Posted in: Celebrity

Performing Legend Olivia De Havilland Dies At 104


Olivia de Havilland, one of many final remaining stars of Hollywood’s golden age and the oldest dwelling Academy Award winner, died on Sunday at her house in Paris. She was 104.

Her publicist Lisa Goldberg confirmed to PoliFonics that de Havilland died peacefully from pure causes.

Gracing the silver display in each large and small roles, in a profession stretching over 50 years, de Havilland was maybe greatest identified for her efficiency as Melanie Hamilton in “Gone with the Wind,” and for making a number of movies with Errol Flynn. She received the Academy Award for Finest Actress twice, for “To Every His Personal” in 1946 and for “The Heiress” in 1949.

She can also be perpetually enshrined within the historical past of office regulation, scoring a serious authorized victory over the Hollywood studio system in 1944 that grew to become informally often called “the de Havilland regulation.” Her lawsuit towards Warner Brothers resulted in California state rules that restricted the extent to which artists may very well be certain to contracts. It catalyzed the eventual finish of the highly effective studio system, which frequently constrained actors’ profession alternatives.



Olivia de Havilland (middle), with Hattie McDaniel and Vivien Leigh, in a scene from “Gone with the Wind.”

De Havilland had a lifelong private {and professional} rivalry together with her youthful sister, Joan Fontaine, which grew to become a serious a part of her star persona and the stuff of Hollywood legend. The 2 actors ― the one pair of siblings to win Oscars in a lead appearing class ― clashed over every little thing from their careers, to their romances, to their mom’s funeral. 

Fontaine, who died in 2013, stated de Havilland resented sharing the highlight and started antagonizing her youthful sibling as quickly as she was born.

“I keep in mind not one act of kindness from Olivia all by means of my childhood,” Fontaine stated in a 1978 interview with Individuals journal.

Each had been nominated for the Finest Actress Oscar in 1941 ― Fontaine for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion” and de Havilland for “Maintain Again the Daybreak.” They had been sitting on the similar desk when Fontaine was introduced the winner.

“I stared throughout the desk, the place Olivia was sitting instantly reverse me. ‘Rise up there, stand up there,’ Olivia whispered commandingly. Now what had I executed?” Fontaine later recalled in her memoir. “All of the animus we’d felt towards one another as kids, the hair-pullings, the savage wrestling watches, the time Olivia fractured my collarbone, all got here dashing again in kaleidoscopic imagery. My paralysis was complete.”

In contrast to her sister, de Havilland hardly ever spoke concerning the feud. However in an interview with The Related Press for her 100th birthday in 2016, she referred to Fontaine as “Dragon Woman” and described their relationship as “multi-faceted, various from endearing to alienating.”

“On my half, it was at all times loving, however generally estranged and, within the later years, severed,” de Havilland stated. “Dragon Woman, as I ultimately determined to name her, was a superb, multi-talented particular person, however with an astigmatism in her notion of individuals and occasions which frequently brought on her to react in an unfair and even injurious approach.”

Olivia de Havilland (left) with Joan Fontaine, her sister, circa 1945.



Olivia de Havilland (left) with Joan Fontaine, her sister, circa 1945.

De Havilland was born in Tokyo on July 1, 1916, to British mother and father. She grew up in California, the place she and Fontaine, a 12 months and a half youthful, had been raised primarily by her mom, a former theater actor.

As a young person, she started performing in group theater productions and gave up a university scholarship when she landed a task in a manufacturing of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night time’s Dream” on the Hollywood Bowl. She reprised the function in Warner Brothers’ film adaptation in 1935, which launched her movie profession.

“It was an illustrious starting,” she informed Leisure Weekly in 2015.

The studio paired her with Flynn, who ended up being her co-star in a complete of eight function movies. Their onscreen chemistry spurred rumors of a real-life romance, however de Havilland repeatedly denied it. Later in life, she admitted to having emotions for Flynn, saying that their final movie collectively felt like a “loss.”

“I skilled a way of grief and loss, a horrible feeling, however couldn’t outline it on the time. I had kind of a way of that you could be know an individual a technique however not others. Errol and I weren’t sharing experiences and life however as an alternative sharing the lives of those characters we had been taking part in,” she recalled in a 2006 interview. “However, oh, he did imply an important deal to me, however in that day, a lady didn’t declare her emotions for a person.” 

After the success of “Gone with the Wind,” de Havilland’s profession continued to soar. Along with successful two Oscars for Finest Actress, she additionally acquired nominations for “Maintain Again The Daybreak” and “The Snake Pit.” Within the latter movie, launched in 1948, de Havilland performed a lady dwelling in a psychiatric hospital after experiencing a psychological breakdown. The film’s realism impressed states to reform situations in psychological establishments.

De Havilland grew uninterested in the movie trade and her celeb by the 1950s. She moved to Paris, the place she would stay for the remainder of her life, taking fewer appearing roles and preferring actuality over the artifice of Hollywood.

“I beloved being round actual buildings, actual castles, actual church buildings — not ones made from canvas,” she informed Self-importance Honest in 2015. “There have been actual cobblestones. Someway the cobblestones amazed me. Once I would meet a prince or a duke, he was an actual prince, an actual duke.” 

Olivia de Havilland with Montgomery Clift in the 1949 film



Olivia de Havilland with Montgomery Clift within the 1949 movie “The Heiress,” for which she received her second Finest Actress Oscar.

Later movies included “Gentle within the Piazza” (1962) and “Hush…Hush, Candy Charlotte” (1964), co-starring her buddy Bette Davis. She additionally returned to theater and appeared on quite a few TV exhibits, together with the NBC miniseries “Anastasia: The Thriller of Anna,” for which she acquired an Emmy nomination in 1987. 

As de Havilland received older, her deteriorating imaginative and prescient and listening to compelled her to conduct interviews over e-mail. Even in writing, although, she maintained her attraction and wit and was candid about her profession, together with her experiences with sexism in Hollywood ― “a truth of life I merely needed to settle for,” she stated in 2016.

“Males felt threatened and mistrustful of ladies who had good concepts, and one needed to make use of immense tact when coping with administrators and producers,” she stated. 

Males felt threatened and mistrustful of ladies who had good concepts, and one needed to make use of immense tact when coping with administrators and producers.
Olivia de Havilland

In 1965, she grew to become the primary lady to function president of the Cannes Movie Pageant’s jury. The French authorities appointed her a chevalier of its Legion of Honor in 2010.

U.S. President George W. Bush awarded her the Nationwide Medal of the Arts in 2008 “for her persuasive and compelling ability as an actor in roles from Shakespeare’s Hermia to Margaret Mitchell’s Melanie. Her independence, integrity, and style received artistic freedom for herself and her fellow movie actors.”

Though de Havilland retired from appearing in 1988, she nonetheless made occasional public appearances to commemorate her movies and profession. As one of many solely surviving stars of “Gone with the Wind,” she usually attended anniversary celebrations of the traditional movie.

She was met with a standing ovation when she launched a presentation of earlier Oscar winners on the 75th anniversary of the Academy Awards in 2003.

“There have additionally been tributes and related events which have known as me again to Hollywood,” she stated in 2015. “I’ve returned so usually, I virtually really feel that I’ve by no means left.”

Earlier than she turned 100, she stated that she hoped to dwell to 110. She remained in good well being in her later years, recurrently taking the steps at her house in Paris and doing The New York Occasions crossword puzzle.

On the peak of her stardom, de Havilland had a number of well-known Hollywood romances, together with with enterprise mogul Howard Hughes, actor Jimmy Stewart and director John Huston. She married and divorced twice, first to American screenwriter and novelist Marcus Aurelius Goodrich. Their son, Benjamin, died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1991.

She is survived by her daughter, Gisele, from her second marriage to French journalist Pierre Galante.