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Person Facts

Known Credits: 60

Birthday: 1916-07-01

Place of Birth: Tokyo, Japan

Adult Actor: False

Official Homepage: -

Also Known As

  • Olivia Mary de Havilland
  • Livvie

Olivia de Havilland

Biography

Olivia Mary de Havilland was born to a British patent attorney and his wife on July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan. Her sister, Joan, later to become famous as Joan Fontaine, was born the following year. Her parents divorced when Olivia was just three years old, and she moved with her mother and sister to Saratoga, California. After graduating from high school, Olivia enrolled in Mills College in Oakland. At Mills, she participated in the school play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and was spotted by Max Reinhardt. Reinhardt was so impressed that he picked her up for both his stage version and the Warner Bros. film version in 1935. Greatly impressd, Warner executives signed her to a 7-year contract. Olivia appeared in 3 more films: The Irish in Us (1935), Alibi Ike (1935) and Captain Blood (1935), the latter with Errol Flynn. He and Olivia starred together in 8 films during their careers. In 1939 Warner Bros. loaned her to David O. Selznick for Gone with the Wind (1939). Playing the sweet Melanie Hamilton, Olivia received her 1st nomination for Best Supporting Actress, only to lose out to co-star, Hattie McDaniel. After GWTW, Olivia returned to Warner Bros. In 1941 she played Emmy Brown in Hold Back the Dawn (1941), which resulted in her 2nd Oscar nomination, now for Best Actress. Again she lost to her sister Joan for her role in Suspicion (1941). After that strong showing, Olivia now demanded better, more substantial roles than the "sweet young thing" slot into which Warners had been fitting her. The studio responded by placing her on a 6-month suspension. As if that weren't bad enough, when her contract was up, she was told that she would have to make up the time lost for the suspension. She sued the studio, and for the length of the court battle didn't appear in a single film. In a landmark decision, the court said not only that Olivia did not have to make up the time, but that all performers were to be limited to a seven-year contract that would include any suspensions handed down. This became known as the "de Havilland decision". In 1946, Olivia made up for lost time by appearing in 4 films, one finally won her an Oscar: To Each His Own (1946). Olivia was the strongest performer in Hollywood for the balance of the 1940s. In 1948 she starred in The Snake Pit (1948). The end result was another Oscar nomination for Best Actress, losing to Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda (1948). She made only one film in 1949, but she won a nomination and the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Heiress (1949). After a 3-year hiatus, Olivia returned to star in My Cousin Rachel (1952). From that point on, she made few appearances on the screen but was seen both on Broadway and in some television shows. Her last screen appearance was in The Fifth Musketeer (1979), and her last career appearance was in the TV movie The Woman He Loved (1988). During the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary of GWTW in 1989, she graciously declined requests for all interviews as the only surviving one of the four main stars. Today she enjoys a quiet retirement in Paris, France.

Acting
2005 The Adventures of Errol Flynn as Herself - Actress (also archive footage)
1995 The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies
1986 Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna as Dowager Empress Maria
1983 Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage as Herself (archive footage)
1982 The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana as Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
1982 Murder is Easy as Honoria Waynflete
1979 The Fifth Musketeer as Anne d'Autriche
1979 Roots: The Next Generations - (8 episodes)
1978 The Swarm as Maureen
1977 Airport '77 as Emily Livingston
1972 The Screaming Woman as Laura Wynant
1970 The Adventurers as Deborah Hadley
1966 ABC Stage 67 - (1 episode)
1964 Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte as Miriam Deering
1964 The Hollywood Palace - (1 episode)
1964 Lady in a Cage as Mrs. Cornelia Hilyard
1962 Light in the Piazza as Meg Johnson
1959 Libel as Lady Margaret Loddon
1958 The Proud Rebel as Linnett Moore
1956 The Ambassador's Daughter as Joan Fisk
1955 This Is Your Life - (1 episode)
1955 Not as a Stranger as Kristina Hedvigson
1955 That Lady as Ana de Mendoza
1952 My Cousin Rachel as Rachel Sangalletti Ashley (as Olivia deHavilland)
1949 The Heiress as Catherine Sloper
1948 The Snake Pit as Virginia Cunningham
1948 The Ed Sullivan Show - (1 episode)
1946 The Dark Mirror as Terry / Ruth Collins
1946 Devotion as Charlotte Bronte
1946 To Each His Own as Miss Josephine 'Jody' Norris
1943 Government Girl as Elizabeth 'Smokey' Allard
1943 Princess O'Rourke as Princess Maria
1943 Thank Your Lucky Stars as Herself
1942 In This Our Life as Roy Timberlake
1942 The Male Animal as Ellen Turner
1941 They Died With Their Boots On as Elizabeth Bacon
1941 Hold Back the Dawn as Emmy Brown
1941 The Strawberry Blonde as Amy Lind
1940 Santa Fe Trail as Kit Carson Holliday (as Olivia De Havilland)
1940 My Love Came Back as Amelia Cornell
1939 Raffles as Gwen
1939 Gone with the Wind as Melanie Hamilton
1939 The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex as Lady Penelope Gray
1939 Dodge City as Abbie Irving
1939 Wings of the Navy as Irene Dale
1938 Hard to Get as Margaret
1938 Four's a Crowd as Lorri Dillingwell
1938 Out Where the Stars Begin as Herself, clip from 'Gold Is Where You Find It' (archive footage)
1938 Gold Is Where You Find It as Serena Ferris
1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood as Maid Marian
1937 It's Love I'm After as Marcia West
1937 The Great Garrick as Germaine de la Corbe
1937 Call It a Day as Catherine 'Cath' Hilton
1936 The Charge of the Light Brigade as Elsa Campbell
1936 Anthony Adverse as Angela Guiseppe
1935 Captain Blood as Arabella Bishop
1935 A Midsummer Night's Dream as Hermia, In love with Lysander (as Olivia de Haviland)
1935 The Irish in Us as Lucille Jackson
1935 Alibi Ike as Dolly Stevens
1929 The Academy Awards - (13 episodes)