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David O. Selznick gets star on Walk of Fame

The ‘Gone with the Wind’ producer died in 1965
/ Source: The Associated Press

Even though he produced “Gone with the Wind” and other movie classics, David O. Selznick never had his own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

That oversight was corrected Tuesday when the Producers Guild sponsored the late producer’s star on Hollywood Boulevard, a half-block from Grauman’s Chinese theater where many of his films played.

“David Selznick should have been among the first 1,500 names when the Walk of Fame was started in 1960,” commented Walk impresario Johnny Grant, adding that the event finally “remedied that unbelievable omission.”

Daniel Selznick, who unveiled the star, admitted that “my father’s feelings were hurt that he wasn’t included.”

Two performers from “Gone with the Wind” were among the small gathering in front of the Roosevelt Hotel: Ann Rutherford, who played Scarlett’s sister, and Cammee King, the ill-fated young daughter of Scarlett and Rhett Butler.

Rutherford read letters from Olivia de Havilland, the wistful Melanie, Selznick widow Jennifer Jones, and Rhonda Fleming, who was discovered by the producer. “This giant among creators,” de Havilland wrote from Paris, “has enriched the lives of generation after generation.”

Rutherford was asked if it was true that the actresses in “Gone with the Wind” wore silk petticoats under their hoop skirts. “Absolutely,” she replied. “I told David he could save a lot of money if he used flannel petticoats as I did in westerns. He said maybe the audience wouldn’t see the petticoats, but the actresses would know they were silk.”

Son of pioneer filmmaker Lewis J. Selznick, David Selznick grew up in the movie business and at 29 headed production at RKO studio when “King Kong” was made and Katharine Hepburn became a star. He moved to MGM, run by his father-in-law Louis B. Mayer, and produced “David Copperfield,” “Dinner at Eight,” “Anna Karenina” and “A Tale of Two Cities.”

Selznick formed his own company, brought Alfred Hitchcock and Ingrid Bergman to Hollywood, and made such films as “A Star Is Born,” “Rebecca,” “Spellbound,” “Duel in the Sun” as well as “Gone with the Wind.” He died in 1965.