Olivia De Havilland

Updated Mar 25, 2024 moment please loading spinner
Olivia De Havilland
From the 1939 movie The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. Olivia (left), with Nannette Fabray (right).
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Olivia De Havilland
Olivia de Havilland was born to Walter Augustus de Havilland (1872 - 1968) and Lilian Fontaine (1886 - 1975). Her father was born in London, England and her mother was born in Reading, England. She had one sister, Joan Fontaine (1917 - 2013), who was also an actress. Both Olivia and Joan were born in Japan, where their father was studying patent law. Olivia first married Marcus Aurelius Goodrich (1897 - 1991) in 1946 and they had one son, Benjamin Briggs Goodrich (1949 - 1991). After Marcus and she were divorced, she married Pierre Galante (1909 - 1998) in 1955. They had a daughter, Gisele Galante. Olivia de Havilland and her sister Joan Fontaine both became well known actresses and (sometimes) rivals. Olivia accomplished so much during her 104 years - you can read on for some of her role below, and see some of the reasons for the rivalry between her and her sister at Relationship with actress sister, Joan Fontaine.. Dame Olivia Mary de Havilland was an actress who had French, British, and American citizenship. She was well-known for her roles in movies from 1935 to 1988. She acted in 49 feature films and was considered one of the leading actresses of her time. She was also one of the few surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood Cinema until she passed away in 2020. Her sister, Joan Fontaine, was also an actress. De Havilland became famous for her on-screen partnership with Errol Flynn in adventure films like "Captain Blood" (1935) and "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938). One of her most famous roles was as Melanie Hamilton in the classic film "Gone with the Wind" (1939), which earned her the first of her five Oscar nominations, the only one for Best Supporting Actress. In the 1940s, De Havilland moved away from ingénue roles and received critical acclaim for her performances in movies such as "Hold Back the Dawn" (1941), "To Each His Own" (1946), "The Snake Pit" (1948), and "The Heiress" (1949). She was nominated for Best Actress for each of these films and won the award for "To Each His Own" and "The Heiress." She also had success in theater and television. In the 1950s, De Havilland lived in Paris and received prestigious honors such as the National Medal of the Arts, the Légion d'honneur, and the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Besides her film career, De Havilland continued to work in theater, appearing on Broadway in "Romeo and Juliet" (1951), "Candida" (1952), and "A Gift of Time" (1962). She also acted in television, including the successful miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations" (1979) and "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna" (1986). Her performance in the latter earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Movie or Series. Throughout her film career, De Havilland received two New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress, and the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival. In recognition of her contributions to the film industry, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. See Olivia De Havilland: Obituary.
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