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1930s & Earlier / GWTW Actress Alicia Rhett Dead at 98
Alicia Rhett, the actress who played India Wilkes (Ashley Wilkes' sister) in the classic 1939 movie Gone With the Wind, has died at age 98 at a retirement home in Charleston, SC where she had resided since 2002. She would have turned 99 on February 1, 2014. GWTW was Rhett's only movie role, although she had a lengthy career as a stage actress. David O. Selznick saw one of Rhett's performances and asked her to audition for the role of Melanie Hamilton. She did not get it, of course. (Olivia de Havilland did.) Rhett instead got the much smaller role of India Wilkes who greatly dislikes Scarlett O'Hara and can see through her southern belle facade. Rhett did not care for Hollywood and returned to South Carolina once her commitment to GWTW was over. At the time of her passing, Rhett was the oldest of four living GWTW cast members whose names appear in the film's credits. (Olivia de Havilland now holds that distinction.) Rhett's great-grandfather was a secessionist senator.