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Ann Rutherford expires at 94

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MUMBAI: Ann Rutherford, who played the sweetheart in the long-running Andy Hardy series and Scarlett O‘Hara‘s youngest sister in Gone With the Wind, has expired. She died of heart problems and had been ill for several months. She was 94.

 

Rutherford was a frequent guest at Gone With the Wind celebrations in Georgia and, as one of the few remaining actors from the movie, continued to attract fans from around the world. She was also known for the Andy Hardy series, a hugely popular string of comical, sentimental films, that starred Lewis Stone as a small-town judge and Mickey Rooney as his spirited teenage son.

 

Rutherford first appeared in the second film of the series, You‘re Only Young Once, in 1938 and went on star in 11 more. She played Polly Benedict, the ever-faithful girlfriend that Andy always returned to, no matter what other, more glamorous girl had temporarily caught his eye.

(Among the other girls: Judy Garland and Lana Turner.)

Rutherford told the Times in 2010 that MGM head Louis B. Mayer was going to refuse her the role, calling it "a nothing part." But Rutherford, who was a fan of the novel, uncharacteristically burst into tears after which he relented.

In 1989, Rutherford was one of 10 surviving GWTW cast members who gathered in Atlanta for the celebration of the film‘s 50th anniversary.

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