‘Gone With The Wind’ star Olivia de Havilland dies aged 104

July 26

“Gone With the Wind” star Olivia de Havilland, thought-about the final surviving actress of the Golden Age of Hollywood, died on Sunday on the age of 104, the Hollywood Reporter mentioned.

She died of pure causes at her dwelling in Paris, the place she had lived for greater than 60 years, it mentioned, citing her publicist.

De Havilland’s appearing profession included two Academy Awards, a victory over Hollywood’s studio system and a long-running feud with sister Joan Fontaine that was worthy of a screenplay.

She first drew consideration by taking part in reverse swashbuckling Errol Flynn in a sequence of movies beginning within the 1930s and made a permanent impression because the demure Southern belle Melanie in “Gone With the Wind” in 1939.

Later she must battle to get tougher roles – a battle that ended up in court docket however paid off with Oscars for “To Each His Own” in 1946 and “The Heiress” in 1949.

De Havilland, a naturalized American who was born to English mother and father in Japan, had lived in Paris since 1953. She made few public appearances after retiring however returned to Hollywood in 2003 to participate within the 75th Academy Awards present.

De Havilland’s household moved to California when she and Joan had been youngsters. She started her film profession after director Max Reinhardt noticed her in a California manufacturing of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and solid her in his 1935 movie model of the play. Warner Bros. was impressed and, as was the customized on the time, signed {the teenager} to a seven-year contract.

Warners loaned her out to make “Gone With the Wind” in 1939 and de Havilland’s mild however willful persona helped make the position of Melanie one of many film’s most intriguing components.

The position earned her the primary of her 5 Oscar nominations.

“I felt very drawn to Melanie,” de Havilland later mentioned.

“She was a complex personality compared to the heroines I’d been playing over and over.”

“Gone With the Wind,” which additionally starred Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, received eight Academy Awards, together with greatest image.

Studio battles

The status of the Oscar nomination and the recognition of “Gone With the Wind” didn’t get de Havilland the varieties of roles she needed. She usually refused the components Warner Bros. provided, which resulted within the studio suspending her a number of occasions.

In 1943 de Havilland declared that her seven-year take care of Warners had expired however the studio mentioned she nonetheless owed them the six months that she spent on suspension.

De Havilland received in court docket, weakening the main studios’ dominance over actors by limiting actors’ contracts to seven years, no matter suspension time. But difficult a robust studio had been a dangerous profession transfer and he or she didn’t make a film for 3 years.

De Havilland made a triumphant return to the display screen in 1946 with the Oscar-winning position of an unwed mom in “To Each His Own.” Three years later her portrayal of a spinster introduced one other Academy Award for “The Heiress.”

Sibling rivalry

The Oscars supplied fodder and a venue for de Havilland’s rivalry with Fontaine, who was one yr youthful. Their relationship had been testy since childhood and the acrimony reached a brand new stage in 1942 when the sisters had been each Oscar-nominated – de Havilland for “Hold Back the Dawn” and Fontaine for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion.” Fontaine was the winner.

Four years later when de Havilland received for “To Each His Own,” Fontaine prolonged a congratulatory hand on the ceremony however de Havilland didn’t acknowledge her – a second captured by photographers. De Havilland reportedly was upset a few catty comment by Fontaine about her husband, author Marcus Goodrich.

The sisters stopped talking altogether in 1975 after their mom died. Fontaine mentioned de Havilland had not invited her to the memorial service however de Havilland claimed Fontaine had mentioned she was too busy to attend.

When Fontaine died at age 96 in December 2013, de Havilland issued an announcement saying she was “shocked and saddened.” In an interview marking her 100th birthday in 2016, de Havilland instructed the Associated Press she referred to as Fontaine “Dragon Lady.”

“I cannot think of a single instance wherein I initiated hostile behavior,” de Havilland mentioned. “But I can think of many occasions where my reaction to deliberately inconsiderate behavior was defensive.”

De Havilland made 50 motion pictures in her profession and 9 had been with Flynn, together with “Captain Blood,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “They Died With Their Boots On.” She instructed LA Weekly she had a crush on Flynn however by no means acted on it.

Other memorable roles included taking part in each a candy and evil twin in “The Dark Mirror” in 1946 and a psychological affected person in “The Snake Pit,” which earned her an Oscar nomination, in 1948. Later she starred in two well-received suspense movies, “Lady in a Cage” and “Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte” with Bette Davis (each 1964).

De Havilland didn’t like the way in which she was portrayed within the 2017 movie tv miniseries “Feud: Bette and Joan” about Davis and Joan Crawford. She sued the producers, claiming she was made to appear to be a gossip and hypocrite, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which let stand a ruling that dismissed De Havilland’s swimsuit.

De Havilland had a son, Benjamin, with Goodrich and a daughter, Giselle, together with her second husband, journalist Pierre Galante.


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