'Gone With the Wind' Actress Alicia Rhett Dies at 98


CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Alicia Rhett, an actress who played one of the sisters of Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind, died Friday. She was 98.

Rhett died of natural causes at the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, said Gadsden spokeswoman Kimberly Farfone Borts.

Rhett was the oldest surviving castmember of the 1939 film that starred Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, Farfone Borts said.

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Still-surviving castmembers include Olivia de Havilland, 97, who played Ashley Wilkes' (Leslie Howard) cousin and wife, Melanie Hamilton; Mary Anderson, 93, who played Maybelle Merriweather; and Mickey Kuhn, 81, who played Beau Wilkes, Farfone Borts said.

Rhett was born Feb. 1, 1915, in Savannah, Ga. She had been living at the retirement community in Charleston since August 2002.

In the movie, she played India Wilkes, a sister of Ashley Wilkes, with whom Scarlett O'Hara (Leigh) is deeply in love before Ashley marries Melanie and Scarlett becomes involved with Rhett Butler (Gable).

In addition to being an actress, Rhett also was a portrait artist and illustrator. She sketched her fellow Gone With the Wind actors between takes of the film, Farfone Borts said.

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