Fay Wray, who played the screaming girl kidnapped by the giant ape in the 1933 film King Kong, has died aged 96.
Fay Wray is renowned as the damsel in distress in King Kong
A spokesman said the Canadian-born actress had died on Sunday in New York.
Wray appeared in more than 70 films. She shot to fame in the 1928 silent classic, The Wedding March, and often played damsels in distress.
She said she had not realised at the time "that King Kong and I were going to be together for the rest of our lives, and longer".
'Not too impressed'
Fay Wray (left) at the Empire State building earlier this year
She recalled how King Kong Director Merian C Cooper "called me into his office and showed me sketches of jungle scenes, and told me 'You're going to have the tallest, darkest leading man in
"Naturally, I thought Clark Gable.
"But then he showed me this sketch of a giant ape up the
side of the Empire State Building, he said, 'There's your
She admitted that at the premiere of the movie, said she had not been "too impressed".
Wray was born in 1907 on a farm in Alberta, Canada, but emigrated to Los Angeles with her mother when her parents separated.
She hunted for work in Hollywood and from the age of 16 began picking up parts as an extra in various films.
She made her name in horror movies like Doctor X (1932) and The Vampire Bat (1933), and went on to appear with
such stars as Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper and Spencer Tracy.
But it was King Kong that secured her immortality on the silver screen.
In April this year film experts voted King Kong the most terrifying movie monster of all time in UK film magazine Empire.
In 1991 Wray was the guest of honour at a ceremony marking the 60th birthday of the Empire State Building.
She said that if she were the mayor of New York, "I would want to run the
city from this building... and get up every morning to see
the sun rise."
McKay, a friend, and the director of her last film, the documentary Broadway: The Golden Age, said she had died at her apartment in Manhattan.
He did not say what the official cause of death was.
"She just kind of drifted off quietly as if she was going
to sleep," he said. "She just kind of gave out."
Wray was married three times. She had a daughter, Susan, from her first marriage, and a
daughter and son, Victoria and Robert Jr, from the second.