By Ariel Messman-Rucker

No list of women’s contribution to the horror genre would be complete without giving a nod to the original “Queen of Scream,” Fay Wray.

Before Peter Jackson had them ice skating in Central Park (tragic directorial mistake), the giant ape was in love with Wray who played Ann Darrow in the original King Kong.

Wray first graced the silver screen during the silent movie era, but it was the talkies that truly made her famous.

As the gorgeous blond whose feminine wiles captured the heart of a massive gorilla, Wray belted out screams earning her a place in horror movie history as the very first Scream Queen.

And although Wray spent most of the film as a helpless victim, more apt to use her vocal cords than her wits or physical strength, she braved the open sea unsure of her destination, for a chance to be famous –and that takes guts.

Up against an ape that could scale the empire state building, Wray only screamed until help arrived, but she paved the way for future leading ladies and luckily women have since gone on to kick ass in horror movies giving the moniker of Scream Queen a more modern, updated definition.

King Kong was the only big horror movie Wray was ever in though she did star in a few lesser known early entries into the genre, including Doctor x, The Vampire Bat, Mystery of the Wax Museum and The Most Dangerous Game.

Wray’s career never again reached the heights she attained while on top of the Empire State Building with Kong, but she will always be remembered for this contribution to horror movie history.

Genre Cred: Doctor X (1932), The Most Dangerous Game (1932), The Vampire Bat (1933), Mystery of the wAx Museum (1933), King Kong (1933), The Clairvoyant (1934), Black Moon (1934), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1958)