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MovieGal53

de Havilland/Fontaine

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Can someone please tell me if these feuding siblings ever put their animosity aside long enough to star in a film together? Also, is there a biography about the two of them. Thanks in advance.

 

MovieGal53

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No, MovieGal,

The sisters have not appeared on camera together professionally. There are several bios about Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland. Joan's autobiography, No Bed of Roses, was published in the '70s and is a good read, especially if you're already familiar with the autobiography of her first husband, Brian Aherne, entitled, A Proper Job. I take both books with a large grain of salt, though, as mentioned they are entertaining, especially as far as they discuss the role of the British colony of players who found California a profitable and salubrious climate during the studio era.

 

Olivia de Havilland is said to have a forthcoming autobiography, but who knows when it will actually see the light of day. One hopes that it is soon. Neither actress apparently discusses the other publicly in any way at this time, nor do they act anymore, though Olivia has appeared quite recently in LA for ceremonies honoring her, most recently discussed at length on these boards during her evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, at the following link:

http://forums.turnerclassicmovies.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?

messageID=7805597

 

There are a couple of biographies of the sisters, most notably, perhaps, Charles Higham's Sisters: The Story of Olivia de Haviland & Joan Fontaine, published in '84. Higham, imo, is not a very good writer or researcher, as is evident to readers who can cite chronic misspellings & errors throughout just about any text that Mr. H. produced. However, that bio may prove one of the better books on the topic currently out there.

 

One tome that I would heartily recommend avoiding is something called Letter from a Known Woman: Joan Fontaine by one Tommy Lightfoot Garrett. It was published last year through what I suspect is a vanity publishing house. Written in a prose style that would garner the author a C- in any Freshman English class in the most dismal high school in the land, it alleges that Ms. Fontaine formed a friendship with the author. This relationship seems to have consisted of the actress writing him kind letters in thanks for his fan mail and sending autographed pictures of herself. She was repaid for her thoughtfulness by this dolt recycling every fan magazine rumor out there about Fontaine and her sister into an alleged "biography" interwoven with his childish commentary and reprinted thank you notes from Ms. Fontaine. Fortunately, I came across this thing at the library, but boy, I bet that the librarians regret this expenditure on Mr. Garrett's book.

 

All these books may be available through Amazon or your public library. Good luck tracking them down. All in all, I think that I might just let their movies tell me all that I need to know about these talented sisters in the future.

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To JackBurley and moirafinnie6,

 

Thank you both for responding. I have been a fan of both Miss de Havilland and Miss Fontaine for many years. All the while wondering if there was a film out there starring the both of them. Yesterday afternoon, as I watched Suspicion, it occurred to me that the answer to my question was just a computer keyboard away.

 

The information in regard to the biographies has also been very helpful. Have a good rest of the weekend.

 

MovieGal53

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"All the while wondering if there was a film out there starring the both of them."

 

Alas Ms. 53, the two sisters never appeared together in a film...

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