Actress Ann Rutherford died Monday night in Beverly Hills at the age of 94, reportedly after suffering declining health due to heart problems.
Rutherford starred in the 1939 film Gone With The Wind as Scarlet O’Hara’s youngest sister, Carreen. She was a huge fan of Margaret Mitchell’s novel and appearing in the film meant so much to her that she lobbied heavily for, as MGM head Louis B. Mayer put it, the “nothing part”.
Gone With The Wind went on to win 10 Academy Awards that year, including Best Picture and Best Director, and became one of the most beloved films in American film history.
Rutherford’s career started at an early age with stage appearances as a child, and she later progressed into films. As a teenager, she appeared in westerns with John Wayne and the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. Her career continued on with appearances in 18 films, including the recurring role of the lovable girlfriend, Polly Benedict, in the long running Andy Hardy film series. She also appeared in the television series The Bob Newhart Show, playing Newhart’s mother-in-law.
Rutherford has visited Riverside on numerous occasions in recognition of the film’s first screening here at the Fox Theater before it went into wide release. She couldn’t have been prouder to be a part of the film’s history. The photo shown here was taken during one of her visits to Riverside for the 2010 Riverside International Film Festival.
Rutherford was one of the last few surviving cast members of the legendary film. She has been quoted as concurring with other cast members that no matter what else they had done, “Our obituary will say we were in Gone With the Wind and we’ll be proud of it.”
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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