Theodore Matthew Michael Kuhn Jr.
September 21, 1932
Waukegan, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||November 20, 2022 (aged 90)|
Naples, Florida, U.S.
|Years active||1934–1956 (as actor)|
|Children||2 (by Hannick)|
Theodore Matthew Michael Kuhn Jr. (September 21, 1932 – November 20, 2022) was an American actor. He started his career as a child actor, active on-screen during the Golden Age of Hollywood from the 1930s until the early 1950s. He is noted for having played Beau Wilkes in Gone with the Wind (1939).
Career as a child star
Kuhn was born on September 21, 1932, in Waukegan, Illinois, to Theodore Matthew Michael Kuhn Sr. and Pearl Bernadette (née Hicks). He had a sister, Bernadette, who was twelve years older. In 1934, the family moved to Los Angeles as a result of the Great Depression. Kuhn appeared as a toddler in the 1934 film Change of Heart, after a woman spotted him with his mother in Santa Monica and informed her of a Fox Film casting call, believing Kuhn and the woman's toddler could play twins. His parents enrolled him at the Mar-Ken School for performing children, where he became friends with acting brothers Darryl and Dwayne Hickman.
Kuhn considered Juarez (1939) his "big break", having been chosen from more than 50 children for the role. Afterwards, he was selected for the role of Beau Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, recalling that the receptionist at the casting call told him "Mickey, we've been waiting for you", and instantly announced the role had been filled. Kuhn went on to appear as the adoptive son of John Wayne's character in Red River in 1948 and then in Broken Arrow in 1950 starring James Stewart.
The film A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) reunited him with Vivien Leigh twelve years after they first worked together in Gone with the Wind. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Kuhn played a sailor who directs Leigh's character Blanche to the correct streetcar which will take her to her sister's neighborhood at the beginning of the film. He therefore achieved the distinction of being the only actor to share screen time with Leigh in each of her Academy Award-winning performances, and following the death of Dame Olivia de Havilland on July 26, 2020, he became the last surviving credited cast member in both films.
After finishing his Navy service, Kuhn attempted to return to acting, briefly appearing in the TV anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but was only offered television roles which he found unappealing. He left the film business in 1956 to attend college, and worked for American Airlines from 1965 to 1995 and the Boston airport in administrative positions until his retirement. He regularly visited film festivals dealing with his films.
Kuhn was married five times. His first marriage, to Jean Marie Hannick, lasted from 1956 until 1962; they had two children, including son Theodore Matthew Michael III. He was later married to Shannon Farnon, Rosa Negrete, and Yolanda Borbon, all of which ended in divorce. His last wife, an American Airlines co-worker named Barbara Traci, was married to him from 1985 until his death.
- Fan's Guide to Gone With The Wind eBook Bundle: Collected Biographies of Margaret Mitchell, Vivien Leigh, and Gone With the Wind Trivia. Rowman & Littlefield. December 3, 2014. ISBN 978-1-4930-1701-0. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- Dennis, Ken (December 4, 2008). "Mickey Kuhn: Boy Actor of the Golden Age". Films of the Golden Age. Muscatine Journal.
- "Mickey Kuhn, child actor who was the last credited cast member of the classic 1939 film Gone With the Wind – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. November 22, 2022. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
- Barnes, Mike (November 21, 2022). "Mickey Kuhn, Child Actor in 'Gone With the Wind', Dies at 90". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
- Freeman, Liz (December 21, 2017). "Mickey Kuhn, child actor during Hollywood's Golden Age, lives in Naples, Florida". Naples Daily News. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
- "See last surviving "Gone with the Wind" Actor Mickey Kuhn Now at 89". September 7, 2022.
- Noland, Claire (April 8, 2014). "Mary Anderson dies at 96; actress had role in 'Gone With the Wind'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
- Argetsinger, Amy (December 15, 2014). "A quiet 75th anniversary for 'Gone With the Wind' and one of its last surviving actors, Mickey Kuhn". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- Panaglian, EJ (November 22, 2022). "Mickey Kuhn, 'Gone With the Wind' Actor, Dies at 90". Variety. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
- "Mickey Kuhn obituary". The Times. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
- "The Golden Boot Awards". The Old Corral at b-westerns.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2022. Retrieved August 14, 2022.
- "Mickey Kuhn filmography". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
- Evans, Greg (November 22, 2022). "Mickey Kuhn Dies: Last Surviving 'Gone With The Wind' Cast Member Was 90". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
- Brizio-Skov, Flavia (2021). Ride the Frontier: Exploring the Myth of the American West on Screen. McFarland. p. 51. ISBN 9781476641911.
- "On the Loose — 1951". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
General and cited references
- Goldrup, Tom and Jim (2002). Growing Up on the Set: Interviews with 39 Former Child Actors of Film and Television. McFarland & Co. pp. 178–185. ISBN 1476613702.
- Holmstrom, John (1996). The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995. Norwich: Michael Russell, p. 178.