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Oldest surving member of 'Gone with the Wind' dies

By: The Associated Press
January 5, 2014 Updated: January 5, 2014 at 8:10 pm
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photo - Alicia Rhett (AP file)
Alicia Rhett (AP file) 

CHARLESTON, S.C. — 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 about 5 p.m. at the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, said Gadsden spokeswoman Kimberly Farfone Borts.

Rhett was the oldest surviving cast member of the 1939 film starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, Farfone said.

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

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

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

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

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