Olivia de Havilland Olivia de Havilland

4 Interesting facts about late actress Olivia de Havilland

The Oscar-winning actress died on July 26th, 2020 at her home in Paris. De Havilland know for her role in the epic historical romance Gone With The Wind died at 104. Read below to learn more interesting facts about the actress.

  • The actress had an estimated net worth of $50 million dollars.
  • She won two Oscar Awards one in 1946 for “To Each His Own” and the other in 1949 for  “The Heiress”.
  • De Havilland was one of the leading actresses of her time and one of the last surviving actresses of Golden Age of Hollywood Cinema, a term used to describe American cinema between the 1910s and the 1960s.

1. The American-British actress was actually born in Japan and never lived in England. She was the daughter of a British attorney. Her parents separated when she was 3-years-old and her mother raised de Havilland and her sister Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, best known as Joan Fontaine, in California. 

Olivia de Havilland was one of the leading actresses of her time

2. In 1935 Warner Bros. chose de Havilland to co-star with Mickey Rooney in the production of Max Reinhardt’s interpretation of Shakespeare's  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”. De Havilland signed a 5-year contract with Warner Bros and went on to make many films, however in 1943 the actress sued the studio for trying to keep her under contract after it had expired claiming de Havilland owed them 6 more months of contract for turning down roles. The California Court of Appeals finally ruled in favor of the actress, stating that "no studio could extend an agreement without the performer’s consent".

3. De Havilland and sister Fontaine had an estranged relationship. Younger sister Joan Fontaine, gained recognition for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1940s film Rebecca. It was for this film that she received the first of three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The feud between sisters grew with 1941s Academy Awards, when both sisters were up for Best Actress. In 1941 Fontaine, won that award for her role in Hitchcock's Suspicion.  

"Dragon Lady, as I eventually decided to call her, was a brilliant, multi-talented person, but with an astigmatism in her perception of people and events, which often caused her to react in an unfair and even injurious way”. That's how Olivia de Havilland described her sister Joan during a 2016 interview. Fontaine died in 2013.

Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland known by her stage name Joan Fontaine

4. Despite her six-decade long career, Olivia de Havilland had stage fright. “The first day of making a film I feel, `Why did I ever get mixed up in this profession? I have no talent; this time they’ll find out.’”

Estefanía Martínez

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