Gone With The Wind Star Alicia Rhett Is No More


Legendary Hollywood Actress Alicia Rhett, who was the oldest surviving cast member of the classic 1939 film Gone With The Wind, is no more. She died in South Carolina on Friday, December 03, 2014. She was ninety eight.

Alicia rose to fame with her portrayal of India Wilkes, sister of Ashley Wilkes in the award-winning film, Gone With The Wind, based on Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer historical novel of the same name.

Other surviving cast members from Gone With The Wind are ninety seven year old Olivia de Havilland who essayed the role of Melanie Hamilton, Ashley Wilkes’ cousin and wife; ninety three year old Mary Anderson, who played Maybelle Merriweather and eighty one year old Mickey Kuhn, who played Beau Wilkes.

After the success of Gone With The Wind, Alicia left Hollywood and returned to South Carolina. She retired from filmmaking in 1941, citing a lack of suitable roles and later became an accent coach for aspiring actors and a radio announcer.

“Truly a beautiful woman, her passion for the arts and love of Charleston were unrivaled. Alicia was a kind and gentle lady,” said Bill Trawick, CEO of the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, where she had lived since 2002.

Alicia Rhett was born on February 01, 1915 and moved to Charleston with her mother, Isabelle Murdoch, who was an immigrant to the USA from Liverpool, after her father died in World War One. Alicia was the great-granddaughter of South Carolina Senator Robert Brunwell Rhett, whose Anti-Union Rhetoric and Pro-Slavery Stance in the years leading up to the American Civil War earned him the sobriquet the Father of Secession.

She was seen as intensely private, totally uninterested in being a celebrity, and preferred a quieter, art-filled life. She was devoted to painting and illustration, producing on-set portraits of fellow actors, including her Gone with the Wind counterparts. She also volunteered to paint public school children and other people as well.

She died at Bishop Gadsden at about 05:00 pm EST (22:00 GMT), officials there said. The cause of death was not immediately known.

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