Gone with the Windstarred many notable people. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh were the two main stars but the other stars led interesting lives as well. How much do you know about those who played Mammy, the Tarleton twins, Prissy, Belle Watling, etc? Test your Gone With the Wind real life actor/actress knowledge with the following questions.
1) Two actors/actresses on Gone with the Wind committed suicide. Do you know which two?
Ona Munson who played Belle Watling in Gone with the Wind faced poor health in 1955. She committed suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturate medication.
George Reeveswho played one of the Tarleton “twins” had a suspicious death but it was ultimately declared a suicide by a gunshot wound.
2) Do you know which black actor/actress on Gone with the Wind was the first to receive an academy award?
Hattie McDanielwho played Mammy won the award for Best Supporting Actress in Gone with the Wind. Her acceptance speech is so humble and heartwarming that I encourage you to follow this link from her name and read it.
3) Two Gone with the Wind actors/actresses were British. Do you know which ones?
Vivien Leigh’s (who played Scarlett O’Hara) parents moved to London when she was very small.
Leslie Howardwho played Ashley Wilkes was originally from England
4) Two Gone with the Wind actors/actresses were from Canada. Do you know which ones?
Victor Jorywho played the shady character Jonas Wilkerson-plantation overseer to the O’Hara’s- was born in Canada.
Ann Rutherford who played Careen O’Hara was also born in Canada.
5) Margaret Mitchell was killed after being hit by an automobile. Did you know one of the actors on Gone with the Wind lost his life in a similar way? If so, which one?
Oscar Polk who played Pork was struck down by a taxi and killed near Times Square in New York on 4 Jan 1949. Oddly enough Margaret Mitchell’s death was in August 1949 so they died in similar ways the same year.
6) One of the actresses on Gone with the Wind was a devout atheist. So much so she donated her body to medical science and her money she had to an association promoting freedom from religion. Do you know who she was?
Butterfly McQueen who played Prissy died from kerosene burns when a heater malfunctioned and burst into flames in 1995. She left her estate to a group that promotes freedom from religion and her body to medical science.
7) There are at least three survivors of Gone with the Wind alive today who were not small children when the movie was filmed. Do you know three of the stars who remain with us?
Olivia De Havilland who played Melanie Hamilton is alive and living in Paris. In recent years, she appeared in a documentary entitled “Melanie Remembers.”
Ann Rutherford who played Careen O’Hara is also alive and has appeared in recent events celebrating Gone with the Wind
Alicia Rhettwho played India Wilkes is also alive.
8) One actress from Gone with the Wind was offered the role of Rose Calvert on the movie Titanic in 1997. Other actresses outside of De Havilland and Rutherford were alive at that time but it could be one of the two mentioned. Was it?
In fact it was one of the two mentioned. Ann Rutherford was offered the role of Rose Calvert in Titanic but turned it down.
9) How many actors on Gone with the Wind had military service at some point in their lives? The answer is at least four. Which ones were brave soldiers?
Clark Gable enlisted in World War II after his wife, Carole Lombard died.
Victor Jory was in military service for Canada.
It is speculated Leslie Howard, who played Ashley Wilkes, was killed for his service during World War II. His son wrote a book about it.
Yakima Canutt, who played the man who attacked Scarlett in her buggy, was in WW1.
10) Two Gone with the Wind male stars were married five times. Do you know which two?
Clark Gable who played Rhett Butler was married five times.
Fred Cranewho played Brent Tarleton was also married five times.
11) Two Gone with the Wind stars lost their lives in 2008. Do you know which two?
Evelyn Keyes who played Suellen O’Hara died on 4 July 2008
Fred Crane who played Brent Tarleton died on 21 August 2008
12) The voice of the reminiscing soldier in the scene where Scarlett and Melanie are at the hospital with the shadows on the wall revealed a voice of a dying Confederate soldier. The soldier was voiced by a popular personality of the time period and a man who recorded an amazing version of “Singing in the Rain.” Do you know who it was?
Cliff Edwards voiced the man who spoke about not knowing where his brother was since a previous battle. Edwards also performed the song “When you wish among a star” that was later related to Jiminy Cricket with Walt Disney.
13) Which Gone with the Wind actor or actress was killed in a plane crash?
Leslie Howard was killed when his plane was shot down on 1 June 1943. His death involved some suspicious circumstances.
14) Who was the first Gone with the Wind character to lose his or her life following the movie?
Laura Hope Crews who played Aunt Pitty Pat Hamilton died on 12 November 1942.
15) One of the Gone with the Wind stars was the first of his or her race to sing on the radio. Do you know which black supporting actor had this honor?
Hattie McDaniel who played Mammy was both the first black person to sing on the radio and the first black person to win an Academy Award.
16) One of the Gone with the Wind actors/actresses had Irish immigrant parents? Do you know who this is?
Thomas Mitchell, who played Gerald O’Hara, was born to Irish immigrants.
17) One of the male black stars of Gone with the Wind damaged his voice from selling newspapers when he was a child. He went on to be on The Jack Benny Program. On Gone with the Wind, he is dressed more elderly than he was in real life. His raspy voice made him sound older than what he was. Do you know who I am speaking about?
Eddie Anderson who played Uncle Peter had damaged vocal chords and appeared on The Jack Benny Program. He and Jack were friends for many years.
18) Which Gone with the Wind main actor (out of Gable, Leigh, de Havilland, and Howard) was Jewish?
Leslie Howard, who played Ashley Wilkes was born to a Jewish family and changed his name for the stage. Leslie’s surname was actually Steiner.
19) Which Gone with the Wind actress was later known for terrible mood swings resulting from bipolar disorder?
Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara, was known to have bipolar disorder and suffered several breakdowns.
20) Which Gone with the Wind actor or actress became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1941?
Olivia De Havillandwas born in Tokyo, Japan to British parents and did not move to Hollywood until she was two years old. De Havilland became a naturalized citizen in 1941.
There are many more interesting facts I found while reading the characters biographies over the past day. My intention is to create small biographies that highlight these interesting parts of the character’s lives and release more as time goes by.