R.I.P. Mickey Kuhn, child star of the '30s and '40s, Beau Wilkes in 'Gone With the Wind'
Kuhn first appeared on the big screen at the age of two.
Mickey Kuhn became a household name and a child star in the late Thirties and throughout the Forties. Kuhn, who portrayed Beau Wilkes in the 1939 epic Gone With the Wind died Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022 at the age of 90, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Kuhn was six years old when he appeared in Gone With the Wind, one of several films he worked on in 1939. Others included King of the Underworld, When Tomorrow Comes, Bad Little Angel and Juarez, starring Bette Davis and Paul Muni.
Kuhn continued to appear on the silver screen into and throughout the 1940s. He was in I Want a Divorce and Slightly Tempted in 1940 alone. He appeared in 15 more films in the decade, including Dick Tracy, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, John Wayne's Red River, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Searching Wind and Scene of the Crime among others.
The first role of Kuhn's career was likely one he didn't remember all that well, as he was an uncredited baby in the 1934 film Change of Heart, at just two years old.
Kuhn and his mother nearly left the casting office the day he was selected for Gone With the Wind. With well over 50 people at the office, parents included, Kuhn recalled, "I started crying and wanted to leave, but Mom said to go up and give my name to the lady at the desk. I went to the lady and said, 'I'm Mickey Kuhn.' She said, 'Mickey, we've been waiting for you.' And then to the others waiting, [she said] 'Thank you, we've cast the part. You may all leave.'"
After a successful run of film appearances in the Forties, Mickey, a nickname for Theodore Matthew Michael Kuhn Jr, took his acting career into its final decade during the Fifties.
He appeared in the 1955 movie The Last Frontier, Away All Boats in 1956 and in a trio of Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes during 1957.
The child star called it on his onscreen career after his appearances in the anthology series. He worked in airport management for American Airlines and at terminals in Washington and Boston before retiring in 1995.
Though he was relatively young when his acting career ended, Kuhn is cemented in Hollywood history.