From Outback to Hollywood: The Remarkable Journey of an Akron GirlOutback,Hollywood,Journey,Akron,Girl
From Outback to Hollywood: The Remarkable Journey of an Akron Girl

From Outback to Hollywood: The Remarkable Journey of an Akron Girl

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Local History: Akron Girl‘s Hollywood Career is ‘Gone With the Wind’

Growing Up in Akron

Pat Marks, now 92, has always been intrigued by a rumor that circulated in Firestone Park when she was a girl in Akron almost 80 years ago. The rumor was about a celebrity living in the neighborhood, a girl named Dottie whose last name began with a P. Marks recalled hearing this rumor from her classmates at Garfield High School, and it left her wondering if it could possibly be true.

Marks, who doesn’t own a smartphone, sought confirmation of this rumor and approached the Akron Beacon Journal for help. And so, the newspaper decided to dig into their archives and provide the answer that Marks had long been seeking.

The Discovery

The Akron Beacon Journal discovered that the girl in question was indeed a local celebrity named Dorothy Ann Pailliotet. Born in 1933, Dorothy grew up on Neptune Avenue, where the rumor had circulated. Her father worked as a machinist at B.F. Goodrich, and her mother was a homemaker.

Dorothy’s journey to Hollywood began when she was discovered by a casting director while playing outside. After some persuasion from a neighbor who confirmed the casting director’s credentials, Dorothy’s mother agreed to let her take part in the 1939 movie “Gone With the Wind.” Dorothy was cast as the double for child star Cammie King, who played Bonnie Blue, the daughter of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara.

She appeared on camera in the London scene, where Rhett Butler picked up his sleepy daughter and put her to bed. Dorothy’s name appears as Dorothy Ann Pailliot in the credits for the film.

A Brief Hollywood Career

Dorothy, or Dottie as she was known, had a brief career in Hollywood, appearing uncredited in three other movies released in 1940. These movies included Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca,” “The Villain Still Pursued Her,” and “Grand Ole Opry.”

After a year in California, Dottie and her mother returned to Akron, where she resumed her normal life. She attended St. Paul’s School, Garfield High School, and St. Mary High School, graduating in 1950. Dottie eventually married her high school sweetheart, Jack Smith, in 1955, and the couple moved away from Akron.

Memories of Hollywood

Now 90 years old, Dorothy, known as Dorothy A. Smith, agreed to speak with the Akron Beacon Journal about her childhood acting career. She fondly recalls her time on the set of “Gone With the Wind” and the memories of the giant wooden staircase with a red carpet, where Bonnie Blue ran up and Scarlett O’Hara fell down.

Dorothy also shared a memorable lunch with Clark Gable, who played Rhett Butler in the film. She describes him as a down-to-earth person and a gentleman. However, her memories of her time in Hollywood are understandably limited, as she was only 6 years old at the time.

The Last Survivor

With the passing of other cast members over the years, Dorothy is now believed to be the last surviving member of the 1939 movie “Gone With the Wind.” Cammie King, who played Bonnie Blue, passed away in 2010, Olivia de Havilland (Melanie Wilkes) in 2020, and Mickey Kuhn (Beau Wilkes) in 2022. Both Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh died in the 1960s.

In addition to her time on “Gone With the Wind,” Dorothy also recalls a few other memories of Hollywood. She had the opportunity to visit the homes of child star Jane Withers and actor Hugh Herbert. However, her movie career came to a close due to homesickness and her father’s inability to leave work to visit them in California.

Content with a Normal Life

After her brief Hollywood career, Dorothy returned to Akron and went back to school. She worked various jobs, including at the Beacon Journal and Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. She eventually married Jack Smith, and they have been happily married for 68 years.

Dorothy chose not to share her acting career with her sons until they were in high school, and she jokes about how their peers were disappointed to learn that they didn’t live in a grand Hollywood mansion. She values the normal life she led in Akron, and her mother’s decision to bring her back to a more stable environment.

Now, at the age of 90, Dorothy is content with her life. While she appreciates the privilege she had to be part of Hollywood at a young age, she considers herself even more privileged now. She appreciates the privacy and peace that comes with her current life.

Reconnecting with Akron

During the Akron Beacon Journal’s investigation into Dorothy’s Hollywood career, she expressed a desire to reach out to Pat Marks, the woman who inspired the search for confirmation. The former Dorothy Ann Pailliotet surprised Marks with a phone call, and they enjoyed a long conversation reminiscing about their shared memories of growing up in Firestone Park.

Marks, who had always wondered if the local legend about “Gone With the Wind” was true, was elated to learn that the rumor she had heard as a girl in Akron was genuine. The discovery of Dorothy Ann Pailliotet’s Hollywood career not only proved the rumor but also provided a wonderful connection between two women who shared a piece of local history.

In conclusion, the story of Dorothy Ann Pailliotet’s Hollywood career serves as a reminder of the hidden gems and extraordinary stories that can be found in local history. These stories, like Dorothy’s, bring a sense of pride and joy to communities, connecting generations and preserving the memories of individuals who made a mark in their own unique way.


From Outback to Hollywood: The Remarkable Journey of an Akron Girl
<< photo by Ashley Fontana >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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Edwards Jake

G'day, I'm Jake Edwards, the man on the street. I've been crisscrossing this great country, bringing you the human stories that make Australia what it is. From interviews with local legends to the everyday Aussie battlers, I'm here to tell your stories. So let's yarn, Australia

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