Cammie King Conlon and Gone With The Wind
Cammie King Conlon, who died earlier this week at 76, made her big screen debut as the doomed child of Rhett and Scarlett in Gone With the Wind. Here are 20 things you might not know about her…
1. She was born as Eleanore Cammack "Cammie" King in 1934.
2. Her godfather – who would later become her stepfather – was the co-founder of Technicolor.
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 also 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. However, by the time the film was finally ready to shoot, Diane no longer looked young enough for the part.
5. Conlon disbelieved this story, and 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 won the role and was 5 years old when the film started shooting. Later in life, she would often joke that she peaked at age 5.
9. She’d had to take horseback riding lessons in preparation for the part.
10. She was surprised one day on set 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. It was explained that the dwarf was her stunt double.
11. Conlon spent 4 weeks shooting Gone With the Wind. She earned $250.
12. Many of her lines were allegedly overdubbed in post-production by other young girls.
13. Though Gone With the Wind is often cited as her only role, Conlon also contributed to two other films.
14. She had an uncredited onscreen role in Blondie Meets the Boss (1939).
15. Conlon also provided the voice for a doe named Faline in Disney’s Bambi (1942).
16. She had been cast in a third film, “Men in White,” but came down with chickenpox on the first day of shooting. Conlon’s mother then put an end to her career because she wanted her daughter to have a normal childhood.
17. Conlon would later hear of many impostors claiming to have been the child star who played Bonnie Blue Butler in the film.
18. In 2009, Conlon wrote a memoir about her experience titled Bonnie Blue Butler.
19. 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 just days before her death.
20. Memorial services are planned for Cammie King Conlon on the West Coast in Fort Bragg and Los Angeles, and in Marietta, Georgia, home of the Gone With the Wind Museum.