Labels: , , ,

Alicia Rhett, Oldest Surviving Gone with the Wind Actress, Diest at 98

Alicia Rhett. Image: Wikimedia
While a lot of damsels-in-distress would go heed to the call of stardom, Alicia Rhett was an exception. Instead, she chose to follow what she wanted most in life: pursue a life in arts and become Charleston's most avid lover. She did not lack the beauty, said Bill Trawick, CEO of the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, where she has lived since 2002, until she died January 3, 2014. But she had innate passion for privacy, one thing that she could not have had had she become a Hollywood celebrity.

Rhett was born in Savannah, Georgia, on February 1, 1915. Her mother was Isabelle Murdoch, who moved South from Liverpool, England. Her father was Edmund M. Rhett, an American army officer and engineer based in Savannah. Her father died during World War I, prompting Alicia and her mother to move to Charleston, South Carolina, where she worked as a theater actress.

While performing in The Recruiting Officer in 1936, Hollywood director, George Cukor spotted her while scouting for actresses to portray Scarlett O'Hara for the film Gone Wind the Wind. Margaret Mitchell wrote the best-selling novel, but David Selznick bough the film rights. Rhett's beauty and charm was noticed by Cukor. While she failed to grab the role of Melanie, which she auditioned for, she was eventually offered to play the role of India, sister of Ashley Wilkes. This was the first and only motion picture role that Rhett ever played. After Gone with the Wind, she left Hollywood and forevermore turned her back from the movie world.

She eventually worked as an accent coach for aspiring actors and as an announcer at a Charleston radio station. She also showed her talent in sketching and painting. In fact, she used to sketch and draw portraits of her fellow Gone with the Wind actors in between takes. She also illustrated for a number books, including South Carolina Indians (1965), written by Beth Causey and Leila Darby.

On her death, Rhett was inaccurately labeled by the media as the oldest-surviving actor from Gone With the Wind. Actually, it is Shep Houghton, born in 1914, who played a small but uncredited role.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


More Stars in Heaven © 2012 | Designed by Canvas Art, in collaboration with Business Listings , Radio stations and Corporate Office Headquarters