Saturday, April 4, 2015

D for Olivia De Havilland



Born: July 1, 1916

Died: Not Dead yet!

Age: 98 Yrs old and going!!

Marriages: Twice

Affairs: Howard Hughes, James Stewart, John Huston (no one was married at the time)

Famous Sibling: Joan Fontaine ("And I Caaan't Stand her!")

Famous Partner: Errol Flynn

Bright, good girl with hidden strengths. A contract player at Warner Bros. She was often placed on suspension since she did not want to play the roles they gave her. These suspensions kept being added to her 7 year contract. She sued Warner Bros and, where Bette Davis lost, Olivia De Havilland won her case even though she did not work for 3 years. This became known as the De Havilland Decision and meant the beginning of the end of the studio contract days. After this, she became a free agent and started getting better roles. She worked 9 times with Errol Flynn and she was strongly attracted to Mr. Flynn but she knew his wild ways and so resisted the temptation. It is stated that she was his great love even though they never had an affair. In fact, at one Hollywood party Errol Flynn and John Huston had a huge fight over Ms. De Havilland and I believe Huston won. The feud, sibling rivalry and just plain dislike for her sister (the feeling was mutual) is legendary. Some say it became worse when Joan Fontaine won the Oscar before Olivia. Olivia stated she was upset by what her sister said about her then husband. Whatever the reason, it was caught on camera when Olivia De Havilland snubbed her sister who had her hand outstretched to congratulate her for winning the Oscar. They may have spoken in the 70's although am unsure about this. They did not speak in decades and never will since Joan Fontaine died last year.  Talk about hate! Olivia went into semi-retirement in the mid 50's  when she remarried, moved to Paris (ended in amicable divorce in the 1970's) to raise her 2 children (her son died in 1991). She still resides in the outskirts of Paris to this day.

Oscar Nominations: "Gone With The Wind", "Hold Back The Dawn", "The Snake Pit"

Oscar Wins: " To Each His Own", "The Heiress"

Films: "Midsummer's Night's Dream",  "Captain Blood",  "The Adventures of Robin Hood", "Santa Fe Trail", "They Died With Their Boots On", "The Dark Mirror", "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte", "Airport '77"

Quote: "Famous people feel they must perpetually be in the crest of the wave, not realizing that it is against all the rules of life. You can't be on top all the time; it isn't natural."

The 2 films I would choose to see first are in bold....you can pick what you like though:)


86 comments:

  1. She is a doll, also I liked Robin Hood... I have not seen it in a long time, need to make the time. Welcome in the letter "D"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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    1. She was a doll and so great in that film

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  2. Robin Hood was a good one, watched that as a kid. Never knew she was still going though, soon triple digits

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    1. Yup she is still going strong! To me, Her Maid Marion is the best

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  3. Two of my favorite films, too. I just love that last scene in 'The Heiress'. And I've seen 'Robin Hood' more times than I can even remember. I bought it on VHS and then on DVD.

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    1. Those 2 are great and love Robin Hood

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  4. I always thought she was so beautiful, but when I think of her - I think of Gone with the Wind. It's kind of hard to come to terms with that character and the sister-snubbin' gal.

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    1. She was very pretty but very strong too. They both hated each other-how sad and it was Olivia who snubbed her sister

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  5. What a great age and an interesting lifestory. The exploits of Maid Marians abduction in Robin Hood is great fun

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    1. Yes and to me she IS Maid Marian

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  6. She never really did much for me, but I do like HUSH, HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE. That movie scared the crap outta me when I was a little kid. It had some similarities to GASLIGHT, which I saw many years later.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Oh I know what you mean-that is one nutty movie that scared me as well. You are right about Gaslight and Hush, Hush

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  7. I've not seen her version, but I have a soft spot for the Heiress having played the lead once, many, many years ago. I didn't realise they were sisters. How sad to be like that with your family.

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    1. Good for you that you played the lead! It is sad about family when they can't stand one another. They miss out on so much

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  8. A great actress. Sad that her and her sister couldn't get along. I learned some things about her I never knew. Thank you.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

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    1. I know-they did not like each other at all.

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  9. Wow. She's still alive? I saw today it was Doris Day's 91st birthday and didn't realize she was still alive, either.

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    1. Yup she is and lives outside of Paris. I know Doris Day would have been great for today too since her letter is D. She is still spunky and loves animals passionately

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  10. Great actress. Glad she's still kicking. I've seen many of her movies. Need to check out the rest. Untethered Realms / MPax

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    1. She is still kicking and I hope she makes it to 100! It is funny to think of all the stories she has to tell. I heard she is working on her autobiography

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  11. She was one interesting actress to watch. I live near her original family home in Saratoga. In fact, one of good friends lives across the street from that house. I should take a picture the next time I'm there and send it to you.

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    1. Oh wow-that would be cool-thanks:) I know they were in Japan when they were very little

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  12. i never knew that Olivia and Joan were sisters. It's sad that they never reconciled. You are becoming the Hedda Hopper of blogland, Birgit!

    Julie

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    1. I always thought it was a shame and from all my reading, I can't understand why they disliked each other so. Well I hope I am not that bitchy but I love wearing hats!:)

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  13. She's so beautiful! And feisty - I'm glad she won her court case.
    Anabel's Travel Blog

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    1. Yes-She was determined and where Bette Davis and James Cagney failed-she won!

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  14. That's sad she and her sister never mended their rift.

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    1. So true and can't figure out why they disliked each other but it was almost from the day Joan(the younger) was born

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  15. She was so beautiful. And obviously strong of mind and body as well as stubborn.

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  16. Hello there.
    Loved her in Gone With The Wind, one of my all-time favourite movies! The black & white movies and some of the old colour ones were the best. Thanks for sharing.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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    1. I obviously love the old movies-they were the best to me

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  17. Great choice for D. She was a real star. There are two actresses that I am envious of their complexion. Their faces just glow in a good way. She is one and the other is Ingrid Bergman

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    1. Oh you are so right! They had the more natural look instead of the painted eyebrows and all that

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  18. You're picking the greats with fascinating lives, Birgit. And she's almost 100. Amazing! Must've been all that sex and sexual tension with some of Hollywood's hottest men.

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    1. hahahaaa well there was that with Errol but she was smart and didn't give in. She has lived a full life so far

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  19. She was absolutely fantastic in Gone With the Wind. All the while Scarlett did her dirty she maintained her dignity. Fiddle dee dee, I would have strangled that obnoxious O'Hara witch with those green drapes.

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    1. Hahaaaaa My mind went straight to Carol Burnett and her dress remake of that scene:)

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    2. Al: I'm with you on that call.

      Birgit: Carol Burnett was classic with that piece. I remember it well.

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  20. I had no idea she was living near Paris. I can still remember my grandmother telling me all about her in "Gone with the Wind"!

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    1. Yup moved there when she married in the mid 50's and never left.

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  21. A force to be reckon with. Staying strong and beautiful.

    Happy Easter!

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  22. Oh wow, I wonder if she now regrets. I didn't even realize she was still alive. She does seem a bit of a feisty type of person!

    betty

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    1. Yes which belies her character of Melanie and others she created. I have a feeling she does not regret her feelings toward her sister

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  23. She's definitely planning on making it to 100!

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  24. She was amazing. That's sad though about her and her sister.
    I'm loving your A to Z. And I'm learning a lot.
    Thanks!

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  25. I certainly learned a lot from reading your post, Birgit. Don't know if my brain is large enough to keep it all in… I often wake and find gray matter on my pillow. At least this gray matter will have some epic clothing entwined in it. :)

    It is sad to read about her lack of sisterly love - really too bad.

    Great post - I'm thinking I'll come away being able to carry on a conversation about this great star all thanks to you.

    Sent with smiles, Jenny, Pearson Report
    2015 A to Z Challenge Ambassador
    @PearsonReport

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    1. Thank you so much. That is very sweet to you. I always find grey matter on my pillow which I hide under the bed. Some major hockey guy died today and I couldn't even tell you his name so it all is in what one finds interesting:) Oh she did not like her sister at all. Apparently she made a will when she was little. She asked God that if she should die first, to grant her sister her looks because she needs all the help she can get-Ouch!

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    2. Are you serious… now that's sick. I couldn't imagine being so cruel to my sister, and we're not that close.

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    3. Yup I have read that in more than one book-talk about nasty

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  26. Really like the theme of your post... Learning lots of new tidbits:)

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  27. It's funny how we sometimes assume that the real life actor is/was as on the screen. It's difficult for me to see good hearted, soft spoken Melanie as the person that Olivia De Havilland seems to be. I also found the info on the De Havilland Decision interesting. It was new information to me!

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    1. Yes she was not all sugar and spice-I think the real Olivia would have knocked Scarlett's teeth out. She was gutsy and she is the reason the studio cast system broke down

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  28. Have always loved this actress's name. It just flows. Sad the rivalry between the sisters. Shame on them for never making peace with each other....but I guess we don't know the all of it.

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    1. We will never know but their animosity started even when they were very young. Regardless whether their personalities clashed, their jealousy of each other is what drove them I think

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  29. Entertainment Weekly just did an interview with her. I think it was around the Oscars. I was surprised then to learn that she was still alive. And has an email account (the writer said that she emailed him corrections and clarifications before the interview came out).

    I found the links:
    http://www.ew.com/article/2015/01/29/olivie-de-havilland-gone-with-the-wind

    http://www.ew.com/gallery/olivia-de-havilland-life-pictures/2101202_midsummer-nights-dream-1935

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  30. We picked up a copy of Gone With the Wind in a charity shop a couple of years ago because neither myself nor my husband had ever seen it. What a brilliant film! She's a fantastic actress.

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    1. She is! Amazing that she is the only one living from that film (except for the baby, the little girl and maybe some extras)

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  31. I have a copy of Gone with the Wind on my bookshelf. I've never seen the movie or ready the book!

    Smidgen Snippets & Bits

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    1. Hahahaa-I have not read the book but have seen the movie more than once. It is very Southern in its feeling but it is a film worth seeing

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  32. Born in 1916 and still going? Talk about having seen it all!

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    1. I know-born during the height of the First World War

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  33. Another great choice! How funny that she and Flynn never actually had an affair - I'd just assumed he'd had them with everyone.

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  34. Wow, she's still around? That's incredible. I've not seen The Heiress or The Adventures of Robin Hood, but I might need to remedy that. I've been on an old movie kick lately.

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    1. Oh you have to see these films. To me she IS Maid Marion

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  35. The Heiress is my favorite of hers. That was a great story. I read the story after I saw the movie. My recollection was that the movie captured the essence of Henry James' novel.

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    1. This is one of her best performances

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  36. I didn't realize she was so instrumental in bringing an end to the studio system. Interesting! I have always found the feud between her and her sister interesting too for some reason. I can't remember what it was now but something I read in the past made me side with Olivia LOL.

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    1. I read Joan Fontaine's autobiography and I side with Olivia too:) I think I would want to slap Joan she seemed so imperious:)

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  37. Another interesting piece Brigit.

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  38. You really are finding such fascinating stars. :) I am learning so much and adding tons of movies to my list of ones to watch. Thanks!
    ~Jess

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  39. So nice to see one who didn't die of an overdose young, and is still kicking!!! I've always loved her :)

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    1. Yup she is still going and can't wait to reach 100!

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  40. I'm so glad she's still alive! I've always thought she was very pretty. I didn't realize she and Joan Fontaine were sisters! Glad I'm not like that with mine! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. She is very pretty and boy neither liked one another at all

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  41. Oh she's gorgeous ... even more so in period costumes.
    hugs, Asha

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