The City Magazine Since 1975

American Portrait

May 2017
American Portrait

Alicia Rhett returned to her home on Tradd Street after filming to focus on her artwork, particularly portrait paintings.

Memminger High School grad Alicia Rhett may be most widely known for her role as India Wilkes in the 1939 film Gone With the Wind, but she devoted most of her life to visual art rather than dramatic, and in fact worked right here in Charleston. In 1937, she played the leading role in The Footlight Players’ opening production of The Recruiting Officer at Dock Street Theatre, for which she also painted behind the scenes. Two years later, she was discovered by a talent scout and landed the part of India. While she was adored onscreen, Alicia returned to her home on Tradd Street after filming to focus on her artwork, particularly portrait paintings. During WWII, she sketched many servicemen—an estimated 1,600 of them—including the sailor pictured here. To see more of her artwork, visit The Charleston Museum.

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Photograph by Louis Schwartz courtesy of the Charleston Museum