The retired actress spent her later years as an artist, accent coach and radio announcer.
Alicia Rhett, who played one of Ashley Wilke's sisters, India, in the 1939 classic adaptation of Gone with the Wind, died on Friday. The former actress, 98, passed away from natural causes at the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, a spokesperson for the community has announced.
Having starred along the beloved Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable, Rhett was one of the oldest surviving members of the 1939 cast. She had been living at the Charleston retirement community since 2002. Rhett was never married and lived a relatively quiet and secluded life, involved in the local arts programmes.
Alicia Rhett - who played India Wilkes, Ashley's sister, in Gone With The Wind has passed on today. pic.twitter.com/yezpI9XRr2— S.C.Cates (@sc_mo) January 4, 2014
Born in Savannah, Georgia, Rhett moved to Charleston, South Carolina as a child.This is where she first dabbled in acting and where she was spotted during a 1936 performance of The Recruiting Officer by Hollywood director George Cukor. After her role in Gone with the Wind, however, she quickly retired and returned to Charleston in 1941. She later worked as an accent coach for aspiring actors and a radio announcer at station WTMA in Charleston.
"Truly a beautiful woman, her passion for the arts and love of Charleston were unrivaled... Alicia was a kind and gentle lady," said Bill Trawick, CEO of the retirement community, where Rhett lived out her final years, via Reuters.
From the Gone with the Wind cast, she is survived by Olivia de Havilland, 97, who played Ashley Wilkes' cousin and wife, Melanie Hamilton; Mary Anderson, 93, who played Maybelle Merriweather; and Mickey Kuhn, 81, who played Beau Wilkes, the spokeswoman continued.
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