We are delighted to have come into possession of a portion of the movie star Ann Rutherford’s personal archive of photographs: a golden age time capsule of motion picture PR centered on one of Hollywood’s most delightful personalities.
Bicycles and Ann Rutherford make for the cutest combo.
Ann Rutherford (1917-2012). A prolific performer with roughly 60 movies to her credit over a 15 year career, she shall beyond all doubt be remembered for her role in 1939’s classic “Gone With the Wind”. Born Therese Ann Rutherford, the child of Metropolitan Opera tenor John Rutherford and actress Lucille Mansfield, she originally lived in San Francisco but moved with her family to Los Angeles at nine. Ann decided on a theater career out of resentment at an English teacher’s criticism of her, invented a resume, got a radio job voicing Nancy on the series “Nancy and Dick: The Spirit of ’76”, and made her silver screen bow in the 1935 “Waterfront Lady”. Soon under contract with MGM she was seen in such noted features as “A Christmas Carol” (1938) and the 1940 “Pride and Prejudice” while from 1937 until 1942 she was Polly Benedict, Mickey Rooney’s girlfriend in the popular Andy Hardy series. In 1939 she was loaned by Louis B. Mayer to his son-in-law to David O. Selznick for the role of Carreen O’Hara, Scarlett’s younger sister in “Gone With the Wind”, an assignment she did not consider terribly significant at the time. Ann remained busy, appearing in such films as 1945’s “Two O’Clock Courage” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (1947) and retired following 1950’s “Operation Haylift”. Having had a failed early marriage to David May she wed future “Batman” producer William Dozier in a 1953 union that lasted until her husband’s death. Remaining in Southern California, she returned to the screen for 1972’s “They Only Kill Their Masters”, was considered for the role of Rose Calvert which ultimately went to Gloria Stuart in 1997’s “Titanic”, and as time went on and the ranks grew thin was called upon for “Gone With the Wind” reunions and retrospectives. Ann appeared as a fictional character in the 1942 novel “Ann Rutherford and the Key to Nightmare Hall”, received a 1988 Golden Boot for contributions to westerns, and has a star on Hollywood’s Walk-of Fame; at her death from heart disease numerous of her movies were preserved on DVD and “Gone With the Wind” continued to show twice a day every day probably forever at an Atlanta theater. Of the role that became her signature she said: “That ‘nothing part’ turned my golden years into platinum”.