Work on Gone With the Wind halted suddenly when tragic news from the East Coast reached Selznick International Pictures: Gone With the Wind’s original screenwriter was dead.
Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Sidney Howard owned a 700-hundred-acre cattle ranch in Tyringham, Massachusetts. On Wednesday, August 23, 1939, he was attempting to start a two-and-a-half ton tractor in his shed.
What he didn’t know was that the tractor had been left in gear. He cranked the handle in front of the tractor, the engine engaged and the tractor leaped forward. Howard was crushed against a wall. He was 48 years old.
Remembering Sidney Howard During Gone With the Wind’s 75th Anniversary Year
Blog Bio: Pauline Bartel is the author of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book (2nd edition) and an expert on the film and its history. Visit the website (www.paulinebartel.com/resources/books/books-available) for further information. Follow her on Twitter @PaulineBartel and “like” her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheCompleteGWTWTriviaBook).