Last living cast member of Gone with the Wind turns 102

Olivia de Havilland played Melanie Wilkes in 1939's Gone with the Wind.
Olivia de Havilland played Melanie Wilkes in 1939's Gone with the Wind. Photo credit: MGM

The last surviving cast member of Gone with the Wind has celebrated her 102nd birthday.

Olivia de Havilland played Melanie Wilkes in the 1939 epic. Her character was the sister-in-law and later best friend of lead Scarlett O'Hara, played by Vivien Leigh.

De Havilland received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the role. She would go on to win two Best Actress awards for her work in 1946's To Each His Own and 1949's The Heiress.

Her last screen appearance was in the 1988 TV film The Woman He Loved, about the abdication of Edward VIII.

On Sunday (local time) the veteran actress turned 102. She's the last living member of the film's principle cast. Leigh died in 1967, leading man Clark Gable died in 1960 and Leslie Howard, who played Melanie's husband Ashley Wilkes, was killed when his plane was shot down by the German Luftwaffe in 1943.

De Havilland herself contributed to the war effort during World War II. She toured the United States, Alaska and the South Pacific, visiting wounded soldiers in military hospitals.

In 2017 De Havilland became the oldest person to be made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth at 100 years old. In a statement she said that the honour was "the most gratifying of birthday presents".

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