2011–The 75th Anniversary of GWTW, the book, based in part on writings from the Mitchell family scrapbook, shown above.
With the recent death of Gone With The Wind fans beloved Cammie King, who played Bonnie Blue Butler there have been many news reports about it. Most of them say “now Olivia deHavilland is the only principal from the movie still living.” She is indeed one of the ones that Selznick told his assistant Marcella Rabwin were his “big five” and they are Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Hattie McDaniel, Olivia deHavilland, and Leslie Howard.
There are, however other actors from Gone With The Wind who are still living, and three of them will be attending the Gateway To The Wind event in St. Louis (www.GWTWbook.com). One of the actors from the movie, still living, may not have been a “principal” in the movie, but she was certainly a huge star and that is Ann Rutherford. Ann will not be able to attend Gateway To The Wind because she does not like to have too much travel. She will be attending an event in September in Ohio.
“That will be my swan song for the year,” said the actor, who is over ninety (it’s not nice to say a woman’s age so we won’t), “But please be sure to say hi to all of my Windie friends. I would love to come but you can only do so much.”
And she does do so much. She was really happy that the Ohio trip is the date it is because she is able to attend the memorial service for Cammie King right before she leaves.
“Cammie and I were dear friends for years,” said Rutherford from her home on Tuesday. “I’m heartbroken about her death. We always kept in touch. I always knew where she was going.”
Sadly, she acknowledged that she knew where she was going now, too.
These days Ann Rutherford spends her time helping raise money for two causes that are near and dear to her heart.
“I help Kent State raise money and I also help the Young Musicians Foundation” she said. “I don’t like to charge for my autograph. I never do it. But these people said it would help them raise the money for the Young Musicians Foundation, so I sat and signed and afterwards I asked how much they had made. It was a lot of money.”
The Young Musicians Foundation helps buy instruments for school children. “Did you know there are so many schools out there that have been forced to cut their music programs? That’s terrible. I’m just doing what I can to help,” she said.
Ann Rutherford is such a philanthropic person that when she found out the proceeds from the Gateway To The Wind Ball will go to Rainbows For Kids, a 501 (c)(3) charity dedicated to helping families of children with cancer, she offered to sign some items which will be in the auction.
Ann will also be featured in the new documentary “The Making Of A Masterpiece” based on the book, which will be shown on Sunday Nov. 7 at the Anheuser-Busch Theatre in Cook Hall at Saint Louis University during the Gone With The Wind weekend in St. Louis. Besides Ann, that documentary will feature video clips from Cammie King and three actors who played Beau Wilkes in GWTW: Mickey Kuhn, Patrick Curtis, and Greg Giese.
The interviews for the documentary were filmed in Marietta, Georgia at an event held by The Marietta Gone With The Wind Museum, Scarlett On The Square. Cammie was beautiful in a bright red suit and Ann was vibrant in yellow.
“Cammie was a great friend of mine,” she said. “She had a great affection for her son, Matt, too.”
Matt is working with the Marietta Gone With The Wind Museum to put together a celebration of Cammie’s life so that those from the Atlanta, Georgia area can attend. Plans are in the works and it looks like it may be Oct. 3. That was the projected date at the time this column was written. Matt also took over Cammie’s Facebook page, changing name from Cammie King Conlon to “Cammie King Conlon Remembered” so that friends and fans have a place to express their feelings about this beloved lady.
“I am overwhelmed by all of the love (shown to his mother on the Facebook Page)” said Matt.
By Sally Tippett Rains, author of The Making Of A Masterpiece, The True Story of Margaret Mitchell’s Classic Novel, Gone With The Wind. Sept. 8, 2010 (www.GWTWbook.com) Please join my Facebook page: GWTWbook.com. You can follow this blog by subscribing and it will come to your inbox.
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