Friday, July 01, 2016

effortless grace

a face that exudes natural warmth

She's been alive 100 years, as of today, and worked in film for approximately 50 of those years. Born in Tokyo, she is best known ... as Melanie Hamilton in the iconic "Gone With the Wind," as Errol Flynn's most frequent leading lady, as an Oscar winner for "To Each His Own" and "The Heiress," as James Caan's victim in "Lady in a Cage," as Bette Davis' victimizer in "Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte," as Yvette Mimieux's nurturing mother in "Light in the Piazza," as the wife of Paris Match editor Pierre Galante and as the older sister of Joan Fontaine (1917-2013), from whom she was reportedly estranged for most of their adult lives, a situation which apparently can be traced back to 1941 when both competed in the same Oscar category - best actress - and Joan won.

Olivia DeHavilland.  Livvie, to her friends.

credit: Vienna's Classic Hollywood


W.V.H. said...

If movie programmers at the remaining rep houses had any brains, they would do a retrospective for someone like this, but alas, if you're of a certain age and clueless about earlier classics, movieers are denied such programs.

Kiki said...

I thought both Olivia deHavilland and Joan Fontaine were terrific. When I lived in NYC and even when I moved back to Philly, I used to go to the West Side French bistro called Tout Va Bien and it was Fontaine's fave place and she was always surrounded by her handsome gay entourage. I remember reviewing her bio "No Bed of Roses" and she sounded like a nice dame who caught a few strikes and a lot of fouls.

g.w. said...

Gosh, reading your new installment of "Passionate" reminded me that I'd forgotten to tell you that I spontaneously raced to The Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto one evening a couple of weeks ago to see a double bill of films starring Olivia de Havilland, during a weeks-long film festival celebrating her 100th. While Iwe enjoyed "Dawn," my favorite was the second: "Four's a Crowd," a "screwball newspaper-room comedy" with Errol Flynn and Rosalind Russell--the latter I've adored since falling in love with her in "Auntie Mame" as a kid (which I've probably seen 50 times over the years). "Crowd" had a knockout supporting cast of comic actors to boot, including a pack of dogs that repeatedly tried to get hold of the seat of Flynn's pants.

Laurence Klavan said...

She won for "To Each His Own," not "Snake Pit." Just nominated for that one.

joe baltake said...

Laurence! Oy! Corrected! Thanks!