Rhonda Fleming, a true Hollywood original and an “Ambassador for Christ”, describes how ‘God healed her husband after a stroke.
Sitting quietly with her husband Darol Wayne Carlson, in the audience of the 14th Annual Media Fellowship International (MFI) Praise Brunch on Saturday, September 22, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, was Rhonda Fleming, a true Hollywood original and, more importantly, an “Ambassador for Christ” in Tinseltown.
Rhonda Fleming with her husband, Darol
Fleming (born Marilyn Louis in Hollywood, California, on August 10, 1923), is an American film and television actress who acted in more than 40 films, mostly in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, and became renowned as one of the most beautiful and glamorous actresses of her day. She was nicknamed the “Queen of Technicolor” because her fair complexion, green eyes and red hair that photographed exceptionally well in Technicolor.
She appeared with stars like Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Glenn Ford, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Rock Hudson and Ronald Reagan (with whom she made four films) and had several love scenes with him.
She brought laughter at a previous MFI event when she recalled the times she had kissed Ronald Reagan on screen. “Who would have thought that I was kissing the man who would go on to be the 40th President of the United States,” she said.
For Rhonda, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to be there with her husband was a true miracle as he wasn’t expected to live after suffering a devastating stroke. Widowed for two years, following the death of her 23-year-long marriage to producer, Ted Mann, Rhonda met Darol who was an old friend and whose wife had also died. It occurred when he saw her on TBN giving her testimony and he sent a hand-written letter to her Clinic for Women with Cancer at UCLA and, at his request, she telephoned him.
Rhonda Fleming with actor, Ronald Reagan
A deeply Christian man, they made a good team and were married in 2003. But then, a year and a half later, it all came crashing down when he had the stroke.
“His recovery was a great miracle,” she told me in an interview. “It was in 2004 when he had a serious stroke, but he survived so beautifully because we had so many prayer warriors from all over coming to the house to pray for him and he was in time determined to fight to get well.
“I love God so much because he’s a miracle worker. When you call on him with all your heart, believe me, he hears you.”
“I could write a book on just the miracles he’s given me. And the fact that He let me keep my husband, now of eleven years together, after my husband Ted Mann died, as God heard the prayers of so many and he wasn’t taken away from me.”
I then asked Rhonda what had happened when he had the stroke.
“He had just had lunch downstairs with friends and went upstairs and was going to get to work at his desk,” she said. “A half-hour later my friends had left. I was going to take a nap myself and then I decided I had to call upstairs to see if Darol was ok. I called but he didn’t answer. And I thought, ‘that’s strange’ so I went upstairs and there he was on the bed and I said, ‘What are you doing lying down? You never take a nap?’ and he kept saying, ‘sleep, sleep.’
“And I said, ‘no Darol’ and I quickly called my Filipino couple who thankfully were in the house and they ran upstairs and took his blood pressure which was really high. We then decided to get him off the bed and take him to Saint John’s Hospital where I’m on the board and he was kept there for about ten days.”
Rhonda said that after that time, the staff wanted to send him onto another hospital, but she said that she preferred that he came home and that’s where a constant prayer team came to pray for him and gradually, he began making a full recovery from the stroke.
As we were talking, Darol walked over to us and so I asked him how he felt after suffering the stroke, and he smiled and replied, “Wonderful – really great. I am really thankful. It was all due to prayer and especially the prayers of my wife – she’s a great prayer warrior.”
For more information on Rhonda Fleming, please go to her website, which is www.rhondafleming.com. When you get there you will read at the bottom of the main page, a Scripture verse from John 6:35, which reads, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me, shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”
That certainly sums up the deeply-held belief of Rhonda Fleming, a true “Ambassador for Christ” in Hollywood.
Note: I would like to thank Robin Frost for transcribing this interview.