vertical_align_top

Main Details

Career

Media

Publicity

Community

Features

103 views
Alicia Rhett (February 1, 1915 – January 3, 2014) was an American portrait painter and actress who is best remembered for her role as India Wilkes in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind.

At the time of her death Rhett was the oldest surviving cast member of the movie, the only others being Olivia de Havilland (born July 1, 1916), who played India's sister-in-law Melanie Wilkes, Mary Anderson (born April 3, 1920), who played Maybelle Merriweather and Mickey Kuhn (born September 21, 1932) who played Beau Wilkes.

Biography
Early years

Rhett was born in Savannah, Georgia. Her mother was Isabelle Murdoch, an immigrant from Liverpool, England, and her father was Edmund M. Rhett, an army officer and engineer based in Savannah. After her father's death during World War I, Alicia and her mother moved to Charleston, South Carolina. Rhett became a theatre actress in Charleston.

Gone with the Wind

During a performance of The Recruiting Officer in 1936, Rhett was spotted by Hollywood director George Cukor, who was impressed by her charm and beauty. The director was scouting for an actress to play the role of Scarlett O'Hara after producer David Selznick purchased the film rights to the Margaret Mitchell novel. Previously, Rhett had been suggested by talent scout Kay Brown as a possible Southern belle for that film. Rhett auditioned for the part of Melanie Hamilton, but the role went instead to Olivia de Havilland. In March 1937, Cukor offered Rhett the role of India Wilkes, sister of Ashley Wilkes.

After the success of Gone with the Wind, Rhett left Hollywood and returned to South Carolina and retired from filmmaking in 1941, citing a lack of suitable roles. Rhett later became an accent coach for aspiring actors and a radio announcer at station WTMA in Charleston.

Death

On January 3, 2014, Rhett died in Charleston, South Carolina, at the age of 98.

Portrait painter

Prior to appearing in Gone with the Wind, Rhett showed talent as a sketch artist and portrait painter. Between takes on Gone with the Wind, she made sketches and drawings of her fellow actors. Soon, Rhett was creating portraits of American servicemen in the Charleston vicinity. Some of her later works included portraits of Admiral Louis Emil Denfeld, and librarian Estellene P. Walker, the latter of which is on display in the South Carolina State Library. Coincidentally, Rhett was commissioned to paint the portrait of a then 19-year-old Charleston resident Alexandra Braid, later known as Alexandra Ripley, author of Scarlett (1991), the sequel to Gone with the Wind. Rhett also illustrated a number of books, including South Carolina Indians (1965), written by Beth Causey and Leila Darby. Of particular note, Charlotte Brown Lide commissioned Ms. Rhett to paint a portrait of her late husband, Claudius Murray Lide, Sr., and the same year painted a reproduction of William Harrison Scarborough's "The Miller Sisters". These two portraits are housed in the home of Claudius Murray Lide, Jr. in Columbia, South Carolina.

Oldest surviving credited cast member of Gone With the Wind (1939) til January 3, 2014.
First Name
Last Name
Full Name at Birth
Alicia Rhett
Age
98 (age at death)
Date of Birth
Birthplace
Date of Death
Location of Death
Cause of Death
Height
Build
Eye Color
Hair Color
Star Sign
Sexuality
Ethnicity
Nationality
Occupation
Portrait Painter And Actress
Occupation Category
Claim to Fame
Gone With the Wind (1939)
Year(s) Active
1937–1941
Father
Mother
FamousFix content is contributed and edited by our readers. You are most welcome to update, correct or add information to this page. Update Information

Top Contributors Today

  • halfgoofy
  • angel_angel
  • mandia27
  • wdweditorial
  • Phoebe

Register Here to contribute to FamousFix. Login »

Join Now

Register to update information, save favorites, post photos, news stories and comments.

Already A Member?


Popular Celebrity


Desktop | Mobile
This website is part of the FamousFix entertainment community. By continuing past this page, and by your continued use of this site, you agree to be bound by and abide by the Terms of Use. Loaded in 0.03 secs.
Terms of Use  |  Copyright  |  Privacy
Copyright 2006-2022, FamousFix