“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hollywood’s Heiress…

Posted on July 27, 2020 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Olivia de Havilland was one of the finest actresses that walked the planet, and the scrappy fighter that challenged Warner Brothers in an effort provide more leverage for every actor that followed. She is best remembered for her roles in The Adventures of Robin Hood and the final one living from Gone with the Wind.  Her sibling was the superb Joan Fontaine.

“`De Havilland was born in Tokyo on July 1, 1916, the daughter of a British patent attorney. While preparing for a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she traveled to Hollywood to see Max Reinhardt’s rehearsals of the cinematic comedy.  Warner Brothers wanted stage actors for their lavish 1935 production and they chose Olivia to co-star with Mickey Rooney.

“`De Havilland signed a seven-year contract with the studio and she went on to make Captain Blood, Dodge City, and six other films with Errol Flynn.  Opposite the dashing actor, she was typecast as an ingénue in period productions, including  The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Anthony Adverse, and The Charge of the Light Brigade.

“`Her desire to secure Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in Gone with the Wind was singular, since every other actress in Hollywood wanted to play Scarlett O’Hara. Her quiet dignity coincided with 1930s perceptions of the Antebellum South making Olivia the front-runner for the part. However, Jack Warner refused to lend her out to David O Selznick. It was Warner’s wife that intervened and convinced the film mogul to change his mind. A nominee for Best Supporting Actress, De Havilland lost the statuette to Hattie McDaniel.

“`After fulfilling her seven-year agreement in 1943, de Havilland had six months added to her contract for the times she had been suspended. At the time, studios had adopted the position that California law allowed them to suspend contract players for rejecting roles. Time could be added for actors not working during a suspension. A few attempted to challenge this practice, including Bette Davis, who mounted an unsuccessful lawsuit against Jack Warner in the 1930s.

“`She  filed suit against the studio in California Superior Court seeking declaratory judgement that she was no longer bound by her contract. A little over a year later, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District ruled in her favor. Labor Code Section 2855 is still known today as the De Havilland Law. She was free to make movies with meatier opportunities after being blacklisted for two years by all studios in Hollywood.

“`De Havilland and her sister Joan Fontaine are the only siblings to win Academy Awards in a lead acting category.  Fontaine was jealous of her sister’s affection with their mother. When Joan won a 1942 Oscar for Suspicion, Olivia refused to offer her congratulations.  The feud lasted until the passing of Fontaine in 2013.

“`Once free to offer a stronger impression on screen, de Havilland delivered with a series of mature award-winning performances in To Each His Own and The Heiress; and The Dark MirrorThe Snake Pit, My Cousin Rachel and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.

“`She had lived in Paris since 1953. She moved to the City of Lights at the insistence of her late French former husband, and found zero reason to return to the United States. Decades earlier, de Havilland dated Howard Hughes, James Stewart, and John Huston.  Though very close, she considered Errol Flynn her off-screen brother.

“`In June 2017, a month prior to her 101st birthday, de Havilland was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours  for services to drama by Queen Elizabeth II. She is the oldest woman ever to receive the honor. On the day before her 101st birthday, de Havilland filed a lawsuit against FX Networks and producer Ryan Murphy for inaccurately portraying her, and using her likeness, without permission in Feud: Bette and Joan. She lost the case and a subsequent appeal. But her last public act of defiance cemented her legacy as a warrior.        OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND –>

“`After celebrating her birthday earlier in the month, the majestic Olivia de Havilland was 104.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Monday, July 27th, 2020 at 12:02 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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