to cast and film the music video… it’s all very meta.


UMG / youtube.com

Erin Sanders (Quinn Pensky), Matthew Underwood (Logan Reese), and Chris Massey (Michael Barret), and Sean Flynn (Chase Matthews) all returned.

And there are some new guests like JoJo Siwa, Dixie D’Amelio, Loren Gray, Gigi Gorgeous, and Noah Beck who joined in on the fun too.


UMG / youtube.com

Chantel Jeffries, Sofía Reyes, Eva Gutowski, and Too Hot to Handle‘s Harry Jowsey were also there.

There are even cameos from Jamie Lynn’s daughter Maddie and her mom Lynne.

Then, Jamie Lynn gives us a brand-new pop version of the *iconic* theme song along with SO many great Zoey 101 references.

Like Quinn and her ~Quinn-ventions~…

…Pear company computers and Tek-Mates…

…that episode where the cast got stranded on the beach…

…the legendary Jet-X…

…Logan and Quinn’s ✨secret romance✨…

…and of course, the time capsule where Chase finally admitted he was in love with Zoey.

It’s all so — dare I say — ~drippin’~.

Just see for yourself! Watch the video here.

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