Alicia Rhett, one of the oldest surviving cast members of the iconic screen epic ‘Gone With the Wind,’ passed away Friday in Charleston, South Carolina.
According to Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community spokesperson Kimberly Farfone Borts, Rhett died quietly of natural causes at
around 5 p.m., while surrounded by family and friends. She was 98.
Long-time Charleston resident Rhett was born in Savannah, and was the great-granddaughter of U.S. Sen. Robert Rhett, also known as the “Father of Secession,” for his flashy anti-Union positions. Rhett was acting in local theatre in Charleston when a talent scout spotted her for ‘Gone With the Wind,’ the 1939 epic based on Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
Below is the ‘Gone With the Wind’ 1939 trailer:
‘Gone with the Wind’ is an American epic historical romance film that was produced by David O. Selznick, set in the 19th-century American South during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. The film concerns the dealings of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), and her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) who is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland). O’Hara marries three times while pining over Wilkes, with her most intriguing husband being Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).
Butler, explaining to O’hara how it is:
Alicia Rhett was cast as India Wilkes, sister of Ashley Wilkes. After the success of ‘Gone With the Wind,’ Rhett became a bit of a celebrity, but returned to Charleston, instead of pursuing a career in Hollywood. Rhett was known as a talented artist, and had works shown at the South Carolina state library and in many plantations in the region.
Rhett never married and lead a quiet life, and was involved in local arts programs. She is also remembered for her sketches of fellow ‘Gone With the Wind’ cast members.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.