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Rhonda Fleming, film star in the 1940s and 1950s, dies at 97

CNN logo CNN 4 days ago By Amir Vera and Hollie Silverman, CNN
a person posing for the camera: Rhonda Fleming was known as the "Queen of Technicolor." © Araya Diaz/Getty Images Rhonda Fleming was known as the "Queen of Technicolor."

Rhonda Fleming, a film star in the 1940s and 50s known as the "Queen of Technicolor," has died, according to her assistant. She was 97.

Fleming died October 14 in Santa Monica, California, from aspiration pneumonia, her assistant Carla Sapon said. She had been in the hospital about a week, Sapon said.

Fleming was discovered by an agent while running to school, with her first top-featured role being in Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound." This role led to her starring in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" with Bing Crosby. She went on to star in more than 40 films during Hollywood's Golden Age of filmmaking.

Rhonda Fleming standing in front of a stove: Rhonda Fleming in 1955 in Italy. © Jim Pringle/ASSOCIATED PRESS Rhonda Fleming in 1955 in Italy.

Fleming also sang, releasing two albums. The first was with the 1950s gospel singing group The Four Girls with Jane Russell, Connie Haines and Beryl Davis. The second is was a collection of classic love songs titled "Rhonda."

The actress gave back to the community as well, opening a series of cancer centers and homeless shelters throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

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