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Dame Olivia de Havilland (1916-2020)


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Dame Olivia de Havilland has died of natural causes in Paris, weeks after the observance of her 104th birthday. She was the last surviving star of the classic film "Gone With the Wind" and one of the last links to the Old Hollywood. 

Three years ago, the actress -- who was born a British citizen -- was appointed by Queen  Elizabeth II a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to drama. She became the oldest woman so honored. 

She was nominated for five Academy Awards during her prestigious career. Her recognized roles and movies are as follows (Oscar wins in bold): 
  • Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in "Gone With the Wind" (1939). Best Supporting Actress.
  • Emmy Brown in "Hold Back the Dawn" (1941). Best Actress.
  • Miss Josephine 'Jody' Norris in "To Each His Own" (1945). Best Actress.
  • Virginia Stuart Cunningham in "The Snake Pit" (1947). Best Actress.
  • Catherine Sloper in "The Heiress" (1948). Best Actress.
 
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TCM
 
We at TCM are saddened to hear that beloved film icon and one of the last remaining stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Olivia de Havilland has passed away. Our friends at @THR remember her here: https://bit.ly/30SMLXg
 
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12:08 PM · Jul 26, 2020·Sprinklr
 

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Olivia de Havilland was a big screen luminary, but her greatest legacy may be “the de Havilland decision." By taking on the studio system and winning, she freed many actors from onerous contracts. #RIP
 
12:08 PM · Jul 26, 2020·Twitter Web App

 

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Olivia de Havilland. Wow. This woman was fierce. She was a survivor. Her work in the 1940s is unparalleled,
rightfully earning her two Oscars. If she only had The Heiress it would have cemented her legacy.
 
But her commanding performances in The Snake Pit, To Each His Own, Hold Back the Dawn, what a career. So many incredible parts. She fundamentally shifted the studio system with the De Havilland Law. A true icon, the last star of an era gone. RIP.
 
12:00 PM · Jul 26, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
 

 

RIP Olivia de Havilland, who won her first Oscar in 1946. Now, the living person with the oldest Best Actress honors is Joanne Woodward, who won hers in 1957.... But the living person with the oldest acting Oscar, period, is Eva Marie Saint, best supporting actress in 1954.
 
12:43 PM · Jul 26, 2020·Twitter Web App 
My very first @TCM hosting assignment was our Star of the Month tribute to Olivia de Havilland for her 100th birthday in 2016. The Snake Pit. The Heiress. To Each His Own. In This Our Life. I was then and will forever be mesmerized by her beautifully expressive face.
 
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2:32 PM · Jul 26, 2020·Twitter for iPad
 
 
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Farewell to the last surviving cast member of the now politically incorrect GONE WITH THE WIND (1939).

Since TCM is about to go into Summer Under the Stars, I would imagine they won't do a Memorial Tribute until September.

Unless they bump a SUTS honoree and schedule a whole day of Olivia de Havilland films in August.

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We knew it would come one day but when I saw Jakeem's thread title just now I still said, "Aw, NO!"

One of the great stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, who appeared in a larger number of my favourite films than most, Olivia de Havilland was an intelligent, sensitive artist who enhanced so many films with her presence. She also had the courage to challenge Jack Warner and the studio system when she took Warner Brothers to court and won in 1944, in what became known as the "De Havilland Decision" for challenging the studios that would place stars under extended contracts whenever they went on strike. As a sign of Hollywood's respect for her she soon afterward won two Academy Awards as best actress in a four year span in the late 1940s.

While many of her obituaries will undoubtedly mourn her as the last cast member of Gone With The Wind to leave us, I will always primarily think of her as the perfect leading lady to Errol Flynn in a series of costume dramas and westerns in which they were memorably teamed. In Captain Blood and Robin Hood Olivia and Errol complimented one another beautifully to bring a fairy tale like quality to their screen adventures. 

Of course, Olivia's ambition and determination to break away from those films (much as she liked Flynn) allowed her opportunities for greater dramatic depth as an actress, not only with her two Oscar winning performances (To Each His Own, The Heiress) but in one of her most challenging roles as a mental patient in The Snake Pit. Later she had the opportunity to bring charm and ambiguity to the role of a woman suspected of being a murderess in My Cousin Rachel.

Olivia de Havilland lived her final decades in a Parisian townhouse, living an enviable lifestyle of grace and refinement, as befits one of the last of the Hollywood film legends.

 

RIP Miss de Havilland, and thank you for being a cherished part of movie history.

1140-fd-happy-birthday-olivia-de-havilla

 

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I had the same reaction you did Tom, Oh No, when I read about her passing. 

Olivia was a favorite of mine. The Heiress,  it's a film I've seen so many times and never tire of it. Olivia de Havilland's performance was brilliant. To Each His Own, another favorite. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a performance of hers that wasn't great. I love her performances with Errol. Her wonderful performance in the touching film Light in The Piazza is a favorite film of mine. I wish she could have stayed on longer. Truly a classy, chic, talented woman, a pleasure to watch on film and  she had the well deserved title  of a Hollywood Legend. 

RIP

Olivia de Havilland

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The lady was 104 so this is not unexpected.   Yet I’m still crying like a baby.  It’s like losing a piece of my childhood, since I first saw her in The Adventures of Robin Hood on syndicated TV when I was about 10.  Yet she was more than Maid Marian.  A powerhouse advocate for herself and other actors as a result of her battle with Warner’s  and a masterful actress herself, The Heiress one of the finest performances in film history.

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A great actress and a great lady has gone from us, and along with her, perhaps the last major link to the old, great Hollywood. But what a life, and what a body of work she has left us! 

My favorite of her films -- and my favorite film -- is Anthony Adverse (1936), in which she grows from a teenage peasant girl in Leghorn (now Livorno) Italy into the world's leading opera singer, who is having an affair with Napoleon. She was 19 when she made the film.

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As Angela Guisseppi (later Mademoiselle Georges) in Anthony Adverse

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Thanks Swithin for reminding me about Anthony Adverse. You know it's also a favorite of mine,  It's another film of Olivia's that I always watch and have for years. Olivia was a true  beauty in all her films. she was so sweet and heartbreaking in Anthony Adverse.

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I knew this day would come but it doesn’t make it any less sad. RIP Miss de Havilland. I’ll definitely have a night of your films in your honor. 

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I know how old she was, I know she wasn't any spring chicken, but dang it, it's still a shock, and a very sad one, to hear that Olivia's gone.

A great actress and great lady, she'll be missed, but her spirit will live on in the many classics she appeared in.

R.I.P. Olivia.

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She was also a frequent Mystery Guest on What's My Line; a Youtube search lists at least four appearances.  Here's one from 1965:

 

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1 hour ago, yanceycravat said:

I hope she and RO are having a few laughs together!

I'm sure they are yucking it up. 

Olivia : "I outlived you by 3 1/ 2 years!  I bet you didn't see that coming when we met back in the 70s!'

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I'm trying to decide which Olivia films to watch tonight as a tribute.  My Criterion of The Heiress seems a given since I still haven't watched it yet to see how the Criterion print compares to the studio-released DVD that I own.  The Adventures of Robin Hood also seems appropriate.

I have all of her collaborations with Errol Flynn, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, Gone With the Wind (but that's a large time commitment), Hold Back the Dawn (on the DVR) Light in the Piazza (on the DVR), It's Love I'm After (on the DVR)... Now I wish I had recorded more when a block of her films aired a few weeks ago.

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5 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I'm trying to decide which Olivia films to watch tonight as a tribute.  My Criterion of The Heiress seems a given since I still haven't watched it yet to see how the Criterion print compares to the studio-released DVD that I own.  The Adventures of Robin Hood also seems appropriate.

I have all of her collaborations with Errol Flynn, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, Gone With the Wind (but that's a large time commitment), Hold Back the Dawn (on the DVR) Light in the Piazza (on the DVR), It's Love I'm After (on the DVR)... Now I wish I had recorded more when a block of her films aired a few weeks ago.

I'm sure they'll all be aired again,and I'm sure you'll enjoy all of those films.   What a wonderful thread and so many respectful, glowing tributes to a great actress. RO would have been so happy and proud that Olivia was so well loved by TCM'ers.
 

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