Olivia de Havilland Poster


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Overview (4)

Born in Tokyo, Japan
Birth NameOlivia Mary de Havilland
Nickname Livvie
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Olivia Mary de Havilland was born July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan, to British parents Lilian Augusta (Ruse), a former actress, and Walter Augustus de Havilland, an English professor and patent attorney. Her sister, Joan, later to become famous as Joan Fontaine, was born the following year. Her surname comes from her paternal grandfather, whose family was from Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Her parents divorced when Olivia was just three years old, and she moved with her mother and sister to Saratoga, California. After graduating from high school, where she fell prey to the acting bug, Olivia enrolled in Mills College in Oakland. It was while she was at Mills that she participated in the school play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and was spotted by Max Reinhardt. She so impressed Reinhardt that he picked her up for both his stage version and, later, the Warner Bros. film version in 1935. She again was so impressive that Warner executives signed her to a seven-year contract. No sooner had the ink dried on the contract than Olivia appeared in three more films: The Irish in Us (1935), Alibi Ike (1935) and Captain Blood (1935), the latter with the man with whom her career would be most closely identified, heartthrob Errol Flynn. He and Olivia starred together in eight films during their careers. In 1939 Warner Bros. loaned her to David O. Selznick for the classic Gone with the Wind (1939). Playing the sweet Melanie Hamilton, Olivia received her first nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, only to lose out to one of her co-stars in the film, Hattie McDaniel. After GWTW, Olivia returned to Warner Bros. and continued to churn out films. In 1941 she played Emmy Brown in Hold Back the Dawn (1941), which resulted in her second Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress. Again she lost, this time to her sister Joan for her role in Suspicion (1941). After that strong showing, Olivia now demanded better, more substantial roles than the "sweet young thing" slot into which Warners had been fitting her. The studio responded by placing her on a six-month suspension, all of the studios at the time operating under the policy that players were nothing more than property to do with as they saw fit. As if that weren't bad enough, when her contract with Warners was up, she was told that she would have to make up the time lost because of the suspension. Irate, she sued the studio, and for the length of the court battle she didn't appear in a single film. The result, however, was worth it. In a landmark decision, the court said not only that Olivia did not have to make up the time, but that all performers were to be limited to a seven-year contract that would include any suspensions handed down. This became known as the "de Havilland decision"; no longer could studios treat their performers as mere cattle. Returning to screen in 1946, Olivia made up for lost time by appearing in four films, one of which finally won her the Oscar that had so long eluded her. It was To Each His Own (1946), in which she played Josephine Norris to the delight of critics and audiences alike. Olivia was the strongest performer in Hollywood for the balance of the 1940s. In 1948 she turned in another strong showing in The Snake Pit (1948) as Virginia Cunningham, a woman suffering a mental breakdown. The end result was another Oscar nomination for Best Actress, but she lost to Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda (1948). As in the two previous years, she made only one film in 1949, but she again won a nomination and the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Heiress (1949). After a three-year hiatus, Olivia returned to star in My Cousin Rachel (1952). From that point on, she made few appearances on the screen but was seen on Broadway and in some television shows. Her last screen appearance was in The Fifth Musketeer (1979), and her last career appearance was in the TV movie The Woman He Loved (1988). During the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary of GWTW in 1989, she graciously declined requests for all interviews as the only surviving one of the four main stars. Today she enjoys a quiet retirement in Paris, France.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Spouse (2)

Pierre Galante (2 April 1955 - 30 April 1979) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Marcus Goodrich (26 August 1946 - 28 August 1953) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Emotionally (and sometimes physically) vulnerable characters
Despite her great beauty, was often cast as plain, everyday women

Trivia (72)

Older sister of actress Joan Fontaine.
Daughter of film and stage actress Lilian Fontaine.
Relations between Olivia and younger sister Joan Fontaine were never strong and worsened in 1941, when both were nominated for 'Best Actress' Oscar awards. Their mutual dislike and jealousy escalated into an all-out feud after Fontaine won for Suspicion (1941). Despite the fact that de Havilland went on to win two Academy Awards of her own, they remained permanently estranged.
After her divorce in 1979 from second husband Pierre Galante, they remained close friends; after he became ill with cancer, she nursed him until his death in 1998.
As of December 15 2014, the 75th anniversary of the premiere of Gone with the Wind (1939), she is the only surviving major cast member. She has been the only survivor of the four principal leads since 1967. The only other surviving cast member who received screen credit is Mickey Kuhn.
Justly famous for her court victory against Warner Brothers in the mid 1940s (many others had sued Warners but failed), which stopped Warners from adding suspension periods to actors' contracts and therefore meant more freedom for actors in Hollywood. It became known as the "de Havilland decision".
Has made Paris her home since the mid 1950s.
Showed flair as a writer when "Every Fenchman Has One," a light-hearted autobiographical account of her attempts at adapting to French life, was published in 1962.
At the age of 82, was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Hertfordshire, England.
Lost her son, Benjamin, to Hodgkin's disease in 1991, shortly before his father, writer Marcus Goodrich, passed away.
In 1965 she became the first female president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
Turned down the role of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), reportedly saying that "a lady just doesn't say or do those things on the screen". De Havilland set the record straight in a 2006 interview, saying that she had recently given birth to her son when offered the part and was unable to relate to the material.
Is descended from the Haverlands of Normandy, one of whom (the Lord of Haverland) accompanied William the Conquerer in his invasion of England in 1066.
Her father, Walter Augustus de Havilland (1872-1968), was a patent attorney in Japan and also the author of the 1910 book "The ABC of Go", which provides a detailed and comprehensive description of the Japanese board game.
It was reported in October 2001 that she was among 40 prominent French residents who were victims of hoax anthrax attacks (the attacks were proven to be hoaxes after a woman was arrested in Paris for sending out envelopes containing a powdery substance).
She lives a peaceful retirement at her home on Rue Benouville, in Paris. She spends time teaching Sunday school to children at a local church.
She made a special appearance at the The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) and received a standing ovation.
She holds the record for the most people thanked in an Oscar acceptance speech (27), which she set when she accepted the award for Best Actress for To Each His Own (1946).
In 1991 her son Benjamin Briggs Goodrich, a statistical analyst, died of complications from Hodgkin's disease at his mother's home in Paris, France.
Is the 15th cousin twice removed of Errol Flynn, her co-star in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).
She and Joan Fontaine are the first sisters to win Oscars and the first ones to be Oscar-nominated in the same year.
She and Errol Flynn acted together in eight movies: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), Dodge City (1939), Four's a Crowd (1938), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941) Both are also featured in a ninth film, Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943), although in separate scenes.
Confessed in later years that she had an intense crush on Errol Flynn during the years of their filming, saying that it was hard to resist his charms.
Her mother named her Olivia after William Shakespeare's romantic heroine in "Twelfth Night".
The role of Lisolette Mueller in The Towering Inferno (1974) was originally offered to her. It was eventually played by Jennifer Jones.
Was somewhat overweight when she first came to Paramount; Edith Head designed costumes for her with a slimming effect.
Aunt of Debbie Dozier.
Ex-sister-in-law of Collier Young, Brian Aherne and William Dozier.
She has a street named after her in Mexico City. Renowned Mexican actor and director Emilio Fernández lived in Coyoacan Town on a street with no name at all, so he asked the authorities to name this street "Dulce Olivia," Spanish for "Sweet Olivia," after her.
When she was nine years old she made a will in which she stated, "I bequeath all my beauty to my younger sister Joan [Joan Fontaine], since she has none".
Was romantically involved with James Stewart, Howard Hughes, John Huston in the late 1930s.
In the 1950s the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, AZ, named one of their female javelinas "Olivia de Javelina" in her honor; Their male was named "Gregory Peckory" to honor actor Gregory Peck.
Is mentioned in Helge Schneider's book "Die Memoiren des Rodriguez Faszanatas".
In April 1946 she set off a power struggle within the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions (HICCASP) by refusing to deliver two speeches in Seattle as written by her fellow executive council member Dalton Trumbo, later one of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten. She felt Trumbo's text was too left-wing and worried that the organization was becoming "automatically pro-Russian".
In Italy almost all of her films were dubbed by either Dhia Cristiani or Lydia Simoneschi. For the Italian releases of two of her most celebrated and fondly remembered roles, Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), she was dubbed, respectively, by Renata Marini and Dina Perbellini. This was the only time that either Italian actresses lent her voice to Olivia.
Attended the funeral of Charlton Heston in April, 2008.
Attended as a surprise guest honoring the late Bette Davis, her long-time friend and co-star at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles on May 1, 2008. The event, "A Centennial Tribute to Bette Davis", was hosted by film historian Robert Osborne and its reception included Davis' son Michael Merrill, her long-time personal assistant Kathryn Sermak and friends Gena Rowlands and Joan Leslie.
She accepted two film roles turned down by Ginger Rogers, To Each His Own (1946) and The Snake Pit (1948). She won an Oscar for "To Each His Own" and was nominated for "The Snake Pit". Rogers later regretted turning down the roles and wrote: "It seemed Olivia knew a good thing when she saw it. Perhaps Olivia should thank me for such poor judgment".
Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6764 Hollywood Blvd.
Received the Medal of Arts honor from President George W. Bush at a White House ceremony in the East Room on November 17, 2008, "for her persuasive and compelling skill as an actress in roles from Shakespeare's Hermia to Margaret Mitchell's Melanie. Her independence, integrity, and grace won creative freedom for herself and her fellow film actors.".
One of her cousins, Capt. Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (1882-1965), was a British aviation pioneer, aircraft designer and owner of the de Havilland Aircraft Co. Its wooden bomber Mosquito has been considered the most versatile warplane ever built. The ill-fated de Havilland Comet was the first commercial jet airliner in 1952.
Was offered the role of Mary Hatch Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life (1946) after Jean Arthur turned it down, but she also turned it down.
In a rare act of reconciliation, Olivia and her sister Joan Fontaine celebrated Christmas 1962 together along with their then-husbands and children.
Gave birth to her first child at age 33, son Benjamin Briggs Goodrich, on September 27, 1949. The child's father was her first husband, Marcus Goodrich; they divorced in 1953, and he died in 1991.
Gave birth to her second child at age 40, daughter Gisèle Galante, on July 18, 1956. The child's father was her second husband, Pierre Galante; they divorced in 1979, and he died in 1998.
Is a staunch liberal Democrat and anti-communist.
Visited New York in the spring of 2004 to film a special commentary programme for the upcoming DVD of Gone with the Wind (1939), to be released in November that year.
[July 2006] Celebrated her 90th birthday at her daughter's home in Malibu.
Her paternal grandfather, the Rev. Charles Richard de Havilland, was from a family originally from Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. Her other ancestry includes Anglo-Irish and English.
Was considered for the title role in Mildred Pierce (1945).
Was the 28th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for To Each His Own (1946) at The 19th Academy Awards on March 13, 1947.
As of 2016 she is the earliest surviving recipient of a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. She was nominated in 1940 for Gone with the Wind (1939).
As of 2016 she is the earliest surviving recipient of a Best Actress Oscar nomination. She was nominated in 1942 for Hold Back the Dawn (1941).
In celebration of her 100th birthday, she was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month for July 2016.
She is only the third Oscar-winning actor to celebrate a 100th birthday. The others are George Burns, who died less than two months after passing the 100-year mark in 1996, and Luise Rainer, who lived to be 104.
Is portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones in Feud (2017).
Has put her longevity down to the three L's: "Love, laughter and learning".
[May 1999] Revealed in a UK press interview that she was a great admirer of the then 98-year-old Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (whom she had earlier portrayed in the TV film The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana (1982)), stating that she hoped "to follow her example and live many years longer".
Is one of 12 actresses to have won a Best Actress Oscar for playing a character who is pregnant at some point during the film, hers being for To Each His Own (1946). The others are Helen Hayes for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931), Luise Rainer for The Good Earth (1937), Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind (1939), Ginger Rogers for Kitty Foyle (1940), Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda (1948), Anna Magnani for The Rose Tattoo (1955), Julie Christie for Darling (1965), Liza Minnelli for Cabaret (1972), Sissy Spacek for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), and Frances McDormand for Fargo (1996).
Holds two world records for the actor/actress surviving the longest after the production of one film and the release of another, both of which she had a starring role. She has survived over 82 years and counting, after her starring role in the film, A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), wrapped production. Her next movie, Alibi Ike (1935), was released before her first, giving her another world record for the longest length of time any actor has survived after the initial release of a film they starred in.
Two weeks before her 101st birthday, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours by Queen Elizabeth II for services to Drama. She is the oldest woman ever to receive the honor. In a statement, she called it "the most gratifying of birthday presents.".
In June 2017, Olivia de Havilland sued the creators and producers, companies FX and Ryan Murphy Productions, of the series Feud (2017) due to what she felt was an unauthorized and inaccurate portrayal of her in the show's first season "Bette and Joan". A statement from her lawyers read: "Miss de Havilland was not asked by FX for permission to use her name and identity and was not compensated for such use." "Further, the FX series puts words in the mouth of Miss de Havilland which are inaccurate and contrary to the reputation she has built over an 80-year professional life, specifically refusing to engage in gossip mongering about other actors in order to generate media attention for herself".
On June 30, 2017 filed a lawsuit against FX Network and the producers of Feud (2017) over her portrayal by _Catherine Zeta-Jones_.
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were cast in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte by Robert Aldrich in the hope of repeating the success of Baby Jane. Bette got a producers credit and conspired to make things difficult for Joan who eventually pretended to be too ill to work causing production to be delayed resulting in her being dropped and replaced by Olivia De Haviland. Joan only discovered the news on the radio after it had been leaked to the press, allegedly by Bette.
Starred in eight Oscar Best Picture nominees: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), Captain Blood (1935), Anthony Adverse (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), Hold Back the Dawn (1941), The Snake Pit (1948) and The Heiress (1949). Gone with the Wind is the only winner.
Olivia de Havilland's Best Actress Oscar nomination and win for To Each His Own (1946) is the only time she was nominated for her performance in a film which was not nominated for Best Picture.
Her home on Nella Vista Ave. in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles is shown in Hollywood Mouth 3 (2018). De Havilland was living here at the time Gone with the Wind (1939) was filmed.
Turned down the role of The Duchess of Richmond in Waterloo (1970) which then went to Virginia Mckenna.
Returned to work fourteen months after giving birth to her daughter Gisele to begin filming The Proud Rebel (1958).
Was two months pregnant with her daughter Gisele when she completed filming The Ambassador's Daughter (1956).
[October 2015] Interviewed on camera by director Mark Cerulli for his documentary short 100 Years of Technicolor (2015), although her footage was not used in the final 6 minute film.

Personal Quotes (45)

Famous people feel that they must perpetually be on 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.
[on Hollywood's reaction to her landmark court victory against Warner Bros.] I was told I would never work again, if I lost or won. When I won, they were impressed and didn't bear a grudge.
The one thing that you simply have to remember all the time that you are there is that Hollywood is an Oriental city. As long as you do that, you might survive. If you try to equate it with anything else, you'll perish.
The TV business is soul-crushing, talent-destroying and human being-destroying. These men in their black towers don't know what they are doing. It's slave labor. There is no elegance left in anybody. They have no taste. Movies are being financed by conglomerates, which take a write-off if they don't work. The only people who fight for what the public deserves are artists.
We were like a stock company at Warners. We didn't know any of the stars from the other studios.
[after winning her second Oscar in 1950] When I won the first award in 1947, I was terribly thrilled. But this time I felt solemn, very serious and . . . shocked. Yes, shocked! It's a great responsibility to win the award twice.
Playing good girls in the '30s was difficult, when the fad was to play bad girls. Actually I think playing bad girls is a bore; I have always had more luck with good girl roles because they require more from an actress.
[speaking in 1997] I have taken a long vacation, but I wouldn't object to a fascinating part in a first-rate project, something I felt I could do well or would understand and interpret in an effective way. Then I would say, "Yes". The offers still come, but not what I'm looking for.
[on the continuing appeal of Gone with the Wind (1939)] It will go on forever, and how thrilling that is. It has this universal life, this continuing life. Every nation has experienced war--and defeat and renaissance. So all people can identify with the characters. Not only that, it's terribly well constructed. Something happens every three minutes, and it keeps you on your toes and the edge of your seat, which is quite a feat, I must say.
[in 2004] There certainly is such a thing as screen chemistry, although I don't believe you find it frequently. There was a definite on-screen chemistry between Errol [Errol Flynn] and me. Before us, the most potent example was Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in the '20s and '30s. People should not be surprised by screen chemistry because, after all, life is chemistry.
[in 2003] I know this is not a popular thing to say at the moment, but I love living among the French. They are very independent, intelligent, well educated and creative. They are a people full of feeling, which they express. They're a vivacious people. Well, they're Celts, you see.
[on Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)]: It was full of traps; it was a delicate tightrope assignment. I found that very interesting. Robert Aldrich gave it a very special style, a kind of dark, glittering style which fascinated me.
[in 2006, asked if she missed acting] Not at all. Life is too full of events of great importance. That is more absorbing and enriching than a fantasy life. I don't need a fantasy life as once I did. That is the life of the imagination that I had a great need for. Films were the perfect means for satisfying that need.
[in June 2006] I'll be 90 on July 1. I can't wait to be 90! Another victory!
The overwhelming majority of people who make up the liberal and progressive groups of this country believe in democracy, and NOT in communism. We believe that the two cannot be reconciled here in the United States, and we believe that every effort should be exerted to make democracy work, and to extend its benefits to every person in every community throughout the land.
[on Errol Flynn] I had a very big crush on Errol Flynn during [Captain Blood (1935)]. I thought he was absolutely smashing for three solid years, but he never guessed. Then he had one on me but nothing came of it. I'm not going to regret that; it could have ruined my life.
[on Michael Curtiz] He was a tyrant, he was abusive, he was cruel. Oh, he was just a villain but I guess he was pretty good. We didn't believe it then, but he clearly was. He knew what he was doing. He knew how to tell a story very clearly and he knew how to keep things going.
[on Bette Davis] The great lesson I learned from Bette was her absolute dedication to getting everything just right. She used to spend hours studying the character she was going to play, then hours in make-up ensuring that her physical appearance was right for the part. I have always tried to put the same amount of work into everything I've done.
[on Clark Gable] Clark Gable was highly professional. He was a bigger star than we can create today. I was just a mini-star when we did Gone with the Wind (1939). I was afraid to talk to him. People can't understand it now, but we were in awe. Clark Gable didn't open supermarkets.
[Clark Gable] was supposed to cry in the scene after the death of his daughter. It worried him for days before he was to do the scene. He never cried on the screen before, and it became an obsession with him. He didn't think it was masculine for a man to cry. One day he confided in me, "Olivia, I can't do it. I'm just going to have to quit." I talked with him and convinced him that the tears denoted strength of character, not weakness. It turned out to be one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. Clark always underrated himself as an actor. I think his Rhett Butler will live forever as one of the screen's classic performances.
I felt Gone with the Wind (1939) would last five years, and it's lasted over 70, and into a new millennium. There is a special place in my heart for that film and Melanie. She was a remarkable character--a loving person, and because of that she was a happy person. And Scarlett, of course, was not.
[on Bette Davis] I always thought it would be fun if we could work together. Then I was offered the chance to work with her on the film that became Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) when Joan Crawford withdrew. I knew Bette wanted badly to work, and Jane [What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)] had been such a success that Bette was quite anxious. They had to find the replacement, and Bette wanted me.
[on Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)] [Bette Davis] wanted it so much, so I did it. I can't say I regretted it, because working with her was special, but I can't say it was a picture I am proud to put on my resume. Given the choice, I wouldn't have deprived Joan Crawford of the honor!
[on Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)] The problem was I wasn't as anxious to work as she was. I didn't need to. I wasn't thrilled with the script, and I definitely didn't like my part. I was reverse-typecast, being asked to be an unsympathetic villain. It wasn't what people expected of me. It wasn't really what I wanted to do.
[her favorite word] I am attracted by almost any French word--written or spoken. Before I knew its meaning, I thought "saucisson" so exquisite that it seemed the perfect name to give a child--until I learned it meant "sausage"!
[Her dedication to Mickey Rooney upon his death, 2014] Mickey, Mickey, Mickey. They say you have died but I find this so hard to believe, for you are so live in my memory. There you are in the big room of the Chamber of Commerce Building on Sunset Boulevard in the summer of 1934, a little boy passing easily as a nine-year-old, when you are really 13. You hand me your work copy of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), climb onto the banquette beside me, place your head upon my lap and ask me to awaken you nine lines before your cue . . . What a memory you have left with me to keep.
I loved France, although I initially thought they were stubborn for always speaking French. When I went to Paris, Hollywood was collapsing because of television. A whole civilization was dying, and you cannot imagine how depressed we all were. That was the real Gone with the Wind (1939) saga. We didn't know what the new world was going to be, but we were sure it wasn't going to be as good. We were right.
[1979, on the autobiography of Joan Fontaine] My book will have nothing to do with my sister's. I have not read it, but I think I have become a monomania with her. It is painful to think that her own life is incomplete to such a degree that it's still so keyed to me.
[1999, on her role in Gone with the Wind (1939)] It's ironic, isn't it? Melanie dies . . . and I didn't die. I haven't, and I don't intend to.
[1977, on filming Gone with the Wind (1939)] Vivien Leigh and I were very upset when they fired George Cukor as the director. He was a gentleman and he knew how to direct women. His replacement was Victor Fleming, who was a hunting buddy of Clark Gable's. Clark didn't like George Cukor...You know, Vivien was a bitch. All you heard is true. But understandably. She had to be. She had to fight back. They were killing her. She was in every scene of a movie that was heralded as amazing even as it was being filmed. They used her terribly. She worked endlessly. She and I stuck together. We were the women against all the men, but we seldom won. The hours and the working conditions were terrible, but what a joy. Looking back, it was the supreme joy.
[1999, on Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother] I want to follow her example and live many years longer. I consider every birthday a victory.
To write is divine. Forget all the rest.
[in 1977] I think the lack of women's roles is due to the fact that everyone, men and women, have some idea of creating a 'new' kind of 'modern' woman. They aren't interested in the fantasy of women anymore. Personally, I think women ruled from the first, and that we were better off not to let the men know about it. Movies should return to mystiques.
[1977, after living in Paris for 24 years] When I lived here [Hollywood] we were so impassioned with the movie business, and that's all we would talk about, and we would talk about finding a different world. I decided it wasn't enough to complain and feel restless. Now I have several sets of friends, and when I am in Paris, we never discuss movies; I don't have to think about work. I can think about other things. It's very rewarding to divide your life that way; it's gorgeous.
[2015, anticipating her hundredth birthday] Oh, I can't wait for it. I'm certainly relishing the idea of living a century. Can you imagine that? What an achievement.
[on Dodge City (1939)] I was in such a depressed state that I could hardly remember my lines.
[on being typecast] I wanted to do complex roles, like Melanie [Gone with the Wind (1939)] for example, and Jack L. Warner saw me as an ingénue. I was really restless to portray more developed human beings. Jack never understood this, and he would give me roles that really had no character or quality in them. I knew I wouldn't even be effective.
[on Errol Flynn] He never guessed I had a crush on him; it never occurred to me that he was smitten with me, too. I was deeply affected by him. It was impossible for me not to be.
[on preparing for her role in The Snake Pit (1948)] I met a young woman who was very much like Virginia, about the same age and physical description, as well as being a schizophrenic with guilt problems. What struck me most of all was the fact that she was rather likable and appealing. It hadn't occurred to me before that a mental patient could be appealing, and it was that that gave me the key to the performance.
[on Howard Hughes] He was a rather shy man and yet, in a whole community where the men every day played heroes on the screen and didn't do anything heroic in life, here was this man who was a real hero.
[on her Gone with the Wind (1939) character] Melanie was someone different. She had very, deeply feminine qualities that I felt were very endangered at that time, and they are from generation to generation, and that somehow they should be kept alive, and that's why I wanted to interpret her role. The main thing is that she was always thinking of the other person, and the interesting thing to me is that she was a happy person - loving, compassionate.
[on John Huston] John was a very great love of mine. He was a man I wanted to marry.
[on working with Errol Flynn on their eighth and final movie together, They Died with Their Boots On (1941)] Errol was quite sensitive. I think he knew it would be the last time we worked together.
[on her damehood] I am extremely honoured that the Queen has appointed me a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. To receive this honour as my 101st birthday approaches is the most gratifying of birthday presents.
[on her lawsuit regarding her portrayal in Feud (2017)] The creators of 'Feud' used my identity without my consent and put false words in my mouth, including having me publicly calling my sister, Joan Fontaine, a "bitch". The show was designed to make it look as if I said these things and acted this way. I feel strongly about it because when one person's rights can be trampled on this way, the rights of others who are more vulnerable can be abused as well. I have spent a good portion of my life defending the film industry. However, studios, which choose to chronicle the lives of real people, have a legal and moral responsibility to do so with integrity. They have a duty not to steal the value of an actor's identity for profit. I am fortunate to be able to be the standard bearer for other celebrities, who may not be in a position to speak out for themselves under similar circumstances.

Salary (4)

Raffles (1939) $1,250 /week
Gone with the Wind (1939) $25,000
Lady in a Cage (1964) $300,000
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) $100,000

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