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Olivia DeHavilland at the Academy


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Greetings All --

 

There was some interest in this event on a DeHavilland thread a short time back, so I thought I'd post about last night's tribute. It was one of the most thrilling evenings of this kind that I have ever attended. Olivia was there in person looking radiant in a white suit, skirt, shoes and white pearls. Robert Osborne did a great job of hosting the tribute -- introducing film clips (wonderful to see some of these films on the big screen) and putting them in context, including a screen test of Olivia for a 2nd Max Reinhardt film that was never made. She brought the footage (nitrate!) on the plane from France and donated it to the Academy. After the lengthy clips, Olivia took to the stage to answer some questions from Bob. She was very lively and funny, with a great twinkle in her eyes that anyone who has seen her on film will recognize. I hope I am that agile at almost 90 -- she came bounding down the aisle at a very speedy clip to and from her seat!

 

Other celebrities from the studio system era were there: Esther Williams, Marsha Hunt, Ann Rutherford, Gloria Jean, Jane Withers -- probably many more I didn't recognize.

 

A delightful evening! One of the great things about living in LA.

 

By the way, if you weren't able to attend, the tribute continues with screenings of some of Olivia's films at LACMA, including THE HEIRESS on Sunday (6/18) which Olivia will introduce. The full line up is available on the websites for LACMA and the Academy.

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Hi Decotodd,

 

Thanks for that great report on the great Olivia.

 

I just got off the phone with Dierdre Flynn to ask her about the evening and then read your fine tome.

She was there with her sister, Rory, and had a very warm meeting with Miss De Havilland. She was very graciuos to them.

Olivia's daughter was there too - Gisele, I think...

 

Others there were Ann Rutherford, Joan Leslie, Patrice Wymore, David Ladd, Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. and Daniel Selznick. I can't remember who else she said but there were a lot from the old days. A real tribute.

 

She laughed when I asked whether Joan Fontaine poked her nose in!! She didn't.

 

Glad you went and had a good time and saw some real stars!!

 

Larry

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Hi,

 

Do any of you know whether this tribute was covered on any of the 'entertainment shows' such as "Entertainment Tonight" or "The Insider"?

Since I never watch these things, I forgot to tune in to see. I meant to but forgot (a creature of habit!)......

These farces usually concentrate on Brittany Spears bowel movements and Janet Jacksons breast piercings, so I don't suppose they even know who Olivia De Havilland is nor care.

 

Just asking...

 

Larry

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It was a great evening.

 

The film clips were well chosen and each time an actor/actress appeared, there was warm applause for them as well. Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Hattie McDaniel,

James Cagney, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, to name a few.

 

Robert Osborne did an outstanding job as host.

 

Esther Williams was also there.

 

Entertainment Tonight did not cover the event.

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Hi Rebecca,

 

Thanks for letting me know that "Entertainment Tonight" didn't cover this awesome occaison. Typical, isn't it?? What do they think 'entertainment' means exactly?

Here is a great star, who gave many, many moments of entertainment and glamour and class and they don't recognize it.

I'm glad I don't watch those shows either.....

 

Larry

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My one regret is that neither of the two clips shown from THE HEIRESS (screening tonight at the L.A. County Museum, with in-person introduction by Miss deH -- gotta get dressed and leave for the show) was a scene featuring Ralph Richardson as Dr Sloper.

 

As great as deHavilland is in the film (it is certainly her crowning achievement), Richardson is simply...astonishing (there's no other way to describe his performance), one of the two best performances I have ever seen on film (the other is Judi Dench in HER MAJESTY, MRS BROWN).

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DeHavilland made her appearance at tonight's screening of THE HEIRESS at the L.A. County Museum of Art, at which she was, if anything, even more engaging and charming than she was at the Academy tribute last Thursday (of course, this evening I was in the scond row, whereas I was much farther back at the Academy).

 

Close-up she sure looked like the same Olivia her fans have come to know and love from her films, and one could not help but be struck by the genuine twinkle in her eyes and delight at having an audience who cared about the life she's lived, and the thoughts she consented to share with us.

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Greetings, All!

I just spent the morning catching up on all of the posts from the evening at the Academy. I was channel-surfing Friday night and caught part of the coverage on Access Hollywood, they showed a clip from Errol and Olivia's balcony scene from Robin Hood and then cut to Miss DeH who said how honored she was and happy to be remembered. And CineSage, Jr., she looked just as beautifully coiffed as you described, and oh! those pearls! Thanks again! Susan

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Just in case you missed it, the press released a story late last week that Miss De Havilland has just signed a deal with Houghton Mifflin to publish her memoirs. No publication date has been announced, but it sounds like the long-awaited autobiography is a step closer to becoming an actuality.

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This is the best news I've read in some time. I am eagerly awaiting Oliva deHavilland's autobiography like no other I can think of.

 

I'm glad the evening was such a huge success...and I'm VERY pleased about all the reports of Olivia still being bouncy, upbeat, and heathy. That is very good news!

 

That woman is a real treasure.

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Bravo! I also have been waiting for De Havilland's autobiography. Just to hear her side of the story of her feelings for Errol Flynn and what it was like working with Vivien Leigh and other cast members of Gone With The Wind.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, she wasn't there, but she did send a message that was read to the audience, thanking everyone for being so supportive of her and her career.

 

Apparently, she decided to return to France ahead of schedule and celebrate her birthday at home.

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  • 2 months later...

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