This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with film star Rhonda Fleming.
Rhonda Fleming has appeared in more than 40 motion pictures, starting with top featured roles in David O. Selznick’s Spellbound, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, RKO’s Out of the Past and The Spiral Staircase and leading into starring roles in classics such as Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Gunfight at the OK Corral, Home Before Dark, Pony Express, Slightly Scarlett, While The City Sleeps and The Big Circus.
Among her co-stars … Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Glenn Ford, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Rock Hudson and Ronald Reagan (with whom she made four films).
In addition to motion pictures, Ms. Fleming starred in her Broadway debut in Clare Booth Luce’s The Women, and in the role of Lalume in “Kismet” at the Los Angeles Music Center, and toured as Madame Dubonnet with “The Boyfriend.” She made her stage musical debut in Las Vegas at the opening of the new Tropicana Hotel’s showroom. Later, she appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in a one-woman concert of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin compositions. She also starred in a national ten-week concert tour with Skitch Henderson featuring the music of George Gershwin. She has guest-starred on numerous major television shows including Wagon Train, Police Woman, Love Boat, a two-hour production, “The Last Hours Before Morning,” and a two-hour special of McMillan and Wife. The 1990 television production, “Waiting For The Wind,” reunited her with her former co-star, Robert Mitchum.
A native-born Californian, Rhonda Fleming attended Beverly Hills public and private schools. Her mother, Effie Graham, was a famous model and actress in New York. She has a son, Kent Lane, and two granddaughters, Kimberly and Kelly.
Ms. Fleming resides in Century City with her husband, Darol W. Carlson. She was married for 23 years to Ted Mann, producer and chairman of Mann Theatres, until his death in January 2001.