Last Living Gone with the Wind Star Celebrates 102nd Birthday

The 1936 novel, “Gone with the Wind,” told a story that impacted so many people that it was remade into a movie only three years later.

Since then, the Civil War era story has only continued to become an iconic story that still plays a large role in pop culture.

The movie, directed by Victor Fleming, won nine Academy Awards the following year, including awards in directing, writing and cinematography.

Many of the great actors and actresses who brought the story to life like Clarke Gable and Vivien Leigh have since passed; only one lone actress from the iconic film remains living.

Olivia de Havilland, the actress who played Melanie Wilkes, celebrated her 102nd birthday on July 1, 2018!

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Since her role in the 1939 film, she has played many other iconic roles in Hollywood including Maid Marian in “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” Hermia in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and many others.

While she did not win any Oscars from the film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel, she did later receive two awards: one for her role in “To Each His Own” and the other for her role in “The Heiress.”

Her achievements are not limited to the screen, however. She has also been recognized by some of the world’s most powerful leaders.

President George W. Bush gave her a Medal of Arts in November 2008.

He explained why he felt she was worthy of the honor, “for her persuasive and compelling skill as an actress in roles from Shakespeare’s Hermia to Margaret Mitchell’s Melanie. Her independence, integrity, and grace won creative freedom for herself and her fellow film actors.”

Queen Elizabeth II just recently also recognized the actress for her life’s achievements. Last year, just before de Havilland’s 101st birthday, the Queen awarded her as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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She was the oldest person to ever be awarded the title. The actress told People that she was “extremely proud” to receive the honor and later called it “the most gratifying of birthday presents.”

She now spends her days living in Paris, France, teaching Sunday school class and enjoying her retirement.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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