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Marietta 'Gone With The Wind' celebration draws international fans

Authors Phillip Done and Kendra Bean attend the Bazaar Ball
Authors Phillip Done and Kendra Bean attend the Bazaar Ball
Christy Putnam

The 75th Anniversary Celebration of 1939's "Gone With The Wind" June 6-9 brought visitors from all over the world to enjoy festivities in Marietta, Georgia, at the Marietta "Gone With The Wind" Museum and events included a Lux Radio play entitled "The Wind Has Left" which was performed by actors Mickey Kuhn, Patrick Curtis, and Greg Geise.

Iconic photo of actress Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara
Christy Putnam

Actress Morgan Brittany, who appeared as Vivien Leigh in "The Scarlett O'Hara Wars," "Gable and Lombard" and also had a recurring role in "Dallas," performed the role of Scarlett, and the audience enjoyed the parody of "Gone With The Wind."

A Bazaar Ball held Friday night provided guests with an opportunity to dress like their favorite characters from the film, as well as dance to traditional tunes from the era of the film as well as Victorian-period waltzes.

On Saturday afternoon, another popular event included the drama "Vivien," a one-woman play starring actress Judith Chapman about the life of actress Vivien Leigh. Chapman's uncanny stage presence as she transforms herself to the character of Leigh throughout several stages of Leigh's life had audience members cheering and providing Chapman with a long, energetic standing ovation.

The discussion of the costumes designed by Walter Plunkett for "Gone With The Wind" by expert Cara Varnell from California, Chris Sullivan from Marietta, and artist Joe Yakotevic provided fans with an in-depth look at the difficulties of restoring costumes, the cost, and the need for preservation. The upcoming exhibit of "Gone With The Wind" memorabilia and costumes at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin which begins in September, was also part of the discussion.

On Saturday evening, an author's forum presenting several prominent writers allowed fans to learn more about the authors and their experiences while writing books focusing on aspects of actors, history, or local artists, like Wilbur G. Kurtz.

Author Anne Edwards, who has written several books about "Gone With The Wind" topics and Vivien Leigh spoke about how she had known Vivien Leigh and her husband Sir Laurence Olivier, and how she had visited with Leigh's daughter. Edwards also claimed she found it extremely difficult to write biographies of people she had actually known.

Author Phillip Done, who travelled from Budapest, Hungary, for the event, has just published "The Charms of Miss O'Hara," a biography of actress Ann Rutherford, who played Carreen, Scarlett's little sister. Rutherford also appeared in the popular Andy Hardy series of films with Mickey Rooney.

Author Kendra Bean, who wrote the acclaimed "Vivien Leigh-An Intimate Portrait" was also a popular author at the celebration.

"Gone With the Wind" fans from Paraguay, Great Britain, Russia, Hungary, and other countries, as well as fans from all regions of the United States travelled to Marietta, Georgia, for the festivities.

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