Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Big Screen in the Sky

Film Gab is saddened to learn of the death of Ann Rutherford who played both Scarlett O'Hara's youngest sister Careen in Gone with the Wind (1939) and the devoted girlfriend of Mickey Rooney in the Andy Hardy series.  She was never an icon of the silver screen, but she was often an accomplice to greatness, shining in smaller roles and making the most of whatever screen time she got.  In the early 1940's, she left the cocoon of MGM to seek out more challenging parts and eventually secured a plum comedic spot opposite Danny Kaye in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947).  Largely retiring from the screen in 1950, she did return for a few guest spots on The Bob Newhart Show playing Suzanne Pleshette's mother and was offered the role of old Rose in Titanic (1997) before it went to Gloria Stuart.  In later years, she became a fixture at events celebrating GWTW, sharing stories about her part in that film and about her connections to the old studio system.  In some ways, retirement was Rutherford's greatest role because it allowed her to star as an ambassador to the dreamland of Hollywood's past.   

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