- - Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ann Rutherford, the demure brunette actress who played the sweetheart in the long-running Andy Hardy series and Scarlett O'Hara’s youngest sister in “Gone With the Wind,” has died, according to the Associated Press. She was 94.

A close friend, actress Anne Jeffreys, told the Los Angeles Times that Miss Rutherford died Monday night at her home in Beverly Hills. She had heart problems and was in declining health.

The Andy Hardy series, a hugely popular string of comical, sentimental films, starred Lewis Stone as a small-town judge and Mickey Rooney as his spirited teenage son.

Miss Rutherford first appeared in the second film of the series, “You’re Only Young Once,” in 1938, and she went on to appear in 11 more. She played Polly Benedict, the ever-faithful girlfriend that Andy always returned to, no matter what other, more glamorous girl had temporarily caught his eye. (Among the other girls: Judy Garland and Lana Turner.)


It was said she won the part of Carreen - the youngest of the three O'Hara sisters in “Gone With the Wind” - because Judy Garland was filming “The Wizard of Oz.”

Miss Rutherford told the Times in 2010 that MGM head Louis B. Mayer was going to refuse her the role, calling it “a nothing part.” But Miss Rutherford, who was a fan of the novel, uncharacteristically burst into tears and he relented.

Miss Rutherford plays the sister who, early in the film, begs to be allowed to go to the ball at Ashley Wilkes’ plantation. “Oh, Mother, can’t I stay up for the ball tomorrow? … I’m 13 now,” she says in a sweet voice.

In 1989, she was one of 10 surviving “Gone With the Wind” cast members who gathered in Atlanta for the celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary.

“Anyone who had read the book sensed they were into something that would belong to the ages, and everyone was in a frenzy to read the book,” she said.

Miss Rutherford concurred with other cast members that no matter what else they had done, “Our obituary will say we were in ‘Gone With the Wind’ and we’ll be proud of it.”

Bieber concert draws 200,000 to Mexico City

Thousands of “tween” girls jammed a vast square with their parents and screamed in unison throughout teen superstar Justin Bieber’s free concert Monday night, an event that was expected to draw 200,000 people to the historic center of Mexico’s capital.

According to the Associated Press, Mr. Bieber opened with his hit song “Baby,” while his adoring fans filling the city’s main plaza sang along or shouted his name.

“Mexico City, there is a lot of people today,” Mr. Bieber told the crowd. “Every one of you is my biggest fan.”

Dressed in white jeans and a gray sweatshirt that he took off to reveal a white T-shirt, the singer wore neon yellow tennis shoes and was accompanied by five dancers in neon colors. Four giant screens showed parts of his music videos to the crowd of mainly girls and their parents, who braved a light, intermittent rain during the concert.

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