“I was just remembering one of the last times we had a fun talk was when she called to tell me she was sending me a recipe for peanut butter soup,” Sutherland said. “She said, ‘I know it just sounds awful, but honey it’s wonderful, and you just have to make it for that darling husband of yours.’ That’s just the way she talked.”
Rutherford, who had heart problems and was in declining health, died at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 94.
Marietta City Councilman Philip Goldstein said the actress was a friend of the city.
“She went out of her way to come to Marietta and participate in the functions with the Gone with the Wind Museum and meet fans, and she really made things happen at the events with the other stars,” Goldstein said. “She will be missed.”
During the 70th anniversary re-premiere of the celebrated film held at the Strand Theatre in 2009, Rutherford explained that when it came to snagging a role in “Gone with the Wind,” it all came down to eyebrows. Rutherford recalled bumping into producer David Selznick before being considered for the part. She complained how makeup artists pluck women’s eyebrows and encouraged Selznick to read Margaret Mitchell’s description of Scarlett’s own eyebrows in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
“Did women have tweezers on the dressing table in 1865? No, indeed they did not. Only doctors had tweezers,” Rutherford said.
So, she told Selznick, “You must tell your makeup men to throw away your tweezers, because the minute I get to MGM tomorrow the head of our makeup department is going to grab me and put me against the nearest wall, reach in his pocket, come up with tweezers and start picking my eyebrows off like Greta Garbo.”
Sutherland said Rutherford was a champion of the city museum “in the largest way possible.”
“She loved this museum,” Sutherland said, listing off the events Rutherford attended over the years.
“She didn’t have to do it — she was a very, very well-off woman, and she didn’t have to do these jobs that she did, but she loved coming here, she loved Marietta.”
No matter how many times she spoke with Rutherford, Sutherland said she always came away a little star-struck, “because she had all of that old Hollywood flair about her. Her stories, you just never got tired of them. She is one of the last of the Golden Age.”
Rutherford also played the sweetheart in the long-running Andy Hardy series, a hugely popular string of comical, sentimental films that starred Lewis Stone as a small-town judge and Mickey Rooney as his spirited teenage son.