Rhonda Fleming, femme fatale from Hollywood’s golden age, dies at 97

The daughter of a former fashion model and actress, Ms. Fleming grew up in Beverly Hills, was a beauty pageant finalist at 15 and entered movies directly out of high school. Although she proved a capable actress in thrillers and comedies, her career was propelled foremost by her exquisite looks. Her figure “practically whistles at itself,” a film colony scribe observed early in her career, and her red hair and green eyes shone spectacularly in Technicolor.

She made an impressive debut as a nymphomaniac in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” (1945). “I didn’t even know what a nymphomaniac was,” she later told the Los Angeles Times. “My mother and I had to look it up in the dictionary.”

She appeared in the movie’s opening scene, aggressively flirting with a hospital orderly before breaking his skin with a scratch. “I hate men, I loathe them,” she tells a psychiatrist played by Ingrid

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