ALICIA RHETT (India Wilkes) DIES AT 98

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Posted by Faye Bell on January 04, 2014 at 11:16:53:


PHOTOS SHOWN ABOVE: Left - Alicia Rhett in GWTW ~ Right - Alicia
Rhett in 2012


By Mayra Cuevas and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 11:30 AM EST, Sat January 4, 2014

CNN) -- Alicia Rhett, who had been one of the oldest surviving
cast member of the classic film "Gone With the Wind," died Friday
in her longtime hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, a
retirement community spokeswoman said.

Rhett passed away of natural causes around 5 p.m. surrounded by
friends at Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community, said
Kimberly Farfone Borts, a spokeswoman for the community.
She was 98.

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Rhett moved with her mother to
Charleston after her father died during World War I, according to
Borts. Her roots to the South trace back even deeper: According
to her biography on the Turner Classic Movies website -- which,
like CNN, is a unit of Time Warner -- she was the great-
granddaughter of U.S. Sen. Robert Rhett, known as the "Father of
Secession" for his staunch and vocal anti-Union positions.
Rhett was doing local theater productions when she was spotted
for a role in the 1939 classic "Gone With the Wind," a film based
on Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

She was cast as India Wilkes, sister of plantation owner Ashley
Wilkes who was at odds with Scarlet O'Hara, played by Vivien

While the runaway success and continued notoriety of "Gone With
the Wind" made Rhett recognizable nationwide, she did not pursue
the limelight. Instead of heading to Hollywood, Rhett went back
to Charleston.

In the coastal South Carolina city, she developed a reputation as
a talented artist, producing works seen in the state library and
in many plantations in the area, as well as sketches of her
fellow "Gone With the Wind" cast members, according to Borts.
Rhett never married and had a relatively quiet life, though she
was involved in local arts programs.

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