Dame Olivia de Havilland Wiki – Biography
Dame Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo to British parents, de Havilland would make her film debut in the 1930s, and would go on to be one of the biggest on-screen stars of her time. The Oscar-winning star was a recognizable screen presence during the Golden Age of Hollywood and logged roles in film classics like Gone With The Wind.
Dame Olivia resided in Paris and was also the elder sister of fellow Hollywood icon Joan Fontaine, with whom she had a famously strained relationship. Interestingly, de Havilland and Fontaine remain the only siblings to both wins leading actress Oscars. She came to prominence starring alongside Errol Flynn, but perhaps her biggest legacy is a ruling that is known as the ‘de Havilland law.’ She sued studio Warner Brothers after they attempted to extend her seven-year contract. de Havilland saw this as a penally for her continued refusal of roles she feared would typecast her as a damsel in distress, and was determined to fight for her rights.
Dame Olivia de Havilland Age
Dame Olivia de Havilland has died at the age of 104 years old.
To this today, the law is still enshrined and is a cornerstone of actors’ rights in the US. As an actress, she was nominated for five Oscars, winning two as Lead Actress for her role in 1946’s To Each His Own and 1949’s The Heiress. Throughout her career, she appeared in 49 films and was a close friend of fellow screen icon, Bette Davis. Perhaps her best-known work is in Gone With The Wind alongside Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, where she played the role of Scarlett O’Hara’s sister Melanie, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Although de Havilland retired from acting in the 1970s, her last on-screen appearance would be in the 2009 documentary I Remember Better When I Paint. During her lifetime, she was also one of the last few surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood – whose number also includes Angela Lansbury, Cicely Tyson, and Norman Lloyd.
She was even portrayed fictionally on-screen; Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones played de Havilland during the first season of Ryan Murphy’s period drama Feud, which analyzed the battle between Bette Davis and long-time rival Joan Crawford. Olivia de Havilland leaves not only an enviable legacy on-screen, but her work to further actors’ rights and secure fairer working conditions in Hollywood is still keenly felt today.
Husband and Children
She is survived by her daughter, Gisele Galante. Her son Benjamin Goodrich died at the age of 42 in 1991.
Cause of Death
The Oscar-winning star was a recognizable screen presence during the Golden Age of Hollywood and logged roles in film classics like Gone With The Wind. Her publicist confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Dame Olivia died peacefully in her sleep at home in Paris.