Actress Ann Rutherford, who had a small role as Scarlett's younger sister, Carreen, in the 1939 film Gone With the Wind, has died. She was 94.
Rutherford, who also portrayed Mickey Rooney's teenage girlfriend in the Andy Hardy movies, died Monday evening at her home in Beverly Hills, her close friend and fellow actress, Anne Jeffreys, told the Los Angeles Times. She had been in declining health with heart problems.
Rutherford was born Nov. 2, 1917, in Vancouver to John Rutherford, a concert tenor, and his wife, Lucille Mansfield, a silent-film actress. At 9, she moved with her family from San Francisco to Los Angeles. When an actress she resembled dropped out of the 1935 film Waterfront Lady, Rutherford was cast in the first of nearly 60 movies she would make by 1950, according to The Times. Under contract with MGM, she was a regular in the hugely successful Andy Hardy series when studio head Louis B. Mayer informed her that his son-in- law, producer David O. Selznick, wanted to borrow her for Gone With the Wind.
Mayer called it "a nothing part" and planned to say no, Rutherford told The Times in 2010. A fan of the Margaret Mitchell novel, Rutherford implored Mayer to reconsider. When she uncharacteristically burst into tears, he relented, The Times reported.
As she became one of the last surviving cast members of Gone With the Wind, Rutherford made a second career out of attending festivals featuring the beloved Civil War epic. In addition to her daughter, Gloria, the widowed Rutherford is survived by two grandsons, Jeffreys told The Times.