Yesterday I didn’t get around to posting about Mickey Kuhn, the youngish actor of the ’40s and early ’50s who had noteworthy supporting roles in Gone With The Wind (Beau Wilkes, son of Leslie Howard and Olivia De Havilland), Red River (young Mathew Garth) and A Streetcar Named Desire (sailor who gives Vivien Leigh directions at the very beginning).
I’ve watched Gone With The Wind several times and haven’t the slightest recollection of the adolescent Kuhn doing or saying anything. Then again he appears in the boring second half, which I tend to phone-surf through.
Wiki excerpt: “Kuhn worked for American Airlines from 1965 to 1995, and particular at Boston’s Logan airport in administrative positions.” HE to Boston friendo: “Hey, remember that kid who played John Wayne‘s scrappy adoptive son in Red River? I swear I saw him last weekend out at Logan.”
The fact that Kuhn was married five times between the mid ’50s and mid ’80s suggests an unsettled psychology. That or he liked to play around. His fifth and final wife, an American Airlines co-worker named Barbara Traci, was married to Kuhn from 1985 until his death — a 37-year bond.
Kuhn passed two days ago in Naples, Florida, at age 90.
Posted on 3.27.12: I’ve been watching Elia Kazan‘s A Streetcar Named Desire since the ’70s, but I noticed something new today when I looked at Warner Home Video’s new Bluray version. The sailor who says “can I help you, ma’am?” to Vivien Leigh‘s Blanche Dubois at the very beginning is Mickey Kuhn, the actor who played young Matthew Garth in Red River.
This is the Bluray benefit — you wake up to details that have always been there, but had somehow escaped detection.
(l.) Mickey Kuhn as helpful sailor in A Streetcar Named Desire; (r.) as young Matthew Garth in Red River.
Kuhn was born in September 1932 — 14 when he acted in Red River (which was shot in ’46) and 18 when he performed his scene in Streetcar. He worked steadily from the late ’30s to mid ’40s. Things started to slow down for him in the late ’40s. He’s still with us — 79 years old — and living in Massachusetts.