- August 25, 2008 - 9:33 PM
Fred Crane, the one-time actor whose Southern accent won him a slot as one of Scarlett O'Hara's beaus and the opening line in "Gone With the Wind," has died in Atlanta, Ga. Crane, who played one of the Tarleton twins in the 1939 classic, was 90.
Tarleton and his wife had lived in Barnesville south of Atlanta, where they operated Tarleton Oaks. The bed and breakfast was named for his character in the film, Brent Tarleton. The other Tarleton twin was played by George Reeves, who later gained TV fame as Superman.
Born in New Orleans, Crane stumbled into his role on "Gone With the Wind." He was not yet an actor when he accompanied a cousin who wanted to audition for the movie. The casting director liked the 20-year-old's Southern twang, and he wound up in the cast.
The film opens with Crane's character asking O'Hara, played by Vivien Leigh: "What do we care if we were expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is going to start any day now, so we'd have left college anyhow."
Her reply to Crane and Reeves contains one of the movie's classic lines: "Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war. This war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream."
Crane also had roles in the 1949 Cisco Kid movie "The Gay Amigo" and acted on television during the 1960s.
Iosif Constantin Dragan, a billionaire businessman who supported Romania's pro-Nazi movement before finding favor with Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, died Thursday at age 91 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Dragan was banned from Romania when the Communists came to power in the 1940s because of his support for the earlier fascist regime. He moved to Italy and in 1948 founded petroleum products company Butan Gas. He had an estimated wealth of $1.6 billion in 2006, making him Romania's wealthiest man.
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