Friday, July 2, 2010

Fay Wray - Hollywood Legend and devout Latter Day

Fay Wray (1907 - 2004) is best remembered today as Ann Darrow, the ficticious starlet who appears screaming herself hoarse in King Kong (1933). What you may not have known about Fay Wray was that off screen she was a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Originally from Canada, her grandfather was Daniel Webster Jones (pictured below), a pioneer who pressed for the Morman church to begin establishing ministries in Candadian territories.
Fay's grandfather not only was a Morman missionary but he is also cited as being the first person to translate sections of the Book of Morman into Spanish dialect and led the first Morman missionary to Spain in the 1850s. He died in 1915 when Fay was just eight years old. Throughout her life Fay lived it according to the teachings and preachings of the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints due to the fact that it was that denomination that her grandfather had supported throughout his life.

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    It appears that you have shut down your blog, but perhaps you or your readers might be interested in a few corrections to this post:

    Fay Wray was not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during her lifetime. Her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were, so she did have some cultural ties to Mormonism. However, her parents, Heber Wray and Marguerite Jones Wray chose to abandon the Church and raise their family outside of its teachings and practices. Fay was never baptized.

    She did, however, speak highly of her grandfather, Daniel Webster Jones, and devoted a few pages to him in her autobiography, "On the Other Hand" (Trafalgar Square, 1990).

    Daniel Webster Jones leaves no mention in his 400 page autobiography, "Forty Years Among the Indians" (Juvenile Instructor Press, 1890) of a desire to establish colonies in the Canadian territories. He did give some input, however, in the Church's establishing colonies in Mexico.

    You are correct that Daniel Webster Jones was commissioned to produce the first translation of selections from the Book of Mormon into Spanish (although others were involved, notably Henry Brizzee and Meliton Trejo). Subsequently, however, he led the first Mormon mission into Mexico in 1875, not to Spain in the 1850s.

    I appreciate your interest in this material. I only learned of the connection between Daniel Webster Jones, my ancestor, and Fay Wray in 2003 while transcribing Jones' autobiography online. She was his last living granddaughter, and passed away about a year after I learned this. If you have additional sources regarding her feelings towards Daniel Webster Jones or her Mormon heritage, I would be very interested in seeing them.

    I have compiled a number of sources here, if you're interested: