|Evelyn Keyes as Suellen O'Hara|
Keyes was one of the few native Southerners in the Gone With the Wind (1939) cast. She was born on Nov. 20, 1916, in Port Arthur, Texas. Her family moved to Atlanta when she was 3 years old and while growing up there she began to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Keyes began taking dance lessons and performing at local clubs while she was still a teenager.
|Evelyn Keyes gets her makeup done for her debut performance in The Buccaneer (1938).|
Keyes' dancing gigs paid for a train ticket to Hollywood and she was discovered by legendary director Cecil B. DeMille when she was 18. Keyes made her film debut in DeMille's The Buccaneer (1938), the story of pirate Jean Lafitte (Fredric March) and his involvement the War of 1812.
Keyes appeared in several B pictures before winning the role of the middle O'Hara daughter, Suellen, in Gone With the Wind. Keyes made the most of he opportunity, even though playing the bratty and whiny Suellen was a thankless task. Keyes does use her excellent comic timing to great effect in scenes where she is required to bawl about how Scarlett is making her work and stealing her husband.
|Evelyn Keyes dancing in The Jolson Story 1946).|
|Evelyn Keyes (left) in 2002 at a Gone With the Wind reunion with co-stars Ann Rutherford (Carreen O'Hara) and Rand Brooks (Charles Hamilton).|
Keyes last significant role was opposite Marilyn Monroe In The Seven Year Itch (1955). She did make a few cameo appearances in the coming years, but mostly she retired from films. Keyes returned to the spotlight in 1977 when she published her autobiography, "Scarlett O'Hara's Younger Sister: My Lively Life In and Out of Hollywood." The book detailed Keyes tumultuous personal life, including details of her four marriages and many love affairs. Keyes died of cancer in 2008. She was buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara, California.
Go here for profiles of Keyes' onscreen parents, Thomas Mitchell and Barbara O'Neil.