A close friend, actress Anne Jeffreys, confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Rutherford died Monday night at her home in Beverly Hills.
Rutherford -- who also portrayed Mickey Rooney's teenage girlfriend in the Andy Hardy movie series -- had been in declining health and suffered from heart problems, according to the newspaper.
The actress told the Times in 2010 that MGM head Louis B. Mayer was at first going to refuse her the role because he considered it a "nothing part." But Rutherford, who was a big fan of the novel, said she uncharacteristically burst into tears and Mayer changed his mind. »
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