Fred Crane had first line in ‘Gone With the Wind’
Fred Crane, the one-time actor whose Southern accent won him a slot as one of Scarlett O’Hara’s beaux and the opening line in “Gone With the Wind,” has died.
Crane, who played one of the Tarleton twins in the 1939 classic, was 90. His wife, Terry Lynn Crane, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he died on Thursday of complications from diabetes.
The couple had lived in Barnesville south of Atlanta, where they operated Tarleton Oaks. The bed and breakfast was named for his character in the film, Brent Tarleton.
Born in New Orleans, Crane stumbled into his role on “Gone With the Wind.” He was not yet an actor when he accompanied a cousin who wanted to audition for the movie.
The casting director liked the 20-year-old’s Southern twang, and he wound up being cast.
The film opens with Crane’s character asking O’Hara, played by Vivien Leigh: “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.”
Her reply to Crane and his film twin George Reeves contains one of the movie’s classic lines: “Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war. This war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream.”