FILM / The return of Scarlett fever: When Robert Selznick cast Gone with the Wind in 1939, he orchestrated a hurricane of hype. It's happened again, as Phil Reeves reports

The Hungarian-born impresario Robert Halmi, producer of the forthcoming television sequel to Gone with the Wind, always said that when the right actress walked into the room he would know 'instantly and instinctively that she is my Scarlett O'Hara'.

Southern belle role goes to northern star: British actress beats 20,000 hopefuls to plum part of Scarlett O'Hara

BRUSHING aside more than 20,000 applications, the makers of the sequel to Gone With the Wind yesterday announced that the woman they wanted as Scarlett O'Hara was Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, a 29-year-old Mancunian.

BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend - Stephen Bach: HarperCollins, pounds 8.99

Showbiz biographies don't come much heftier than this: 600-odd pages including an excellent filmography. The book strives to get behind the legend and to answer questions (Where was she born? What exactly was her relationship with her mysterious mentor Josef von Sternberg? Why did she never divorce the husband she hardly ever saw?) on which Dietrich herself was permanently cagey. There is a deliciously overstuffed prose style, and other pleasures include inconsequential insights into the star's personal habits, such as her preference for economy-size jars of Boots' cold cream.

ARTS / Lives of the great songs: When the pink bubble bursts: Over the Rainbow: On the surface it's pure innocence. But there's more to Judy Garland's theme tune than lemon drops. In the eighth part of our series, Mary Harron tells its story

TEN YEARS ago, Jerry Lee Lewis played the Wembley Country Music Festival. He flew in shrouded in scandal. Drugs and alcohol had left him with a quarter of his stomach, the US government was pursuing him for tax evasion, he had shot his bass player in a fit of pique, and there had been the mysterious death of his fourth wife (not to be confused with the mysterious death of his third wife). He seemed to be riding out his own damnation. Jerry Lee probably wouldn't show, and if he did he'd do only country music, as it pleased him to frustrate his fans by refusing them his greatest hits.

Obituary: Alexis Smith

Gladys (Alexis) Smith, actress: born Penticton, British Columbia 8 June 1921; married 1944 Craig Stevens; died Los Angeles 9 June 1993.

Lifelong fan buys up Garbo letters for pounds 26,450: Screen star's correspondence reveals she may not have wanted to be alone. Mary Braid reports

SIXTY-SIX letters written by Greta Garbo, screen goddess of the 1930s, fetched pounds 26,450 at a Sotheby's auction in London yesterday, three years after her death.

OUTSIDE EDGE / The Epsom autograph-hunters searching for Rin Tin Tin's co-star

WHEN Austin and Howard Mewse, 20-year-old twins from Epsom, write to Hollywood, Hollywood jumps. It all began in 1986 when the brothers dropped a line to Lillian Gish asking for her autograph. Gish's reply, which arrived in a tea-stained envelope, was unexpectedly lengthy and triggered a correspondence that was to continue until her death. 'Her last letter came four days before she died,' says Austin. 'It was short, which was very unusual for her'.

FILM / Director's Cut: George Miller on a poetic scene from John Ford's Stagecoach

MY DEFINITION of poetry is the maximum meaning in the minimum unit of information. There's a moment in Stagecoach where everyone in the coach is being polled on whether to go ahead or go back. We know that they all have their own agenda, and will vote for going ahead into danger or not.

Obituary: Bernard Braden

MAY I set straight for the theatrical record certain statements and omissions in your obituaries of Bernard Braden (by June Averill and Frank Gray, 6 February)? writes Peter Cotes.

Obituary: Lillian Gish: Correction

Despite Lillian Gish's claim that she was born in 1896, which was given credence in the reference books and in yesterday's obituary by Gilbert Adair, the American Film Institute has established from her birth certificate that she was born in 1893.

Obituary: Aben Kandel

Aben Kandel, writer, born c1897, died Los Angeles 28 January 1993.

The Film: Part Two: During 1938, the paths of Vivien Leigh and David O Selznick gradually converged, and by Christmas the producer had his Scarlett O'Hara. But the gulf between Selznick and his wife, Irene, was widening. 'Gone With the Wind' was completed amid a multiplicity of wars - on the set, at home, and in Europe

IN THE EARLY spring of 1938, Vivien Leigh left her husband, Leigh Holman, and her four-year-old daughter, Suzanne, and moved in with Laurence Olivier. That summer, the couple were motoring in southern France when they encountered old friends - John Gielgud and Hugh Beaumont ('Binkie'), the theatrical manager, staying in Vence. Binkie adored Vivien and he understood her ambitions: he knew that she had got Angus McBean to photograph her in the mood and look - as London dreamed it - of Scarlett's South. As the four of them lunched, Beaumont told her, 'You want to play Scarlett, Vivien - then you need an American agent.'

BOOK REVIEW / Follow the yelling sick road: 'Judy Garland' - David Shipman: Fourth Estate, 17.99

SOMEWHERE over the Hollywood rainbow, Judy Garland sang of a lullaby world where skies were always blue and dreams really did come true. When the stage-lights dimmed, however, she didn't fare so well on this side of the shimmering. From the time of her first film successes in 1939, Garland missed rehearsals, broke contracts, walked off sets, staged tantrums, divorced husbands, and overdosed regularly on all the diet pills, alcohol and barbiturates she could lay her hands on. During frequent bouts of rage and depression she cut herself with razors and broken glass, blamed everything that ever happened to her on everybody else, and lied her head off. In 1969, her umpteenth suicide attempt proved her last, and she died at the age of 46, sitting on a toilet in her London apartment. Her friend Bing Crosby once said: 'There wasn't a thing that gal couldn't do - except look after herself.'

Letter: Nana Mouskouri and other gay icons

Sir: I was interested to see the interview with Eartha Kitt and the accompanying article by David Lister ('Alluring qualities that make a gay icon', 3 October).
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