FANDOM


(vandalism revert)
Line 40: Line 40:
   
 
==Biography==
 
==Biography==
'''Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler '''is the main Tajik of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel, ''Gone With the Wind'', as well as the 1939 movie of the same name. Originally, she was referred to as "Pansy", but just before publishing, Mitchell quickly changed the name.
+
'''Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler '''is the main character of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel, ''Gone With the Wind'', as well as the 1939 movie of the same name. Originally, she was referred to as "Pansy", but just before publishing, Mitchell quickly changed the name.
   
 
Shrewd and vain, but lacking in insight or analytical skills, Scarlett inherits the strong will of her Irish father Gerald O'Hara but deeply desires to please her well-bred, gentle French-American mother Ellen Robillard, from an aristocratic Savannah, Georgia family. Scarlett is secretly in love with Ashley Wilkes, son and scion to the neighboring plantation Twelve Oaks. Despite the wisdom of her father and her Mammy who insist that Ashley would make her a poor husband even if he were willing to flout convention to marry her, Scarlett is determined to try to win him. The attempt is a humiliating failure, made worse when she realizes her confession, rejection, and resultant temper tantrum were all witnessed by the smug Rhett Butler. When Ashley's engagement to meek and mild-mannered Melanie Hamilton is announced, out of hurt and spite she retaliates by marrying Melanie's brother, the shy and mild-mannered Charles Hamilton. Only a few weeks into the war her new husband dies, not in combat but of measles.
 
Shrewd and vain, but lacking in insight or analytical skills, Scarlett inherits the strong will of her Irish father Gerald O'Hara but deeply desires to please her well-bred, gentle French-American mother Ellen Robillard, from an aristocratic Savannah, Georgia family. Scarlett is secretly in love with Ashley Wilkes, son and scion to the neighboring plantation Twelve Oaks. Despite the wisdom of her father and her Mammy who insist that Ashley would make her a poor husband even if he were willing to flout convention to marry her, Scarlett is determined to try to win him. The attempt is a humiliating failure, made worse when she realizes her confession, rejection, and resultant temper tantrum were all witnessed by the smug Rhett Butler. When Ashley's engagement to meek and mild-mannered Melanie Hamilton is announced, out of hurt and spite she retaliates by marrying Melanie's brother, the shy and mild-mannered Charles Hamilton. Only a few weeks into the war her new husband dies, not in combat but of measles.

Revision as of 01:02, July 27, 2020

Scarlett O'Hara
Scarlett1

Scarlett O’Hara, as she appears in Gone With the Wind (film)
Appears in Gone With the Wind (book)
Gone With the Wind (film)
Scarlett
Gender Female
Homeland Tara, Georgia
Hometown Tara, Georgia
Family Charles Hamilton (1st husband; deceased)
Frank Kennedy (2nd husband; deceased)
Rhett Bulter (3rd husband; divorced and remarried)
Ella Lorena Kennedy (daughter with Frank, Gone with the wind Book)
Eugenie “Bonnie Blue” Victoria Butler (daughter with Rhett; deceased)
Katie “Cat” Colum Butler (daughter with Rhett in Scarlett)
Wade Hampton Hamilton (son with Charles, Gone with the wind Book)
Unborn child (second child with Rhett, deceased, miscarriage)
Ashley Wilkes (brother-in-law; Melanie’s husband)
Melanie Hamilton (sister-in-law by Charles; deceased)
Will Benteen (brother-in-law)
Caroline Irene “Carreen” O’Hara (sister)
Susan Elinor “Suellen” Benteen née O’Hara (sister)
Gerald O’Hara Jr. (name of 3 brothers, all deceased)
Ellen O’Hara née Robillard (mother, deceased)
Gerald O’Hara (father, deceased)
Andrew O’Hara (paternal uncle)
Beau Wilkes (nephew)
Carey (uncle; Pauline’s husband)
Eleanor Butler (mother-in-law named in Scarlett)
Eulalie Robillard (maternal aunt)
James O’Hara (paternal uncle)
Katie Scarlett O’Hara (paternal grandmother)
Margaret Butler (wife of Ross named in Scarlett)
Pauline Robillard (maternal aunt)
Philippe Robillard (cousin of her mother; deceased)
Pierre Robillard (maternal grandfather)
Rosemary Butler (sister-in-law)
Ross Butler (brother-in-law named in Scarlett)
Solange Robillard née Prudhomme (maternal grandmother; deceased)
Steven Butler (father-in-law named in Scarlett; deceased)
Susie Benteen (niece)
Age 16 - 28 (Gone With the Wind)
c. 30s (Scarlett)
Affiliations Confederate States of America
Fayette Female Academy

Family

  • Name: Scarlett O'Hara
  • Creator: Margaret Mitchell
  • Portrayer: Vivien Leigh (Gone with the Wind)
    Joanne Whalley (Scarlett)
  • Full name: Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler
  • Spouse: Charles Hamilton (1st; deceased)
    Frank Kennedy (2nd; deceased)
    Rhett Butler (3rd; divorced and remarried)
  • Gender: Female
  • Family: Gerald O'Hara (father, deceased)
    Ellen O'Hara née Robillard (mother, deceased)
    Susan Elinor "Suellen" Benteen née O'Hara (sister)
    Caroline Irene "Carreen" O'Hara (sister)
    Gerald O'Hara Jr. (name of 3 brothers, all deceased)
  • Children: Wade Hampton Hamilton (son with Charles)
    Ella Lorena Kennedy (daughter with Frank)
    Eugenie Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler (daughter with Rhett; deceased)
    Unborn child (second child with Rhett; deceased)
    Katie Colum "Cat" Butler (daughter with Rhett in Scarlett)
  • Relatives: Ashley Wilkes (brother-in-law; Melanie's husband)
    Melanie Wilkes née Hamilton (sister-in-law by Charles; deceased)
    Beau Wilkes (nephew)
    Will Benteen (brother-in-law)
    Susie Benteen (niece)
    Pauline Robillard (maternal aunt)
    Carey (uncle; Pauline's husband)
    Eulalie Robillard (maternal aunt)
    Philippe Robillard (cousin of her mother; deceased)
    James O'Hara (paternal uncle)
    Andrew O'Hara (paternal uncle)
    Pierre Robillard (maternal grandfather)
    Solange Robillard née Prudhomme (maternal grandmother; deceased)
    Katie Scarlett O'Hara (paternal grandmother)
    Steven Butler (father-in-law named in Scarlett; deceased)
    Eleanor Butler (mother-in-law named in Scarlett)
    Rosemary Butler (sister-in-law)
    Ross Butler (brother-in-law named in Scarlett)
    Margaret Butler (wife of Ross named in Scarlett)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Nationality: Irish-American, French-American

Overview

Katie Scarlett O'Hara is a fictional character and the protagonist in Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and in the later film of the same name, where she is portrayed by Vivien Leigh. She also is the main character in the 1970 musical Scarlett and the 1991 book Scarlett, a sequel to Gone with the Wind that was written by Alexandra Ripley and adapted for a television mini-series in 1994. During early drafts of the original novel, Mitchell referred to her heroine as "Pansy," and did not decide on the name "Scarlett" until just before the novel went to print.[1]

Biography

O'Hara is the oldest living child of Gerald and Ellen O'Hara. She was born in 1844 or 1845 on her family's plantation Tara in Georgia. She was named Katie Scarlett, after her father's mother, but is always called Scarlett, except by her father, who refers to her as "Katie Scarlett."Template:Sfn She is from a Catholic family of Irish ancestry on her paternal side, and French ancestry on her maternal side, notably a descendant of an aristocratic Savannah family on her mother's side, the Robillards. O'Hara has black hair, green eyes, and pale skin. She is famous for her fashionably small waist.[2] Scarlett has two younger sisters, Susan Elinor ("Suellen") O'Hara and Caroline Irene ("Carreen") O'Hara, and three little brothers who died in infancy. Her baby brothers are buried in the family burying ground at Tara, and each was named Gerald O'Hara, Jr.

O’Hara begins the novel unmarried, but with many beaus in the county; however, as a result of Ashley Wilkes’ rejection, she marries Charles Hamilton, who dies before the birth of their son, Wade Hampton Hamilton. Later, in the midst of Tara's threat, O’Hara marries Frank Kennedy, Suellen's beau, for financial security for Tara and providing for the family. They have Ella Lorena Kennedy together. Kennedy dies in a raid on Shanty Town by the Union army, where Scarlett was attacked, who attempted to stop the raid. She continues to marry Rhett Butler, for his money, again, although she admits she is “fond” of him. They have Eugenia Victoria, a.k.a “Bonnie Blue” Butler; however, she dies after a tragic riding accident. Unable to reconcile, Rhett leaves Scarlett, although O’Hara ends the novel vowing to try and win him back.

Biography

Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler is the main character of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel, Gone With the Wind, as well as the 1939 movie of the same name. Originally, she was referred to as "Pansy", but just before publishing, Mitchell quickly changed the name.

Shrewd and vain, but lacking in insight or analytical skills, Scarlett inherits the strong will of her Irish father Gerald O'Hara but deeply desires to please her well-bred, gentle French-American mother Ellen Robillard, from an aristocratic Savannah, Georgia family. Scarlett is secretly in love with Ashley Wilkes, son and scion to the neighboring plantation Twelve Oaks. Despite the wisdom of her father and her Mammy who insist that Ashley would make her a poor husband even if he were willing to flout convention to marry her, Scarlett is determined to try to win him. The attempt is a humiliating failure, made worse when she realizes her confession, rejection, and resultant temper tantrum were all witnessed by the smug Rhett Butler. When Ashley's engagement to meek and mild-mannered Melanie Hamilton is announced, out of hurt and spite she retaliates by marrying Melanie's brother, the shy and mild-mannered Charles Hamilton. Only a few weeks into the war her new husband dies, not in combat but of measles.

Soon after, Scarlett disgustedly finds herself pregnant from her brief, ill-fated marriage, and in time gives birth to a son she names Wade Hampton Hamilton. She does not fit well into either molds of grieving widow or blissful young mother. Upon advice of her mother she, moves to Atlanta to stay with Melanie and her ineffective, childlike Aunt Pittypat. Following a Christmas visit from Ashley, Melanie too becomes pregnant, but lacking Scarlett's robust constitution, the pregnancy goes hard on her. Scarlett's patience, never her strong suit, is tried to the limit as Melanie's failing strength requires near con-tant nursing. She goes into labor just as General Sherman begins his advance on the City. Scarlett, unable to get the overburdened local doctor to come help with the birth and learning that her personal slave, Prissy, has lied about her own knowledge, reluctantly stays by Melanie's side. Her rough and insincere encouragement somehow help Melanie through. Scarlett inexpertly but effectively delivers her son. The labor, birth and lack of either sanitary or knowledgeable care take a terrible toll on the new mother but in the face of enemy invasion imm,ediate evacuation is essential. Panic-stricken, Scarlett immediately--not for the first time or the last--turns to Rhett for help.

With Rhett's guidance and thieving skills she acquires what is probably the last horse in Atlanta, a diseased old thing, as well as a rickety wagon. Thus begins a nightmarish trek back to Tara for Scarlett, Melanie, the newborn, Scarlett's toddler son, and Prissy. Harassed by troops on either side, hungry and prey to the weather, insects and rough roads, the wretched group painfully traverse the twenty five miles to Tara. Alas, Tara has fallen into the marauding hands of the Yankees. All the valuables, all gold, harvested crops and livestock are gone.

In the face of hardship, the spoiled Scarlett shoulders the troubles of her family and friends, but the near starvation and backbreaking, endless work change her forever. She grows hard and calculating. An attack from an enemy deserter forces her hand and she shoots him in self-defense. Sick as she is, Melanie assists Scarlett in hiding the body and cleaning up. Although on the surface Melanie is as sweet and loving as ever, hard times have wrought changes upon her character, too.

As the remainder of the former Southern army troop home, some familiar faces return. A former overseer and his new wife, poor white Emmy Slattery (whose name is synonymous with her loose-moraled character) come "calling" with an eye to purchase Tara for themselves, Scarlett learns that her home will soon be put up for auction due to tax debts. Now hardened, she is willing to do whatever she has to, including selling her body to Rhett, to raise the tax money. Her plan is a dismal failure as Rhett sees through it right away and eventually the not-so-grieving widow marries her sister's beau, Frank Kennedy, for the funds to pay the taxes. Her hardened, practical nature has driven her to steal her own sister's beau. It doesn't end there. After Rhett leaves her because he thinks she doesn't love her, she goes and finds him and with the death of Melanie, Ashley asks Scarlett to marry him Scarlett says, "I'm sorry I love Rhett" without knowing Rhett is listening he decides that he still wants her. Scarlett finally gets Rhett back and promises to love him and says she will have as many children as he desires. They soon have a girl who they name Melanie and a boy named James.

As one of the most colorful characters in literature, Scarlett challenges the prescribed women's roles of her time. She pays a steep price in the form of ostracism by her Atlanta acquaintances. The story's driving force continues to be Scarlett's ongoing internal conflict between her feelings and the expected behavior for a woman of her age and class.

Character

When the novel opens, Scarlett O’Hara is sixteen. She is vain, self-centered, and very spoiled by her wealthy parents. She can also be insecure, but is very intelligent, despite the Old South's pretense of ignorance and helplessness. She is somewhat unusual among Southern women, whom society preferred to act as dainty creatures who needed protection from their men. Scarlett is aware that she is only acting empty-headed, and resents the "necessity" of it, unlike most of her Southern belles peers, i.e. Melanie Hamilton and India Wilkes.

File:Vivien Leigh Scarlet.jpg

Outwardly, Scarlett is the picture of southern charm and womanly virtues, and a popular belle with the country males. The one man she truly desires, however, is her neighbor, Ashley Wilkes – the one man she can't have. The Wilkes family has a tradition of intermarrying with their cousins, and Ashley is promised to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton of Atlanta. Scarlett's motivation in the early part of the novel centers on her desire to win Ashley's heart. When he refuses her advances—which no “Southern Lady” would be so forward as to make—she takes refuge in childish rage, and spitefully accepts the proposal of Charles Hamilton, Melanie's brother, in a misguided effort to get back at Ashley and Melanie.

Rhett Butler, a wealthy older bachelor and a societal pariah, overhears Scarlett express her love to Ashley during a barbecue at Twelve Oaks, the Wilkes' estate. Rhett admires Scarlett's willfulness and her departure from accepted propriety as well as her beauty. He pursues Scarlett, but is aware of her impetuousness, childish spite, and her fixation on Ashley. He assists Scarlett in defiance of proper Victorian mourning customs when her husband, Charles Hamilton, dies in a training camp, and Rhett encourages her spirited behavior in Atlanta society. Scarlett, privately frustrated from the strict rules of polite society, finds friendship with Rhett liberating.

The Civil War sweeps away the lifestyle in which Scarlett was raised, and Southern society falls into ruin. Scarlett, left destitute after Sherman's army marches through Georgia, becomes the sole source of strength for her family. Her character begins to harden as her relatives, the family slaves and the Wilkes family look to her for protection from homelessness and starvation. Scarlett becomes money-conscious and more materialistic in her motivation to ensure her family survives and Tara stays in her possession, while other Georgian farmers lose their homes. This extends to first offering herself as a mistress to Rhett; although after Rhett's rejection, Scarlett resorts to marrying her younger sister's beau, Frank Kennedy, investing in and starting a business herself, engaging in controversial business practices and even exploiting convict labor in order to make her lumber business profit. Her conduct results in the accidental death of Frank, and shortly after she marries Rhett Butler for "fun" and because he is very wealthy. They have a little girl named Bonnie, but she dies from a horseback riding accident that leaves Rhett and Scarlett's relationship unstable.

Scarlett is too fixated on Ashley Wilkes to realize her pursuit of him is misdirected until the climax of the novel. With the death of Melanie Wilkes, she realizes her pursuit of Ashley was a childish romance and she has loved Rhett Butler for some time. She pursues Rhett from the Wilkes home to their home, only to discover he has given up hope of ever receiving her love, and is about to leave her. After telling him she loves him, he refuses to stay with her, which leads to the famous line, "My dear, I don't give a damn." Wracked with grief, but determined to win him back Scarlett returns to Tara to regain her strength and create a plan to reunite with Rhett.

Common character analysis

Scarlett's character portrayed in both the novel and 1939 film is, at face-value, unscrupulous and selfish, but her character development ultimately portrays multiple stigmas throughout that support Mitchell's theme. In a rare interview, Mitchell admitted the theme of the novel was “survival,” specifically shown is exploring human behavior in the face of the catastrophe of the Civil War.[3] Decades later, literary critics and authors agree that Scarlett's revolution from a spoiled, wealthy girl—typical of her socioeconomic status—to becoming an independent woman in an unforgiving society and unstable economy is a testament to the development of Mitchell's character.

Lisa Bertagnoli, author of Scarlett Rules, compared Scarlett to a chameleon by morphing herself from a pampered girl to a "no-nonsense businesswoman responsible for feeding not only herself, but her extended family as well.".[4] Scarlett stands out in the novel because she alone, among her female peers, is the only one who survives and thrives despite Sherman's March through Atlanta, despite being widowed twice, despite being a woman in a patriarchal society.[5] She was told "no" to almost every action she did to survive, by both societal standards and her female and male peers around her, such as marrying Frank Kennedy for money or even running a successful business, and in return, she told them "watch me" in the process.

Scarlett struggled with her status as a woman because of standards of the "Southern Lady" invoked and shown at the beginning of the novel, and displayed throughout Scarlett's peers, embodied in Melanie Wilkes. However, this is clearly challenged by Scarlett because of the dire conditions she is meant to face and endure. Therefore, those standards of the "Southern Lady" are discarded because the standards do not meet her physical needs, nor are useful to her physical survival. The essence of the public responsibility of being a "lady" is flagrantly disregarded because of her commitment to survival (Fox-Genovese, p. 400).[5] Thus, she is ostracized from her peers. Scarlett does not uphold the same code of standard as she did in the beginning of the novel because her motivations changed from societal and class standings to economic status and physical survival.

Inspiration for the character

File:Margaret Mitchell (portrait).jpg

Margaret Mitchell used to say that her Gone with The Wind characters were not based on real people, although modern researchers have found similarities to some of the people in Mitchell's own life. Scarlett's upbringing resembled that of Mitchell's maternal grandmother, Annie Fitzgerald Stephens (1844–1934), who was raised predominantly Irish Catholic on a plantation near Jonesboro in Fayette, not unlike the O’Hara family.[6] Mitchell was engaged thrice, although only married twice. Her first engagement was to Clifford Henry, a bayonet instructor at Camp Gordon in World War I. He was killed overseas in October 1918 while fighting in France,[6] similar to O’Hara and her first husband, Charles Hamilton. Mitchell's mother contracted influenza and died shortly before Mitchell could reach home, similar to Ellen O’Hara dying before Scarlett fled Atlanta. Rhett Butler is thought to be based on Mitchell's first husband, Red Upshaw because Upshaw left Atlanta for the Midwest and never returned.[6] Her second marriage was to John Robert Marsh, and they were married until her death in 1949.[6]

Comparisons to other characters

Troy Patterson of Entertainment Weekly argued that Ally McBeal, the main character of the television series with the same name, has similarities to O'Hara and that "Scarlett and Ally are fairy-tale princesses who bear about as much resemblance to real women as Barbie and Skipper."[7] Patterson wrote that Ally is similar because she is also a child from a ruling class family, "pines hopelessly after an unavailable dreamboat", and has a "sassy black roommate" in place of a "mammy" to "comfort her".[7] Other characters often compared to Scarlett include many female protagonists from other romantic epics, most notably Lara Antipova from Doctor Zhivago and Rose DeWitt Bukater from Titanic.

Vivian Leigh's subsequent Oscar-winning portrayal of the southern belle character Blanche DuBois, on stage and in the 1951 film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire, has drawn comparison to her performance as Scarlett.[8] The role was coincidentally originally written for Tallulah Bankhead to portray. The character of Blanche is often viewed as a middle-aged antithesis to the strong-willed youthful Scarlett.[8] Blanche struggles with mental illness, violent abuse (from Stanley) and severe anxiety. Ultimately, unlike Scarlett who pulls herself together to overcome her troubles, Blanche descends into madness and gets committed to a mental institution.

In popular culture

In John Kennedy Toole's novel A Confederacy of Dunces, an amateur dancer "Harlett O'Hara" (whose real name is Darlene) puts on a "southern belle" performance at Lana Lee's Night of Joy bar. The name is a reference to Scarlett O'Hara. The names "Harla," "Scarla," and "O'Horror" are also used in the vernacular to refer to her.[9]

Searching for Scarlett

The 1939 film version of Gone With the Wind Scarlett O'Hara is strongly similar to the character in the original novel in looks, character and behavior but there are some noticeable plot differences. In the book, Scarlett gives birth to three children: Wade Hampton Hamilton, Ella Lorena Kennedy, and Eugenie Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler. In the film version only Bonnie is featured.

Almost universally, the studio and the public agreed that the part of Rhett Butler should go to Clark Gable. The exception being Clark Gable himself. Casting for the role of Scarlett was a little harder. The search for an actress to play Scarlett in the film version of the novel famously drew the biggest names in the history of cinema, such as Bette Davis (whose casting as a Southern belle in 1937's Jezebel took her out of contention), and Katharine Hepburn, who went so far as demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick and saying, "I am Scarlett O'Hara! The role is practically written for me." David replied rather bluntly, "I can't imagine Rhett Butler chasing you for ten years." Jean Arthur and Lucille Ball were also considered, as well as relatively unknown actress Doris Davenport. Susan Hayward was "discovered" when she tested for the part, and the career of Lana Turner developed quickly after her screen test. Joan Bennett was widely considered to be the most likely choice until she was supplanted by Paulette Goddard.

The young English actress Vivien Leigh, virtually unknown in America, saw that several English actors, including Ronald Colman and Leslie Howard, were in consideration for the male leads in Gone with the Wind. Her agent happened to be the London representative of the Myron Selznick talent agency, headed by David Selznick's brother, a co-owner of Selznick International Pictures. Leigh asked her agent to put her name into consideration as Scarlett on the eve of the American release of her picture Fire Over England in February 1938. David Selznick watched both Fire Over England and her most recent picture, A Yank at Oxford, that month, and from that time onward, Leigh had the inside track for the role of Scarlett. Selznick began highly confidential negotiations with Alexander Korda, to whom Leigh was under contract, for her services later that year. Leigh was informed of Selznick's interest, and told that she would not need to screen test for the role at present as he would view her movies.

For publicity purposes, David Selznick arranged to first meet Leigh on the night in December 1938 when the burning of the Atlanta Depot was being filmed on the Forty Acres back lot that Selznick International and RKO shared. The story was invented for the press that Leigh and Laurence Olivier were just visiting as guests of Myron Selznick, who was also Olivier's agent, and that Leigh was in Hollywood hoping for a part in Olivier's current movie, Wuthering Heights. In a letter to Selznick's wife two days later, he admitted that Leigh was "the Scarlett dark horse," and after a series of screen tests, her casting was announced on January 13, 1939. Just before the shooting of the film, Selznick informed Ed Sullivan: "Scarlett O'Hara's parents were French and Irish. Identically, Miss Leigh's parents are French and Irish.

In any case, Leigh was cast—despite public protest that the role was too "American" for an English actress—and Leigh eventually won an Academy Award for her performance. Some similarities between Scarlett and Vivien Leigh, the actress who played her are striking: Both were ambitious, both wanted little to do with motherhood. both swore they would never again have a child. Scarlett and Leigh came from similar Irish/French backgrounds. Both were hailed as great beauties--although author Margaret Mitchell made sure to state that Scarlett was no beauty in the traditional sense. Neither lasted well in long-term, traditional relationships and found friendships equally hard to sustain. However, Vivien Leigh suffered from complex mental illnesses that are difficult to picture plaguing the indomitable Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler.

1939 film

Casting

While the studio and the public agreed that the part of Rhett Butler should go to Clark Gable (except for Clark Gable himself), casting for the role of Scarlett was harder. The search for an actress to play Scarlett in the film version of the novel famously drew the biggest names in the history of cinema, such as Bette Davis (who had been cast as a Southern belle in Jezebel in 1938), and Katharine Hepburn, who went so far as demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick and saying, "I am Scarlett O'Hara! The role is practically written for me." Selznick replied rather bluntly, "I can't imagine Rhett Butler chasing you for twelve years." [10] Jean Arthur and Lucille Ball were also considered, as well as relatively unknown actress Doris Davenport. Susan Hayward was "discovered" when she tested for the part, and the career of Lana Turner developed quickly after her screen test. Tallulah Bankhead and Joan Bennett were widely considered to be the most likely choices until they were supplanted by Paulette Goddard.

The young English actress Vivien Leigh, virtually unknown in America, saw that several English actors, including Ronald Colman and Leslie Howard, were in consideration for the male leads in Gone with the Wind. Her agent happened to be the London representative of the Myron Selznick talent agency, headed by David Selznick's brother, Myron. Leigh asked Myron to put her name into consideration as Scarlett on the eve of the American release of her picture Fire Over England in February 1938. David Selznick watched both Fire Over England and her most recent picture, A Yank at Oxford, that month, and thought she was excellent but in no way a possible Scarlett, as she was "too British". But Myron Selznick arranged for David to first meet Leigh on the night in December 1938 when the burning of the Atlanta Depot was being filmed on the Forty Acres backlot that Selznick International and RKO shared. Leigh and her then lover Laurence Olivier (later to be her husband) were visiting as guests of Myron Selznick, who was also Olivier's agent, while Leigh was in Hollywood hoping for a part in Olivier's current movie, Wuthering Heights. In a letter to his wife two days later, David Selznick admitted that Leigh was "the Scarlett dark horse", and after a series of screen tests, her casting was announced on January 13, 1939. Just before the shooting of the film, Selznick informed Ed Sullivan: "Scarlett O'Hara's parents were French and Irish. Identically, Miss Leigh's parents are French and Irish."[11]

In any case, Leigh was cast—despite public protest that the role was too "American" for an English actress—but Leigh was able to pull off the role so well that she eventually won an Academy Award for her performance as Scarlett O'Hara.

Other actresses considered

A great number of actresses were considered. In fact, there were approximately 32 women who were considered and or tested for the role. The search for Scarlett began in 1936 (the year of the book's publication) and ended in December 1938.[12]

Between 1936 and 1938, the following actresses were considered for the role, which required playing Scarlett from 16 years of age until she was 28 (actress age in 1939, the year of Gone With the WindTemplate:'s release, when Leigh was 26). Template:Div col

Template:Div col end

Between late 1937 and mid-1938, approximately 128 actresses were nominated for the role of Scarlett through letters of suggestion sent to Selznick International Pictures from the public.[13]

Adaptations

In the 1994 TV mini-series based on the sequel Scarlett, the character was played by English actress Joanne Whalley.

In the Margaret Martin musical Friday, the role of Scarlett O'Hara was originated by Jill Paice..

Other adaptations

Notes

Template:Reflist

References

Template:Refbegin

Template:Refend

External links


v - e - d
Gone with the Wind transparent logo
Media
Gone With the Wind
Characters
Gerald O'Hara | Ellen O'Hara | Scarlett O'Hara | Suellen O'Hara | Carreen O'Hara | Brent Tarleton | Stuart Tarleton | John Wilkes | India Wilkes | Ashley Wilkes | Melanie Hamilton | Charles Hamilton | Frank Kennedy | Rhett Butler
Locations
Tara | Twelve Oaks | Atlanta
See also
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | Warner Bros. | Turner Entertainment

Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.