Olivia De Havilland
Olivia Mary de Havilland is a British American film and stage actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1946 and in 1949. She is the elder sister of actress Joan Fontaine. Along with her sister, de Havilland is one of the last surviving female stars from 1930s Hollywood. She is also the last living lead cast member from Gone with the Wind.
Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo, Japan to English parents. Her mother, Lilian Augusta Ruse, was an actress known professionally as Lillian Fontaine, and her father, Walter Augustus de Havilland, was a patent attorney with a practice in Japan. Her parents married in 1914 and divorced in 1919. She was raised Roman Catholic. Her younger sister is actress Joan Fontaine, from whom she has been estranged for many decades, not speaking at all since 1975.
The de Havilland family moved from Tokyo when she was two years old, settling in Saratoga, California, due to her sister’s poor health, which improved after the family emigrated. Both sisters attended Los Gatos High School and Olivia also attended the Notre Dame High School, Belmont. An acting award at Los Gatos is named after her. Her paternal cousin is Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, designer of the de Havilland Mosquito aeroplane.
De Havilland appeared as Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, her first stage production, at the Hollywood Bowl. The stage production was later turned into a 1935 movie, her film debut. Although the stage cast was largely replaced with Warner Bros. contract players, she was hired to reprise her role as Hermia. After appearing with Joe E. Brown in Alibi Ike and James Cagney in The Irish in Us, she played opposite Errol Flynn in such highly popular films as Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and as Maid Marian to Flynn’s Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood. Overall, she starred opposite Flynn in eight films.