Uprooted: Fay Wray

Uprooted: Fay Wray

A trivial look at famous family trees.

Monkey Business

You know her best as the screaming blonde in King Kong’s clutches – but perhaps little else comes to mind about silver-screen star Fay Wray. Although she appeared alongside such movie giants as Gary Cooper, Leslie Nielsen, Walter Brennan and Lillian Gish in 70-plus films from 1925 to 1958, playing the animatronic ape’s love interest proved her most memorable role. Raised in a Mormon family, the brown-haired actress (she wore a wig in King Kong) got her big break in 1926, when the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers chose her as one of its Baby Stars, leading to a contract with Paramount Pictures. Ironically, the celebrated screamer originally starred in silent films. Wray died in August 2004 at age 96 – just a few years shy of her 100th birthday. In honor of that Sept. 15 milestone, we monkeyed around with Wray’s family tree.

1 Where was Wray born?

a. Salt Lake City
b. Cardston, Alberta, Canada
c. Hong Kong
d. Los Angeles

2 Wray was the granddaughter of which Mormon pioneer?

a. Brigham Young
b. Joseph Smith
c. Daniel Webster Jones
d. Heber Jeebers
3 In 1930, Wray and first husband John M. Saunders’ Los Angeles home was valued at
a. $12,000
b. $171.32
c. $26,000
d. $55,000

4 What was the name of Wray’s paternal grandmother?

a. Ann Darrow Wray
b. Juliana Goulding Wray
c. Rachel Wray
d. Gwendolyn X. Wray

5 Which book did Wray’s Mormon grandfather write?

a. Webster’s Dictionary
b. Forty Years Among the Indians
c. Forever Young
d. Bedtime for Bonzo
e. Gorillas in Our Midst

6 Wray’s maternal grandmother, Harriet Emily (Colton) Jones, died

a. in a freak accident
b. of ovarian cancer
c. in childbirth
d. before she had children

7 Her father, Joseph Heber Wray, operated a ranch called

a. Wrayland
b. The Wild Horse Stampede
c. Kong’s Korral
d. The Four Feathers

8 Wray’s maternal great-greatgrandfather Aquilla Jones

a. ran a grocery store in Missouri
b. raised Capuchin monkeys
c. was maimed by a gorilla
d. was a Methodist minister

9 After Wray’s death

a. zookeepers around the world sat in the palms of gorillas’ hands
b. a gorilla face was engraved on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star
c. the Empire State Building went into complete darkness for 15 minutes in her memory

10 Wray’s grandfather translated the Book of Mormon into

a. French
b. Spanish
c. Navajo
d. Japanese


1. b. She and her family settled in the United States in 1911.

2. c. On his way to California, Daniel Webster Jones was shot by Indians and spent time convalescing in the home of a Mormon family in Provo, where he decided to convert and join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

3. d.

4. b.

5. b. You can read the book online at <www.geocities.com/fortyyearsamongtheindians>.

6. a. Emily and her baby were napping when a log shed built right next to their tent collapsed on them after heavy rains.

7. a.

8. d.

9. c.

10. b. Jones learned Spanish during his 1840s Mexican War service. He was stationed near Chihuahua and stayed there for two years after his discharge from the military.


Number of correct answers:

8-10 Celebrity Savvy

6-7 Notably Knowledgeable

4-5 Star Crossed

0-3 Infamously Ignorant

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