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Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland
File:Olivia DeHavilland-2.JPG
Studio publicity portrait about 1945
Born Olivia Mary de Havilland
(1916-07-01) July 1, 1916 (age 99)
Tokyo, Japan
Residence Paris, France
Occupation Actress
Years active 1935–2009
  • Marcus Goodrich (m. 1946; div. 1953)
  • Pierre Galante (m. 1955; div. 1979)
  • Benjamin Goodrich (1949–91)
  • Gisèle Galante (b. 1956)
Relatives Joan Fontaine (sister, 1917–2013)
Signature 150px

Olivia Mary de Havilland (born July 1, 1916) is a British American actress known for her early ingenue roles, as well as her later more substantial roles.[1] Born in Tokyo to English parents, de Havilland and her younger sister, actress Joan Fontaine, moved to California in 1919. She performed as Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind (1939) and in eight co-starring roles opposite Errol Flynn, including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Dodge City (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941). She is one of the last living actors/actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood. As of 2015 she is the oldest living actor who has won an Academy Award.

De Havilland won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949); de Havilland and sister Fontaine are the only siblings to have won lead acting Academy Awards. She also received the National Board of Review Award, the New York Film Critics Circle Award, the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Silver Ribbon, and the Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup for her performance in The Snake Pit (1948). She was awarded the Golden Globe Award for her performance in The Heiress in 1950 and for Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna in 1987. In 1960, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in films. In 2008, she was presented with the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush.[2]

Early life

Olivia de Havilland was born on July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan, to parents from the United Kingdom. Her father, Walter Augustus de Havilland (August 31, 1872 – May 23, 1968), was educated at the University of Cambridge and served as an English professor at the Imperial University in Tokyo before becoming a patent attorney with a practice in Japan.[3] Her mother, Lilian Augusta (née Ruse; June 11, 1886 – February 20, 1975),[4][5] was educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a stage actress who left her career after going to Tokyo with her husband.[3] Her mother would return to work with the stage name Lillian Fontaine after her daughters achieved fame in the 1940s. Olivia's paternal cousin was Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (1882–1965), an aircraft designer, notably of the De Havilland Mosquito,[6] and founder of the aircraft company which bore his name. Her paternal grandfather, the Reverend Charles Richard de Havilland, was from a family from Guernsey, in the Channel Islands.[7][8]

File:Olivia De Haviland 1933.jpg
Olivia de Havilland in the stage play Alice in Wonderland, 1933

De Havilland's parents married in 1914, but the marriage was not a happy one due to her father's infidelities.[9] Her younger sister, Joan de Havilland (later known as actress Joan Fontaine), was born on October 22, 1917. In February 1919, Lillian persuaded her husband to take the family back to England to a climate better suited for their ailing daughters.[9] The family stopped in California to treat Olivia's bronchial condition and high temperature. After Joan developed pneumonia, Lillian decided to remain with her daughters in California, where they settled in the village of Saratoga, about Script error: No such module "convert". south of San Francisco. Her father abandoned the family and returned to his Japanese housekeeper, who would eventually become his second wife.[9] Her parents' divorce was not finalized until February 1925.[10]

Although she left the acting profession, Lillian taught her daughters to appreciate the arts, reading Shakespeare to her children.[Note 1] She also taught them music and elocution.[11] In April 1925, after her divorce was finalized, Lillian remarried, this time to a department store owner named George M. Fontaine, whose strict parenting soon generated animosity in his new stepdaughters. Only a year apart, the sisters also developed a rivalry between themselves that would last throughout their lives.[12]

De Havilland was educated at Saratoga Grammar School, the Notre Dame High School in Belmont, and Los Gatos High School.[13][14][Note 2] In high school, she excelled in oratory and field hockey and participated in the school drama club.[15] In 1933, she made her debut in amateur theatre in the lead role in Alice in Wonderland, a production of the Saratoga Community Players based on the work of Lewis Carroll.[15] She would later remember:

For the first time I had the magic experience of feeling possessed by the character I was playing. I really felt I was Alice and that when I moved across the stage, I was actually moving in Alice's enchanted wonderland. And so for the first time I felt not only pleasure in acting but love for acting as well.[15]

After graduating high school in 1934, de Havilland was offered the role of Puck in the Saratoga Community Theater production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.[15] That summer, Austrian director Max Reinhardt came to California for a major new production of the same play at the Hollywood Bowl. After one of Reinhardt's assistants saw Olivia perform in the Saratoga production, he offered her the understudy position for the role of Hermia.[16] One week before the premiere, the actress playing Hermia left to take a part in a film, and de Havilland took her place. After receiving positive reviews, she went on to play Hermia through the entire engagement, as well as the four-week tour that followed.[16] During the tour, Reinhardt received word that he would direct the Warner Bros. film version of his stage production, and he offered de Havilland the film role of Hermia. Wanting to become an English teacher,[16] she was going to matriculate at Mills College with a scholarship in the fall but Reinhardt persuaded her to accept. Soon after, the 18-year-old actress signed a seven-year contract with Warner Bros.[17]


File:Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood trailer.JPG
Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938

Olivia de Havilland made her screen debut in Max Reinhardt's film A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was released in October 1935, following the release of her second and third films, Alibi Ike with Joe E. Brown and The Irish in Us with James Cagney, respectively.[17][18] All three films received mixed reviews and disappointing public response.[17] At this point, Warner Bros. made a decision that would have a profound impact on her career, pairing her with an unknown Tasmanian actor named Errol Flynn in Captain Blood (1935). The casting of de Havilland was due to producer Hal B. Wallis wanting to showcase his "protege".[19] The popular success of the film, as well as the critical response to the on-screen couple,[20] led to seven additional collaborations, including The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Dodge City (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941).[20]

File:De Havilland-Melanie.jpg
Studio publicity portrait for Gone With the Wind, 1939

Throughout the late 1930s, de Havilland appeared in a variety of light romantic comedy films, including Call It a Day (1937), Four's a Crowd (1938), and Hard to Get (1938), as well as period films such as Anthony Adverse (1936) and The Great Garrick (1937). Her refined demeanor and beautiful diction made her particularly effective in the latter films.[21] While her performances were generally well received by critics and the public, they did not advance her career toward the more serious roles she desired.[21] One such role was the character of Melanie Hamilton in David O. Selznick's upcoming film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's epic novel Gone with the Wind. Having read the novel, de Havilland knew she could bring the character to life on the screen. According to some sources, her sister Joan Fontaine was approached by director George Cukor to audition for the role. Interested more in playing Scarlett O'Hara, Fontaine reportedly turned him down, recommending her sister.[21] Ultimately, Jack Warner's wife Ann was instrumental in de Havilland getting the part.[22] She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.[23]

File:Santa Fe Trail De Havilland Flynn.jpg
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in Santa Fe Trail, 1940

Following the critical acclaim she received for her performance in Gone with the Wind, de Havilland sought more serious and challenging roles, but was not supported in her efforts by Warner Bros. After receiving third billing in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) starring Bette Davis and Errol Flynn, she was loaned out to Samuel Goldwyn for the crime drama Raffles (1939), and then assigned to the light musical comedy My Love Came Back (1940).[24] Throughout the early 1940s, de Havilland was becoming increasingly frustrated by the roles assigned to her, which she felt were unchallenging and insubstantial.[24][25] Feeling she had proven herself capable of playing more than the demure ingénues and damsels in distress that were typecasting her, she began to reject scripts that offered her this type of role and actively sought out better roles. She concluded her long series of popular films with Errol Flynn with Santa Fe Trail (1940) and They Died with Their Boots On (1941), which contained some of their most telling scenes together.[24] Other highlights from this period include The Strawberry Blonde (1941) with James Cagney, Hold Back the Dawn (1941) with Charles Boyer for which she received fine reviews, and Princess O'Rourke (1943), which she considered one of the few truly satisfying characters she played for Warner Bros.[26][Note 3] In 1942, de Havilland received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Hold Back the Dawn.

File:Santa Fe Trail 3.jpg
Studio publicity portrait for Santa Fe Trail, 1940

After fulfilling her seven-year Warner Bros. contract with The Male Animal (1942), In This Our Life (1942), Government Girl (1944), and Devotion (1946), her last Warner Bros. film completed in 1943 and released in 1946, de Havilland was informed that six months had been added to her contract for times she had been on suspension.[28] The law then allowed studios to suspend contract players for rejecting a role, and the period of suspension could be added to the contract period. Most contract players accepted this, but a few tried to change the system, including Bette Davis who mounted an unsuccessful lawsuit against Warner Bros. in the 1930s. In August 1943, on the advice of her lawyer, de Havilland took Warner Bros. to court and was supported by the Screen Actors Guild. The Supreme Court of California ruled in her favor (case #487, 685).[29] The decision was one of the most significant and far-reaching legal rulings in Hollywood, reducing the power of the studios and extending greater creative freedom to performers. California's resulting "seven-year rule", also known as Labor Code Section 2855, is still known today as the De Havilland Law.[30] Her legal victory won de Havilland the respect and admiration of her peers, among them her own sister Joan Fontaine, who later commented, "Hollywood owes Olivia a great deal".[31] Warner Bros. reacted to the decision by circulating a letter to other studios that had the effect of a "virtual blacklisting".[29] As a consequence, de Havilland did not work in a film studio for two years.[29]

Following the release of Devotion—a highly fictionalized biography of the Brontë sisters filmed in 1943 but withheld from release during the suspension and litigation—de Havilland signed a three picture deal with Paramount Pictures. The quality and variety of her roles began to improve. In his review of The Dark Mirror (1946), James Agee noted the change, writing that although she had always been "one of the prettiest women in movies", her recent performances had proven her acting ability. He also noted that while not possessing "any remarkable talent", her performances are "thoughtful, quiet, detailed, and well sustained". Agee concluded that her acting is "founded, as some more talented playing is not, in an unusually healthful-seeming and likable temperament, it is an undivided pleasure to see".[32] De Havilland received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949), and was also widely praised for her Academy Award–nominated performance in The Snake Pit (1948), one of the earliest films to attempt a realistic portrayal of mental illness and an "historically important Hollywood exposé of the grim conditions in state mental hospitals".[6] De Havilland was lauded for her willingness to play a role that was completely devoid of glamour and that confronted such controversial subject matter. She won the New York Film Critics Award for both The Snake Pit and The Heiress.

After becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States on November 28, 1941,[33][34] de Havilland became involved in politics as a way of exercising her civic responsibilities. She campaigned for Franklin D. Roosevelt's re-election in 1944 and traveled overseas to support the American troops.[35] After the war, she joined the Independent Citizens' Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions, a national public policy advocacy group that included Bette Davis, Gregory Peck, and Humphrey Bogart in its Hollywood chapter. In June, 1946, she was asked to deliver speeches for the committee that reflected the Communist Party line (the group was later identified as a communist front organization).[36] Disturbed by the reports of Stalinist atrocities and how a small group of Communist members were manipulating the committee, de Havilland removed the pro-Communist material from her speeches and rewrote them to reflect Harry S. Truman's anti-Communist program.[35] She later recalled, "I realized a nucleus of people was controlling the organization without a majority of the members of the board being aware of it. And I knew they had to be Communists."[35] She organized a fight to regain control of the committee from its pro-Soviet leadership, but her reform efforts failed. Her resignation from the committee triggered a wave of resignations from other Hollywood figures, including her own star recruit to the reform camp, Ronald Reagan, whose political trajectory after 1952 would be far more dramatic.[35] Despite galvanising Hollywood resistance to Soviet influence, de Havilland was denounced that same year—along with Danny Kaye, Fredric March, and Edward G. Robinson—as a "swimming-pool pink" in Time magazine for her involvement in the committee.[37] In 1958, she was secretly called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and recounted her experiences with the Independent Citizens' Committee.[35]

File:Light in the Piazza trailer.jpg
Olivia de Havilland and Rossano Brazzi in Light in the Piazza, 1962

In the 1950s, de Havilland made fewer films in order to raise her two children. She declined the role of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, later explaining: "I had just given birth to my son. That was a transforming experience, and when the script was presented to me, I couldn't relate to it."[35] The role went to her Gone with the Wind co-star, Vivien Leigh, who won her second Academy Award for her performance.[38] During the decade, de Havilland starred in six films, including My Cousin Rachel (1952), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination, That Lady (1955), Not as a Stranger (1955) with Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra, The Ambassador's Daughter (1956) with John Forsythe, The Proud Rebel (1958), and Libel (1959) with Dirk Bogarde.

Of her few film appearances in the 1960s, chiefly notable are de Havilland's role in Lady in a Cage (1964) as a crippled widow trapped in a lift and terrorised by intruders, Robert Aldrich's Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, and Sam Peckinpah's TV film of Katherine Anne Porter's novella Noon Wine (1966). In 1965, de Havilland was the first woman to preside over a Cannes jury. She was the subject of This Is Your Life in April, 1964 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in central London.

She continued acting on film until the late 1970s, afterward continuing her career on television until the late 1980s, highlighted by her Golden Globe win and Emmy Award nomination for her performance as the Dowager Empress Maria in the 1986 miniseries Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. In 2008, she was awarded the United States National Medal of Arts.[39]

Personal life


File:The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 Trailer.jpg
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938
Although known as one of Hollywood's most exciting on-screen couples—having appeared in eight films together—de Havilland and Errol Flynn were never linked romantically. The eight films in which they co-starred are Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood and Four's a Crowd (1938), Dodge City and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940) and They Died with Their Boots On (1941). Of her feelings for her co-star, de Havilland once observed:
He never guessed I had a crush on him. And it didn't get better either. In fact, I read in something that he wrote that he was in love with me when we made The Charge of the Light Brigade the next year, in 1936. I was amazed to read that, for it never occurred to me that he was smitten with me, too, even though we did all those pictures together.[40]

In another interview, however, de Havilland claimed she knew the crush was reciprocal and stated that Flynn proposed, though de Havilland turned down the proposal as Flynn was still married to actress Lili Damita at the time.[41] From December 1939 to March 1942, she was romantically involved with single actor James Stewart. At the request of Irene Mayer Selznick, the actor's agent asked Stewart to escort de Havilland to the New York premiere of Gone with the Wind at the Astor Theater on December 19, 1939. Over the next few days, Stewart took her to the theater several times and to the 21 Club.[42] They continued to see each other back in Los Angeles, where Stewart provided occasional flying lessons and romance. According to de Havilland, Stewart in fact proposed marriage to her in 1940, but she felt that he was not ready to settle down.[42] Their relationship was interrupted by Stewart's military enlistment in March 1941, but would continue on and off until March 1942, when de Havilland fell in love with director John Huston.[43]

The Mexican film director Emilio Fernandez was deeply in love with de Havilland, whom he never met. Fernandez asked the then president of Mexico Miguel Aleman to prolong a street in Coyoacán, in Mexico City to his mansion to then name it Sweet Olivia.[44]


Olivia de Havilland was married twice. On January 24, 1946, she married Marcus Goodrich, a Navy veteran, author, and screenwriter. They had one child, Benjamin Goodrich, who was born on December 1, 1949. The marriage ended in divorce in 1952. Their son Benjamin died on October 1, 1991 (aged 41) of Hodgkin's lymphoma, three weeks before the death of his father.[45][46]

On April 2, 1955, de Havilland married Pierre Galante, a journalist and editor of Paris Match. They had one child, Gisèle Galante, who was born on July 18, 1956. Her marriage to Galante prompted de Havilland to move to Paris. She recounted her adjustments to Parisian life in her memoir, Every Frenchman Has One. The couple separated in 1962, but did not divorce until 1979.[47]

Close friendships

De Havilland was lifelong best friends with Bette Davis with whom she starred in Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), It's Love I'm After (1937), and In This Our Life (1942). She remained a close friend of actress Gloria Stuart until Stuart's death in 2010, at the age of 100. In April 2008, she attended the Los Angeles funeral of Charlton Heston. In 2008, she was a surprise guest at the centennial tribute to Bette Davis.[48]

Sibling rivalry

Olivia de Havilland and her sister, Joan Fontaine, are the only siblings to have won lead acting Academy Awards. Of the two sisters, de Havilland was the first to become an actress. When Fontaine tried to follow her lead, their mother, who allegedly favoured de Havilland, refused to let her use the family name professionally. According to biographer Charles Higham, the sisters always had an uneasy relationship, starting in early childhood when de Havilland would rip up the clothes Fontaine had to wear as hand-me-downs, forcing Fontaine to sew them back together. A large part of the resentment between the sisters allegedly stemmed from Fontaine's belief that de Havilland was their mother's favorite child.[49]

File:Joan Fontaine and Gary Cooper.jpg
Joan Fontaine and Gary Cooper at the Academy Awards, 1942

De Havilland and Fontaine were both nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1942. Fontaine won that year for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion over de Havilland's performance in Hold Back the Dawn. According to Higham, as Fontaine stepped forward to receive her award, she pointedly rejected de Havilland's attempts at congratulating her, and that de Havilland was both offended and embarrassed by her behavior. Their relationship was further strained when Fontaine made negative comments to an interviewer about de Havilland's husband. Fontaine, however, tells a different story in her autobiography, explaining that she was paralyzed with surprise when she won the Academy Award, and that de Havilland insisted she get up to accept it. "Olivia took the situation very graciously," Fontaine wrote. "I was appalled that I'd won over my sister."[50] Several years later, when de Havilland stepped up to accept her Academy Award for Best Actress, she brushed past Fontaine, who was waiting with her hand extended.[49] The relationship between the sisters continued to deteriorate, and may have caused the estrangement between Fontaine and her own daughters, who secretly maintained a relationship with de Havilland.[49] For years, both sisters refused to comment publicly about their relationship.

Contrary to press reports, the sisters continued their relationship after the 1940s. After Fontaine's separation from her husband in 1952, de Havilland came to her apartment in New York often, and at least once spent Christmas together there, in 1961. They were photographed laughing together at a party for Marlene Dietrich in 1967.[51] Joan also went to visit Olivia in Paris in 1969.[52]

The final break between the sisters occurred in 1975. According to Fontaine, they stopped speaking because of a disagreement over their mother's cancer treatment. While de Havilland wanted their mother to be treated surgically, Fontaine opposed surgery due to their mother's advanced age. Fontaine also claimed that after their mother died, de Havilland did not make an effort to notify Fontaine, who was touring with a play at the time. Instead, de Havilland sent a telegram, which did not reach her sister until two weeks later at Fontaine's next engagement.[53]

The sibling feud ended with Fontaine's death in December 2013. Determined to have the last word on the matter, Fontaine once noted, "I married first, won the Oscar before Olivia did, and if I die first, she'll undoubtedly be livid because I beat her to it!"[54] Following her sister's death, de Havilland released a statement saying she was "shocked and saddened" by the news.[55]

De Havilland today

File:Olivia de Havilland National Medal of the Arts 2008.jpg
Olivia de Havilland receiving the National Medal of Arts from President Bush, 2008

According to her book, de Havilland has been living in Paris since 1960. In recent years, she has made only rare public appearances. In 2003, she appeared as a presenter at the 75th Annual Academy Awards, earning a four-minute-long standing ovation upon her entrance. In June 2006, she made appearances at tributes for her 90th birthday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2004, Turner Classic Movies produced a retrospective piece called Melanie Remembers in which de Havilland was interviewed for the 65th anniversary of the original release of Gone with the Wind. The film's only other surviving cast member is supporting actor Mickey Kuhn. De Havilland remembered every detail of her casting as well as filming. The 40-minute documentary is included in the film's four-disc special collector's edition.

On November 17, 2008, at the age of 92, de Havilland received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people of the United States. The medal was presented to her by President George W. Bush "for her persuasive and compelling skill as an actress in roles from Shakespeare's Hermia to Margaret Mitchell's Melanie. Her independence, integrity, and grace won creative freedom for herself and her fellow film actors."[56]

In 2009, de Havilland narrated the documentary I Remember Better When I Paint,[57] a film about the importance of art in the treatment of Alzheimer's.[58] On March 22, 2011, she presented the film at a special screening in Paris.[59]

On September 9, 2010, de Havilland was appointed a chevalier (or knight) of the Légion d'honneur, the highest decoration in France, awarded by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who told the 94-year-old actress, "You honor France for having chosen us."[60]

In February 2011, de Havilland appeared at the César Awards in France. The president of the ceremony, Jodie Foster, introduced her, and de Havilland received a standing ovation.[61]

Honors and awards

File:Olivia de Havilland's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.jpg
Star on the Walk of Fame for Motion Picture, at 6762 Hollywood Blvd.
  • 1940 Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Gone with the Wind)
  • 1941 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (Hold Back the Dawn) 2nd Place
  • 1942 Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Hold Back the Dawn)
  • 1946 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (To Each His Own) 2nd Place
  • 1947 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (To Each His Own) Won
  • 1948 National Board of Review Award for Best Actress (The Snake Pit) Won
  • 1948 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (The Snake Pit) Won
  • 1949 Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role (The Snake Pit)
  • 1949 Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup for Best Actress (The Snake Pit) Won
  • 1949 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (The Heiress) Won
  • 1950 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (The Heiress) Won
  • 1950 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress (The Heiress) Won
  • 1950 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Silver Ribbon for Best Foreign Actress (The Snake Pit) Won
  • 1952 handprint and footprint ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre
  • 1953 Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress, Drama (My Cousin Rachel)
  • 1960 Star on the Walk of Fame for Motion Picture at 6762 Hollywood Blvd (February 8, 1960)
  • 1987 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna) Won
  • 1987 Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries (Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna)
  • 2008 National Medal of Arts, presented by the President of the United States
  • 2010 Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, awarded by the President of the French Republic[2]


In 1960, de Havilland published her first memoir, Every Frenchman Has One. According to John Lichfield, she was working on an autobiography and had hoped to have a first draft by September 2009.[62]



Year Title Role Notes
1935 Alibi Ike Dolly Stevens
Irish in Us, TheThe Irish in Us Lucille Jackson
Midsummer Night's Dream, AA Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia, in Love with Lysander Credited as Olivia de Haviland (film debut)[18]
Captain Blood Arabella Bishop
1936 Anthony Adverse Angela Giuseppe
Charge of the Light Brigade, TheThe Charge of the Light Brigade Elsa Campbell Credited as Olivia De Havilland
1937 Call It a Day Catherine 'Cath' Hilton
It's Love I'm After Marcia West
Great Garrick, TheThe Great Garrick Germaine de la Corbe
1938 Gold Is Where You Find It Serena 'Sprat' Ferris
Adventures of Robin Hood, TheThe Adventures of Robin Hood Lady Marian Fitzwalter
Four's a Crowd Lorri Dillingwell
Hard to Get Margaret Richards Credited as Olivia De Havilland
1939 Wings of the Navy Irene Dale
Dodge City Abbie Irving
Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, TheThe Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex Lady Penelope Gray
Gone with the Wind Melanie Hamilton Wilkes Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Raffles Gwen Manders
1940 My Love Came Back Amelia Cornell
Santa Fe Trail Kit Carson Holliday
1941 Strawberry Blonde, TheThe Strawberry Blonde Amy Lind Grimes
Hold Back the Dawn Emmy Brown New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
They Died with Their Boots On Elizabeth Bacon Custer
1942 Male Animal, TheThe Male Animal Ellen Turner
In This Our Life Roy Timberlake
1943 Thank Your Lucky Stars Herself
Princess O'Rourke Princess Maria – aka Mary Williams Credited as Olivia DeHavilland
1943 Government Girl Elizabeth 'Smokey' Allard
1946 To Each His Own Miss Josephine 'Jody' Norris Won - Academy Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
Devotion Charlotte Brontë
Well-Groomed Bride, TheThe Well-Groomed Bride Margie Dawson
Dark Mirror, TheThe Dark Mirror Terry Collins / Ruth Collins
1948 Snake Pit, TheThe Snake Pit Virginia Stuart Cunningham
1949 Heiress, TheThe Heiress Catherine Sloper
1952 My Cousin Rachel Rachel Sangalletti Ashley Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1955 That Lady Ana de Mendoza
Not as a Stranger Kristina Hedvigson
1956 The Ambassador's Daughter Joan Fisk
1958 Proud Rebel, TheThe Proud Rebel Linnett Moore
1959 Libel Lady Margaret Loddon
1962 Light in the Piazza Meg Johnson
1964 Lady in a Cage Mrs. Cornelia Hilyard
Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte Miriam Deering Credited as Olivia deHavilland
1970 Adventurers, TheThe Adventurers Deborah Hadley Credited as Olivia De Havilland
1972 Pope Joan Mother Superior
1977 Airport '77 Emily Livingston
1978 Swarm, TheThe Swarm Maureen Schuster Credited as Olivia De Havilland
1979 Fifth Musketeer, TheThe Fifth Musketeer Queen (Mary) Mother
2009 I Remember Better When I Paint Narrator

Short subjects

Year Title Role Notes
1935 Dream Comes True, AA Dream Comes True Herself (uncredited) About the making of A Midsummer Night's Dream
1936 Making of a Great Motion Picture, TheThe Making of a Great Motion Picture Herself (uncredited) About the making of Anthony Adverse
1937 Day at Santa Anita, AA Day at Santa Anita Herself (uncredited) Stars attended a horse race at the famed racetrack
1937 Screen Snapshots Series 16, No. 10 Herself Stars and their pets attend a swim meet
1943 Show Business at War Herself Newsreel about progress of the Hollywood war effort

Television work

Year Title Role Notes
1966 Noon Wine Ellie Thompson ABC Stage 67
1972 The Screaming Woman Laura Wynant
1979 Roots: The Next Generations Mrs. Warner Miniseries
1981 The Love Boat Aunt Hilly Season 4, episode 23
1982 Murder Is Easy Honoria Waynflete Credited as Olivia De Havilland
1982 Royal Romance of Charles and Diana, TheThe Royal Romance of Charles and Diana Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
1986 North and South II Mrs. Neal Miniseries
1986 Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna Dowager Empress Maria
1988 The Woman He Loved Aunt Bessie



  1. ^ Olivia was named after the character in Twelfth Night.
  2. ^ An acting award at Los Gatos is named after Olivia de Havilland.
  3. ^ Initially, de Havilland refused to take the part of Princess Maria in Princess O'Rourke and, subsequently, was suspended by Jack Warner.[27]


  1. ^ "Olivia de Havilland". Encyclopedia Britannica retrieved February 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Awards for Olivia de Havilland". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved: February 14, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Thomas 1983, p. 20.
  4. ^ "Olivia Mary de Havilland at; retrieved February 15, 2013.
  5. ^ Olivia de Havilland profile at; retrieved February 15, 2013.
  6. ^ a b French, Philip. "Screen Legends No.73". The Observer, Review Section, 2009.
  7. ^ Beeman 1994, p. 24.
  8. ^ Thomson 2010, p. 339.
  9. ^ a b c Thomas 1983, p. 22.
  10. ^ Thomas 1983, p. 23.
  11. ^ Thomas 1983, p. 24.
  12. ^ Cornwell, Rupert. "Sibling rivalry: Hollywood's oldest feud." The Independent, May 15, 2008. Retrieved: March 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Thomas 1983, p. 25.
  14. ^ "Biography." Olivia de Havilland. Retrieved: March 6, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d Thomas 1983, p. 26.
  16. ^ a b c Thomas 1983, p. 27.
  17. ^ a b c Thomas 1983, p. 28.
  18. ^ a b Brown 1995, p. 125.
  19. ^ Wallis and Higham 1990, p. 86.
  20. ^ a b Thomas 1983, p. 29.
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External links

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