Olivia de Havilland Dead: ‘Gone With the Wind’ Star Dies at 104

By | July 26, 2020
Olivia de Havilland Dead: ‘Gone With the Wind’ Star Dies at 104

Olivia de Havilland Lifeless: ‘Gone With the Wind’ Star Dies at 104

Olivia de Havilland, one of many final remaining actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age, two-time Academy Award winner and star of “Gone With the Wind,” has died. She was 104.

Her publicist Lisa Goldberg confirmed the information to Gadget Clock, saying de Havilland died from pure causes on Sunday at her residence in Paris.

De Havilland’s former lawyer Suzelle M. Smith stated, “Final evening, the world misplaced a global treasure, and I misplaced a pricey buddy and beloved consumer. She died peacefully in Paris.”

Quite a few Hollywood figures paid tribute to de Havilland upon the information of her dying. SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris prolonged her sympathies, saying, “Olivia de Havilland was not solely lovely and gifted, she was a brave visionary and an inspiration to generations. She was a marvel and a legend. Relaxation in peace.”

The hanging brunette gained finest actress Oscars for “The Heiress” and “To Every His Personal” within the late 1940s, and was Oscar-nominated for “Gone With the Wind,” “The Snake Pit” and “Maintain Again the Daybreak.”

She was recognized for her sincerity, fragile magnificence and exquisite diction, and for bringing dimension to sympathetic characters. When she made a uncommon foray into villainous roles, she was professional. However the public most popular her as a heroine, which suited her nicely, since she stated it was more durable to play “ woman” quite than a nasty one.

Described as “the final surviving star” of “Gone With the Wind” for greater than 50 years, after Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard and Clark Gable died a lot earlier, she hardly ever capitalized on that truth, staying principally out of the limelight and preferring to dwell a quiet life in France.

De Havilland was beloved in France, the place she acquired the distinguished Legion of Honor in 2010 from then President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Thierry Fremaux, the director of the Cannes Movie Pageant, paid homage to de Havilland on Sunday, noting that she was the primary feminine president of Cannes’ jury in 1965.

“At a time after we query the place of girls in cinema, we should keep in mind Olivia de Havilland for her energy in dealing with off the studios to liberate actors from contracts which exploited them,” stated Fremaux. “Power and braveness which she by no means stopped demonstrating via her profession and her life. As for the remaining, she was a queen of Hollywood and also will be revered as such within the historical past of cinema.”

Eric Garandeau, the previous president of the Nationwide Movie Board (CNC) who was tradition advisor to Sarkozy in 2010 when De Havilland acquired the Legion of Honor, stated the display icon was additionally celebrated in France as a result of she was the primary lady to preside Cannes’ jury after which “repeatedly performed a task in strengthening the French American friendship, even in tough instances just like the Iraq warfare in 2003.”

Garandeau, who saved in contact along with her via the years and have become a detailed buddy remembered her as an “extremely vibrant, heat, perfectionist, fashionable and passionate lady who additionally had a tremendous reminiscence and a legendary sense of humour”

The long-lived actress, who had a famously tempestuous relationship along with her sister Joan Fontaine, mounted a lawsuit in opposition to the producers of the 2017 sequence “Feud” over her portrayal by Catherine Zeta-Jones. She argued that producers didn’t have her approval over her depiction and that the present broken her “skilled popularity for integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice and dignity.” The case was rejected by California’s excessive court docket in July 2018, however she vowed to take it to the Supreme Courtroom.

Born to British dad and mom in Tokyo, she was the older sister of Fontaine, who died in 2013 at 96.

Her dad and mom separated and divorced when each women have been toddlers. They moved with their mom to Northern California, the place she taught diction and voice management. The instructing proved useful to her eldest daughter.

As director Mervyn LeRoy was later quoted as saying, “If ever there was a born actress it’s Olivia de Havilland. Her diction is excellent. She will ship a line with any inflection a director desires, as precisely as if it have been performed on a piano.”

She deliberate to be a instructor however was seen by a expertise scout in a faculty manufacturing of “A Midsummer Night time’s Dream” and employed as a second understudy in director Max Reinhardt’s Hollywood Bowl staging of Shakespeare’s comedy. When the unique Hermia (within the college model she had performed Puck, a task that went to Mickey Rooney) departed, the 19-year-old understudy inherited the half and toured with it, later reprising the position in Reinhardt’s 1935 movie model.

Although the movie was not a hit, de Havilland was signed to a seven-year contract by Warners. The actress accommodated the studio’s calls for — to some extent. She tolerated her time within the highlight, however later remarked, “In a single day success could be a harmful factor. I didn’t perceive what was occurring to me.”

Warners screen-tested her with a promising younger actor, Errol Flynn, and co-starred them within the 1935 “Captain Blood,” the primary of a sequence of swashbucklers for the 2. The preferred of those was the primary Technicolor model of “The Adventures of Robin Hood” in 1938, however there have been additionally “The Cost of the Mild Brigade” (1936), “The Personal Lives of Elizabeth and Essex” (1939) and “They Died With Their Boots On” (1941).

The chemistry between the 2 spawned years of rumors on the pair’s relationship, culminating in Flynn’s declaration of his love for de Havilland in his autobiography. De Havilland admitted to her attraction to Flynn in an interview to the Unbiased in 2009 however stated she by no means allowed the pursuit to go additional than the display due to Flynn’s marriage with actress Lili Damita.

“What I felt for Errol Flynn was not a trivial matter in any respect. I felt terribly interested in him. And have you learnt, I nonetheless really feel it,” de Havilland stated.

Her different roles in these years largely required her to be solely candy and fairly. However below that demure facade was an iron will, which confirmed up offscreen. She clashed with Warners and was suspended a number of instances. She gained a battle to play Melanie within the 1939 “Gone With the Wind” and made the many of the position, revealing layers of energy and willpower below the character’s candy exterior, which made her the right foil to Leigh’s stormy Scarlett.

“The characters I performed earlier than then weren’t actual folks. They have been two-dimensional. They weren’t given any character improvement. Melanie was an actual individual, a caring individual, lady but in addition an clever lady and a tricky lady. Most of all she was a cheerful lady, a girl with an ideal capability for happiness,” de Havilland instructed the Unbiased.

After successful an Oscar nomination within the supporting class for the position (she misplaced to co-star Hattie McDaniel), de Havilland started to demand, and sometimes obtain, higher assignments from Warners, the place essentially the most difficult elements often went to the extra demanding Bette Davis, a buddy of de Havilland’s. She walked away with the 1941 “Strawberry Blonde,” a interval comedy with Rita Hayworth and James Cagney, and acquired her first best-actress Oscar nomination for the 1941 “Maintain Again the Daybreak,” as a trusting instructor.

De Havilland misplaced that yr to her sister Fontaine, who gained for “Suspicion.” De Havilland stood out in two later roles at Warners: “In This Our Life,” for director John Huston, reverse Davis; and the comedy “Princess O’Rourke,” with Robert Cummings. When her contract led to 1943, Warners tried to maintain her on, claiming that she had six months left because of varied suspensions. She fought the case in court docket and spent $13,000 of her personal cash. The go well with was based mostly on an previous California regulation that put a seven-year restrict on the interval for which an employer can implement a contract in opposition to an worker. The “anti-peonage regulation” forbade employers to scale back employees to serfdom.

Her victory, generally known as “the de Havilland choice,” freed many actors from imprisoning contracts and allowed for negotiation with the studios for way more favorable phrases. It additionally proved to be one other nail within the coffin for the previous studio system.

The go well with saved her absent from the display for 2 years. She started freelancing in 1945, and a yr later gained her first Oscar in “To Every His Personal,” a sentimental melodrama about unwed motherhood. That yr she additionally performed a twin position in “The Darkish Mirror” and married novelist Marcus Goodrich. The union led to an open estrangement from Fontaine. The latter seemingly made a callous comment about de Havilland’s much-married husband. When Fontaine went backstage to congratulate her sister on successful the Oscar, a photographer caught de Havilland turning her again on Fontaine. The 2 have been estranged for years.

Her 1948 position as a psychological affected person in groundbreaking movie “The Snake Pit” is taken into account by many to be her most interesting (she was once more nominated however misplaced to Jane Wyman for “Johnny Belinda”) and was adopted by a second Oscar for 1949’s “The Heiress,” a movie adaptation of Henry James’ novella “Washington Sq.,” which beforehand had a life as a stage play. She introduced subtlety and conviction to the half, and expertly conveyed the gradual awakening of repressed ardour — and the unleashing of different, sharper feelings.

Quickly after, she toured in “Romeo and Juliet” and in George Bernard Shaw’s “Candida,” then starred within the 1952 “My Cousin Rachel,” reverse newcomer Richard Burton, and appeared in different pics reminiscent of Stanley Kramer’s “Not as a Stranger.”

In 1955, she divorced Goodrich and married Paris Match editor Pierre Galante and settled in Paris, returning for the occasional movie such because the 1962 “The Mild within the Piazza” and a pair from 1964, “Hush… Hush Candy Charlotte” (stepping in for an ailing Joan Crawford) and “Woman in a Cage.” She was wonderful in each movies, which have been a part of a post-“Child Jane” craze by which middle-aged actresses have been subjected to Grand Guignol remedy. Although the pics have been thought-about sensational on the time, they’ve acquired huge cult followings.

In later years, she wrote a few nonfiction books, starred on Broadway with Henry Fonda in “A Present of Time” and acted within the occasional movie and or telepic, together with “Airport ’77,” “The Swarm” and an Agatha Christie TV thriller, “Homicide Is Simple.” Her classical diction served nicely in a number of later royal roles, together with Queen Elizabeth in TV pic “The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana” (1982), Dowager Empress Maria in “Anastasia: The Thriller of Anna” (1986) and her ultimate performing look, the 1988 telepic “The Girl He Beloved.”

She was a presenter on the 2003 Academy Awards, within the documentaries “Melanie Remembers: Reflections by Olivia de Havilland” (2004) and “The Adventures of Errol Flynn” (2005) and the 2011 Cesar Awards in Paris.

When trying again over her lengthy profession, de Havilland instructed the Unbiased she felt she had lived a full life.

“I really feel not blissful, not contented, however one thing else. Simply grateful for having lived and having carried out so many issues that I needed to do and have additionally had a lot which means for different folks,” de Havilland stated.

She divorced Galante in 1979 however they remained buddies until his dying from lung most cancers in 1998, and misplaced her son Benjamin, from her marriage with novelist Goodrich, to lymphoma in 1991.

She is survived by her daughter Gisele Galante Chulak, an lawyer.


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