Gone with the Wind actress Olivia de Havilland was one of the last remaining Old Hollywood stars when she died at age 104 on July 25, 2020. The two-time Oscar winner made her mark on the silver screen, but there’s so much to learn about her life and career. This is the truth about Olivia de Havilland.
There have been some legendary Hollywood feuds over the years, yet few can compare to the animosity between Olivia de Havilland and sister Joan Fontaine.
The sibling rivalry reportedly began in childhood and never abated. While promoting her 1978 memoir, No Bed of Roses, Fontaine described their relationship to People. She lamented,
“I regret that I remember not one act of kindness from Olivia all through my childhood.”
Asked how their relationship was at the time, Fontaine was quoted as saying,
“You can divorce your sister as well as your husbands. I don’t see her at all and I don’t intend to.”
The rivalry hit its zenith when both siblings were nominated for best actress at the 1942 Academy Awards. When Fontaine won, she recalled in her memoir,
“I felt Olivia would spring across the table and grab me by the hair. I felt age four, being confronted by my older sister. Damn it, I’d incurred her wrath again!”
Speaking to the Associated Press in 2016, a few years after her younger sister’s death, de Havilland reflected on their relationship, saying,
“On my part, it was always loving, but sometimes estranged and, in the later years, severed.”
Watch the video for The Truth About Olivia De Havilland.
A legendary feud | 0:00
Quitting Hollywood | 1:26
Her feelings about Hattie McDaniel | 2:19
What she felt for Errol Flynn | 3:23
Suing the studio system | 4:15
Not-so Wonderful | 5:22
A lifelong correspondence | 6:21
The golden age | 7:26
A supreme lawsuit | 8:04
That old dame | 9:10
If I must go… | 10:02
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