Fred Crane, 90, spoke first line in ‘Gone With the Wind’ By KAY POWELL The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday, August 25, 2008
Fred Crane spoke the first lines in the "Gone With the Wind" movie as one of the red-headed Tarleton twins flirting with Scarlett O'Hara before the Twelve Oaks barbecue.
His line doesn't compare to Rhett Butler's "Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn," but it did provoke one of Scarlett’s signature phrases: "Fiddle-dee-dee."
Mr. Crane was 20 and not an actor when he was awarded the role of Brent Tarleton. On a whim, the New Orleans native had accompanied a cousin to her audition for the movie, he said in a 2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. The casting director heard his Southern accent, and that’s what earned him the $50-a-week role.
Producer David O. Selznick, Mr. Crane said, "handed me a free ticket to a sort of immortality."
"I’m just a small shard in a grand mosaic," he said. "I'm the last man standing."
Mr. Crane, 90, the last living male actor who had a credited role in the movie, died of complications from diabetes Thursday. He had lived in Barnesville and operated a bed and breakfast before selling it in 2007.
Claiming reasons of privacy, his wife, Terry Lynn Crane, would not reveal Mr. Crane's city of residence, where he died or the cremation society in charge of arrangements. No service is planned.
In the classic 1939 movie, Mr. Crane’s first line was: "What do we care if we were expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is going to start any day now, so we’d have left college anyhow."
Scarlett’s reply: "Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war. This war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring."
Mr. Crane’s twin was played by George Bessolo, who changed his name to George Reeves and won fame as TV’s Superman. The barbecue scene had to be shot three times, Mr. Crane said — one reshoot because the twins' red hair was too curly, and another because Scarlett, played by Vivien Leigh, was showing too much bosom. Mr. Crane appeared in four other scenes. ~ read more