| 12.8°C Belfast

Gone With The Wind actress dies


Gone With The Wind actress Ann Rutherford as died

Gone With The Wind actress Ann Rutherford as died

Gone With The Wind actress Ann Rutherford as died

Ann Rutherford, the demure brunette actress who played Scarlett O'Hara's youngest sister in Gone With The Wind, has died at the age of 94.

A close friend, Anne Jeffreys, said she was at Rutherford's side when she died at her Beverly Hills home.

She died of heart problems and had been ill for several months, Ms Jeffreys said.

"She was a dear person, a very funny lady, wonderful heart, was always trying to do things for people," Ms Jeffreys said.

Ann Rutherford was a frequent guest at Gone With The Wind celebrations in Georgia and, as one of the few remaining actors from the film, continued to attract fans from around the world, Ms Jeffreys said.

"She loved it. It really stimulated the last years of her life, because she got thousands of emails from fans," Ms Jeffreys said. "She was in great demand."

She was also known for the Andy Hardy series, a hugely popular string of comical, sentimental films, that starred Lewis Stone as a small-town judge and Mickey Rooney as his spirited teenage son.

She first appeared in the second film of the series, You're Only Young Once, in 1938, and she featured in 11 more. She played Polly Benedict, the ever-faithful girlfriend that Andy always returned to, no matter what other, more glamorous girl had temporarily caught his eye.

It was said she won the part of Carreen - the youngest of the three O'Hara sisters in Gone With The Wind - because Judy Garland was filming The Wizard Of Oz.

Ann told the Los Angeles Times that MGM head Louis B Mayer was going to refuse her the role, calling it "a nothing part". But as a fan of the novel, she uncharacteristically burst into tears and he relented.