Mickey Kuhn, Last Surviving ‘Gone With The Wind’ Star, Dies At 90

Mickey Kuhn, Last Surviving ‘Gone With The Wind’ Star, Dies At 90

The last surviving member of the iconic film “Gone With The Wind” has died.

Mickey Kuhn, who was cast as Beau Wilkes when he was six years old for the 1939 film, died at the age of 90 in Naples, Florida.

Mickey Kuhn, last surviving star of ‘Gone With the Wind, dead at 90 https://t.co/lEvJKbLKiW pic.twitter.com/hIk6urYLCz

— New York Post (@nypost) November 22, 2022

There were “sixty to eighty kids and adults at the casting office,” Kuhn recalled of his tryout for the film. “I started crying and wanted to leave, but Mom said to go up and give my name to the lady at the desk. If in 10 minutes I hadn’t been called, then we would leave. I went to the lady and said, ‘I’m Mickey Kuhn.’ She said, ‘Mickey, we’ve been waiting for you.’ And then to the others waiting, ‘Thank you. We’ve cast the part. You may all leave.’”

Kuhn had already appeared in “Change of Heart” with Janet Gaynor when he was two. His mother took him to a Sears Roebuck store in Hollywood, where a woman unknown to them who had a daughter Kuhn’s age suggested the children looked like twins and they should attend a casting call at Fox Studios the next day for twin infants.

“A man in a suit swept in, took one look at Kuhn and proclaimed, ‘This is the baby I want for my movie,’” the Naples Daily News reported in 2017 in a portrait of Kuhn.

Kuhn subsequently appeared in 1937’s “A Doctor’s Diary,” then in the classic 1939 film “Juarez” starring Paul Muni and Bette Davis.

Kuhn’s most notable scene in “Gone With The Wind” showed him in the arms of his father Ashley, played by Leslie Howard, as the two stood outside the bedroom where Ashley’s wife and Beau’s mother Melanie (played by Olivia de Havilland) was dying.

“Where is my mother going away to? And why can’t I go along, please?” Kuhn (as Beau) asked plaintively.

“She was always behind the door dying,” Kuhn said of de Havilland. “I never worked directly with her.”

It took 67 years, but Kuhn finally met de Havilland in 2006 at her 90th birthday party in California.

“I talk to her at least once a year. I call on her birthday,” he stated in 2017.

In another scene in “Gone With The Wind,” Kuhn was supposed to look up at Clark Gable, playing Rhett Butler, and say, “Hello, Uncle Rhett.” But he kept mistakenly saying, “Hello, Uncle Clark.”

Gable kindly said to him that he just needed to call him Uncle Rhett just once, which worked. “He was just a real man’s man,” Kuhn recalled.

Asked who was his favorite actor to work with, Kuhn named John Wayne, with whom he worked on “Red River.” “First of all, he was a perfectionist. We would rehearse a scene five times,” he recalled.

One scene required Wayne to hit Kuhn, who was 14 at the time. Wayne asked him if it was okay with him. “I looked up to him and what can you say to a big movie star? I said, ‘That’s fine, Mr. Wayne,’” he said. “He smacked me good.”

Kuhn made two movies with famed actress Vivien Leigh, “Gone With the Wind” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the two films that netted Leigh her Academy Awards for Best Actress.

When Leigh discovered Kuhn had played Beau as a child, she sent for him to join her in her dressing room where they could talk. “She asked about my career and what I had been doing,” he said.

“Absolutely, absolutely beautiful,” he remembered. “She was just one of the nicest people I have ever met. She was most gracious.”