Famous Fans of Gone with the Wind

Take pride, Windies: it turns out you're in some pretty esteemed company! Gone with the Wind boasts a number of famous fans, from movie stars to presidents to even royalty. We've compiled the list below. Check it out! 

Also, if you know of a famous Windie we've missed, we want to hear from you! Email us at gwtwscrapbook(at)gmail(dot) com.


Amy Adams
“Gone With the Wind, and The Wizard of Oz, were two movies that I grew up with and had a lasting effect on me. Scarlett O'Hara was a huge influence, unfortunately [laughs], and I had to break myself out of the habit of the sort of "fiddle-dee-dee" kind of thing. As I've gotten older and watched the movie, I love the cinematography; it was just such a groundbreaking movie. It's interesting now to see, in looking back, how we approached race in Hollywood, and how it's changed so much. It was just epic and romantic and sweeping at that time in my life -- usually I pick the movies because of the time I watched them in my life and what they meant to me then. I saw Gone With the Wind when I was about 13, which is a dangerous time to show it to a young lady. [laughs] I was obsessed with it. It was so romantic: the gowns, the drama, the war… and I loved American history, as well; it was my favorite subject. I was a freak on Gone With the Wind.”

Kathy Bates
Gone with the Wind is one of Academy-Award winning actress Kathy Bates' favorite books. 

Joan Collins
Joan Collins named her daughter Tara Cynara (Cynara in reference to the Ernest Dowson poem that inspired the title of the book). Her 1979 biography, Past Imperfect, also mentions Gone with the Wind a mere seven times.
Source: from Scarlett's women: Gone with the Wind and its female fans by Helen Taylor

Katharine Hepburn
How much did Katharine Hepburn want to play Scarlett in the movie version of Gone with the Wind? So much so that she decided to get started on her role preparation early—by making her favorite costume designer, Walter Plunkett, read the book and encouraging him to sign on for the movie. Of course although Hepburn envisioned Plunkett designing elaborate Civil War costumes for her, fate had other plans…

Nicole Kidman
"I watch it every year. I adore Vivien Leigh. Ashley! I'm still devastated that she can't love Rhett. You feel like shaking her. I love the film because of that — it brings out all those emotions."

Rue McClanahan
"I read Gone with the Wind in the 6th grade, and no book has as yet won my heart more." Source: http://firewall.gpl.lib.me.us/WRW2001.htm

Marilyn Monroe
Gone with the Wind was Marilyn Monroe favorite movie—a trait the movie star and JFK-paramour ironically shared in common with First Lady Jackie Kennedy.
Source: Are You a Jackie Or a Marilyn?: Timeless Lessons on Love, Power, and Style by Pamela Keogh

Debbie Reynolds
“Oh, I really can't answer that off the top of my head, my favorite movies. So... Dark Victory, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Gone With the Wind, The Pink Panther... Each one individually was wonderfully made, wonderfully directed, wonderfully written, wonderfully acted, and each one was entirely different, you know?”

Jaclyn Smith
Jaclyn Smith’s official website lists her favorite things thusly: “her family, her home, gardening, Tchaikovsky, baseball, “Gone with the Wind,” her mother’s cooking, and her dogs.” A huge fan of Gone with the Wind, she pitched CBS the idea of playing Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell in the movie version of the book Road to Tara, but the network turned her down.


Chris Evert, tennis player
Gone with the Wind is one of Chris Evert's favorite books.

Nadia Petrova, tennis player
“Even though there's plenty of high-quality literature to choose from in her native Russia, Nadia Petrova nonetheless says Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind is her favorite novel.

"It's just a great history of a woman and what she went through and how hard she fought," Petrova says.” 
Source: excerpted from ‘Petrova and red clay a winning combo,’ USA TODAY, May 25, 2006.  http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/french/2006-05-25-petrova-french_x.htm


Darnell Arnoult, author of Sufficient Grace
"GWTW is an indelible portrait of a unique time and place, American's greatest political and moral conflict, and the myths that surround it -- an all absorbing spectacle of a read even for postmodern readers. Mitchell vividly portrays the disillusionment and devastation of war, the ignorance of the uninitiated, and the transformation of arrogance into tenacity that shaped the first "new South." All the details of history and place come together as a rich backdrop for those unforgettable characters: shallow and selfish Scarlett, sincere Melanie, moony-eyed Ashley, and the sage, pragmatic, dashing, and rakish Rhett Butler--the most enduring heartthrob of American literature has produced. I'd reread the book for the thrill of Rhett alone!"

James Lee Burke, bestselling author of The Tin Roof Blowdown
"Gone with the Wind is one of those rare books that we never forget. We read it when we're young and fall in love with the characters, then we watch the film and read the book again and watch the film again and never get tired of revisiting an era that is the most important in our history. Rhett and Scarlet and Melanie and Ashley and Big Sam and Mammy and Archie the convict are characters who always remain with us, in the same way that Twain's characters do. No one ever forgets the scene when Scarlet wanders among the wounded in the Atlanta train yard; no one ever forgets the moment Melanie and Scarlet drag the body of the dead Federal soldier down the staircase, a step at a time. Gone with the Wind is an epic story. Anyone who has not read it has missed one of the greatest literary experiences a reader can have."

Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides
“I owe a personal debt to this novel that I find almost beyond reckoning. I became a novelist because of Gone With the Wind, or more precisely, my mother raised me up to be a "Southern" novelist, with a strong emphasis on the word "Southern," because Gone With the Wind set my mother's imagination ablaze when she was a young girl growing up in Atlanta, and it was the one fire of her bruised, fragmented youth that never went out. I still wonder how my relationship with the language might be different had she spoon-fed me Faulkner or Proust or Joyce, but my mother was a country girl new to the city, one generation removed from the harsh reality of subsistence farming, and her passion for reading received its shaping thrust when Gone With the Wind moved its heavy artillery into Atlanta to fight its rearguard action against the judgment of history itself.”
Source: excerpted from the preface to the 75th anniversary edition of Gone with the Wind. http://www.npr.org/2011/05/04/135990428/pat-conroy-marks-75-years-of-gone-with-the-wind

Reynolds Price, novelist, poet, and James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University
"I first read Gone with the Wind in grade school--a boy of the upper South who'd seen the great movie and felt compelled to learn what lay behind it, all thousand-plus pages worth. No page disappointed me. What other American novel surpasses its eagerness to tell a great story of love and war; what characters equal the cantankerous passions of Scarlett and Rhett? Even Scott Fitzgerald spoke well of it. What more could I ask, even seven decades later?"

Anna Quindlen, novelist and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist
"I watched Gone With the Wind on television recently. It's my favorite movie. It's hokey, it's predictable, the color's lurid, I throw balled-up tissues at Olivia de Havilland when she's on screen. I love it. Each time I see it I notice something new. This time, I noticed that in some ways it perfectly illustrates one of the great truths about men. Most men fall into one of two categories for the purpose of relationships: Husband or Boyfriend. These are not literal classifications based on marital status, just the best I can do. Ashley Wilkes is a classic Husband: upright, dependable, prone neither to wild partying nor to gross flirtation...Rhett Butler is, of course, vintage Boyfriend: entertaining, unprincipled, with a roving eye and a wickedly expressive brow above it. "
Source: excerpted from 'Gone Husband is Part Boyfriend,' New York Times, January 23, 1987.  http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1987-01-23/lifestyle/0100270193_1_dancing-fool-husband-or-boyfriend-alan-alda

Media Folks

Cokie Roberts
“One summer I read all of Gone with the Wind to [my cousin] Jo and quizzed her at the end of each chapter to make sure she was listening.”  
Source: excerpted from We Are Our Mothers' Daughters by Cokie Roberts

Robert Osborne
“One of the miracles for me is Gone with the Wind. The fact that it was made in 1939, it's frozen in time, frozen on film. Everything about the world has changed since 1939. Our morals have changed, the way we behave, the way we dress, the way we think, the way we operate. Everything has changed. That movie has not changed, and yet we react to it in the same way people did in 1939; and that's the magic of the movies.”

Ted Turner
A massive GWTW fan, Ted Turner acquired the television rights to Gone with the Wind for his cable company, Turner Broadcasting System, in 1987. Two years later he would hold a celebratory ball in Atlanta in honor of commemorate the movie’s 50th anniversary. Turner has also provided commentary for the movie’s 70th anniversary DVD edition, where he indicated that he grew his mustache in honor of another famous mustachioed man: Rhett Butler. 


Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
“The Queen read Gone with the Wind when it first appeared and liked it.” 
Source: Life Magazine, March 17, 1941

Princess Margaret
“Margaret likes the usual run of popular novels (she got all the way through Gone with the Wind) but also has a taste for the Bronte sisters.”  
Source: Life Magazine, October 31, 1949

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Prince William and Kate Middleton):
Click here to read about the time Wills and Kate dressed up as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara for a costume party at university. 

Politicians and Other Leaders

U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Gone with the Wind is former president Jimmy Carter’s favorite movie, something he shares in common with his wife, Rosalynn Carter.

First Lady Rosalynn Carter
"Sister Rosalynn was always on the quiet side… The biggest event of her childhood was the coming of Gone with the Wind to the movie house in Americus. The crush was such that Rosalynn and her friend Eunice Griggs had to stand four hours in line waiting for the second show. When I asked Eunice which of the women they longed to be, Scarlett or Miss Melanie, she caught herself, giggled, and  answered primly, “Melanie.” But when I asked which man she and Rosalynn yearned for, Ashley or Rhett, she burted, “Oh, Rhett Butler.” It would seem an insoluble conflict of southern girlhood."
Source: excerpted from ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, The Second President—Sister Rosalyn,’ New York Magazine, Nov 22, 1976
Max Cleland, former U.S. Senator from Georgia
Senator Cleland provided commentary for 70th anniversary edition of Gone with the Wind.

Kim Jong-Il, North Korean dictator
A notorious movie buff, Kim Jong-Il counts Gone with the Wind as his favorite movie. 
Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5548011

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Click here to read our blog post on Jackie’s childhood love of Gone with the Wind and its lasting impact on her life.

Jiang Qing, wife of Chinese leader Mao Zedong
“One of Jiang's favorite pastime was watching Hollywood movies. She was particularly fond of Gone With the Wind.”  
Source: "The Private Life of Chairman Mao" by Dr. Li Zhisui, excerpts reprinted in U.S. News and World Report, October 10, 1994.

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