Conlon was just 5 when she made her big screen debut as Bonnie Blue Butler.
By: Legacy Staff
7 years ago
Cammie King Conlon (1934 - 2010) was just 5 years old when she made her big screen debut in "Gone With the Wind" as Bonnie Blue Butler, the doomed child of Rhett and Scarlett. Here are 20 things you might not know about the former child actor.
1. She was born Eleanore Cammack "Cammie" King in 1934.
2. Her godfather Herbert Kalmus was the co-founder of Technicolor. He would later become her stepfather.
3. Conlon's mother had publicity shots taken of Cammie and sent to studios when she was only 3 years old.
4. The story goes that Cammie's sister Diane had been in contention for the role of Bonnie Blue Butler, since someone at Selznick Studios thought she looked like she could be the child of lead actors Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. By the time the film was finally ready to shoot, however, Diane no longer looked young enough for the part.
5. Conlon did not believe this story. She thought her mother invented it to assuage any feelings of jealousy sister Diane may have harbored.
6. Studio records show Conlon had to pass intelligence and acting tests before being considered for the role.
7. She also faced competition from a then unknown young actress named Elizabeth Taylor.
8. Conlon had to take horseback riding lessons in preparation for the part.
9. One day on set, she was surprised to see a very small, 30-year-old man outfitted in the same frilly dress she was wearing, sitting on her pony and smoking a cigarette. He was, of course, her stunt double.
10. Conlon earned $250 for the four weeks shooting "Gone With the Wind."
11. Allegedly, many of her lines were overdubbed in post-production by other young girls.
12. Though "Gone With the Wind" is often cited as her only role, Conlon contributed to two other films.
13. She had an uncredited onscreen role in "Blondie Meets the Boss" (1939).
14. Conlon also provided the voice for the doe Faline in Disney's "Bambi" (1942).
15. She had been cast in a third film, "Men in White," but came down with chickenpox on the first day of shooting.
16. Conlon's mother then put an end to her career because she wanted her daughter to have a normal childhood.
17. Later in life, Conlon would often joke that she peaked at age 5.
18. Over the years, she heard of many impostors claiming to have been the child star who played Bonnie Blue Butler in the film.
19. In 2009 Conlon wrote a memoir about her experience titled "Bonnie Blue Butler."
20. She remained active in the "Gone With the Wind" community, attending conventions, parades, and other events. Throughout her life she stayed in touch with many of the film's cast and crew, and had spoken to Olivia de Havilland (Melanie Wilkes in the movie) just days before her death.