King Kong: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fay Wray, who achieved screen immortality when she starred as the frightened young woman carried by King Kong to the top of the Empire State Building, died Sunday of natural causes at her home in Manhattan.

She was 96.

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The image of the diminutive, blonde-wigged Wray in the grasp of the giant, dark ape atop what was at the time the world's tallest building is one of cinema's most recognizable and powerful images.

King Kong was named one of the 100 greatest films of all time by the American Film Institute in 1998.

"They told me I was going to have the tallest, darkest, leading man in Hollywood," Wray quipped in her 1989 autobiography, "On the Other Hand: A Life Story." So identified was she with the iconic film that director Peter Jackson, who is prepping a "King Kong" remake met with her, and according to her daughter Victoria Riskin, "they became fast friends, warm and enthusiastic."