Great balls of fire! The last surviving star of Gone with the Wind is set to turn 101 on Saturday, July 1. Olivia de Havilland played Melanie Wilkes alongside Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler in the beloved 1939 film based on Margaret Mitchell’s classic book of the same name. Although she’s best known for her role as Melanie, she went on to win two best actress Academy Awards for her parts in To Each His Own and The Heiress.
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In a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, Olivia admitted that she wasn’t always the biggest fan of Melanie. “I didn’t identify with Melanie when I first read the book. But when I read Sidney Howard’s wonderful script, Melanie seemed like a totally different character,” she revealed. “In the book we saw her through Scarlett’s eyes, which created a negative impression. In the film the audience sees her through their own, unbiased eyes. Now, with the script, I liked her, I admired her, I loved her!”
Olivia’s birthday isn’t the only milestone Gone with the Wind fans have coming up. June 30th, marks 81 years since the seminal book was published in 1936.