World renowned actress Olivia de Havilland turned 101 yesterday.
The last surviving adult cast member of cinema classic “Gone with the wind” and two-time Oscar winner, de Havilland would go on to become one of Hollywood’s leading female stars throughout a career that encompassed 49 movies.
Despite her professional success, de Havilland’s personal life often became the object of the tabloids’ attention.
The actress’ younger sister, Joan Fontaine, also became a successful actress. Their respectively successful careers came to a head in 1942, when they were both nominated to the Oscar for Best Actress (Fontaine’s for her role in ‘Suspicion’, and de Havilland for ‘Hold Back the Dawn’.) Fontaine won.
It was well known by then that de Havilland deeply resented having to compete with her sister for movie roles and publicity. Fontaine never really helped matters, as she often made disparaging comments about her sibling.
The sister’s relationship never improved. They remained estranged to each other until Fontaine’s death in 2013.
Nevertheless, de Havilland would remain one of the most successful and well known Hollywood stars.
To top an illustrious film career and now over a century of life, de Havilland was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to drama days before her 101st birthday, the oldest person to be granted Damehood thus far.
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