Olivia de Havilland, is said to be the last remaining star of Hollywood’s golden age, she died at the age of 104 years on July 25, 2020.
There are a lot of incredible things that you should know about the Oscar winner as she is being mourned by fans around the world.
Olivia de Havilland, the star of the classic 1939 movie Gone with the Wind, died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Paris, France on July 25, a few days after she turned 104.
She is well known for her role as Melanie in Gone with the Wind, a film about a tempestuous romance between a man and a woman during the American Civil War which was one of the most memorable roles in movie history.
The movie won an impressive 10 out of 13 Academy Awards, including one for Hattie McDaniel – the first black actress to ever win an Oscar and Olivia had the honour of being nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category.
The movie made a return recently during the Black Lives Matter movement when it put a spotlight on the impressionable film once again due to its white supremacist view of the Confederate South & slavery.
Much as HBO Max an American subscription media temporarily removed it from their website for having ethnic and racial prejudices that were wrong then and are wrong today, they put is back after a few weeks but with a disclaimer that states that “the film denies the horrors of slavery” and explained why this 1939 epic drama should be viewed in its original form, contextualized and discussed.
The Oscar winner’s publicist Lisa Goldberg said she had had long been retired at the time of her passing, but she’ll always be known as one of the greats from Hollywood’s golden age.
Here are the five amazing film her 50-year career facts that you need to know about her as we celebrate her life.
Her career covered more than 50 years and she starred in almost as many movies. At the time of her death, she starred in iconic films like the 1938 The Adventures Of Robin Hoodand Gone With The Wind. By the time she walked away from Hollywood in 1988, she had appeared in 49 feature films.
The movies included The Heiress, The Snake Pit, To Each His Own, and My Cousin Rachel. While she would have a role as the narrator of 2009’s I Remember Better When I Paint, her last on-screen film role was of Queen Anne in 1979’s The Fifth Musketeer. Even though she retired, she still had an estimated net worth of $50 million at the time of her death.
Her big breakthrough was through Shakespeare. Olivia began acting as a child while growing up in California. After graduating high school in 1934, she landed the role of Puck in the Saratoga Theater production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. When director Max Reinhardt saw a showing of the production, he cast Olivia in the Warner Bros.’ 1935 film adaptation of the iconic play.
Olivia made eight films with Errol Flynn. Following her Shakespearean debut, Olivia starred opposite a then-unknown Errol Flynn. The on-screen chemistry between the two helped the movie become a success, even scoring four Academy Award nominations.
The two would appear together in seven more movies: The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Four’s A Crowd, Dodge City, Santa Fe Trail, and They Died With Their Boots On.
She’s a two-time Oscar winner. Olivia was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance of Melanie Hamilton in Gone With The Wind. She was nominated as Best Actress in a Leading Role for Hold Back The Dawn, but she did not win until 1946 when she finally took home the gold for her leading role in To Each His Own. She picked up her second Academy Award in 1949 for her role in The Heiress.
Her biggest Hollywood rival was her own flesh and blood. Olivia’s sister was Joan Fontaine, who won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1941 for her role in Suspicion. They are still the only siblings to have won Oscars in a lead acting category, and Joan actually beat out Olivia for the award. The two sisters had a frosty relationship growing up, and the bad blood got worse when Joan threw shade publicly at Olivia’s new husband, Marcus Goodrich, in 1946, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Though they were a few attempts at reconciliation, the feud continued into the 1970s.