- - 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.

The crowd went wild when Mr. Bieber asked a fan onto the stage, gave her a bouquet of flowers and sang “One Less Lonely Girl” into her ear. The girl didn’t stop crying.

At a news conference before the concert, the teen star said there is no artist he would spend days in line waiting for.

“There is no one I admire so much to do something crazy, but if Michael Jackson were here, I would do it for him. So I do understand the emotion that the girls feel and that makes me feel very honored,” Mr. Bieber said.

A similar concert in the city last month by former Beatle Paul McCartney drew an estimated 230,000 people, including President Felipe Calderon. There was no word on whether the president would take his children to see Mr. Bieber.

Ferragamo fashion house to show collection at Louvre

For the first time in its nearly 900-year history, Paris’ iconic Louvre Museum is opening up its storied hallways to fashion: a catwalk show by Italian house Salvatore Ferragamo.

According to the Associated Press, the midseason resort collection that was to be shown Tuesday is a celebration of a brand that began as a shoemaker for Hollywood’s first stars and went on to become a household name for ready-to-wear, both for men and women.

The Florence-based house was granted the unprecedented access to the museum thanks to its sponsorship of the Louvre’s current exhibition of “The Virgin and Saint Anne,” the last painting by Florentine master Leonardo da Vinci.

The Louvre is also respectfully tipping its hat to Florence, a city which - like Paris - has been a pole of creativity across the centuries.

Czech supermodel Nemcova named ambassador for Haiti

Supermodel Petra Nemcova has been named ambassador at large for Haiti because of the charity work she’s done through her nonprofit group the Happy Hearts Fund.

Miss Nemcova, a citizen of the Czech Republic, received the honor at a private ceremony at Haiti’s National Palace on Friday with President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, the Associated Press reports. Her appointment was announced Monday by the Happy Hearts Fund.

Miss Nemcova joins Hollywood actor Sean Penn and hip-hop musician Wyclef Jean, who carry the same title to promote Haiti to the outside world.

The Happy Hearts Fund was created several months after Miss Nemcova barely survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The nonprofit focuses on helping children and building schools.

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