Robert Osborne of TCM on Olivia de Havilland
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Olivia de Havilland
100 Years Of Olivia De Havilland Handling Sexism, Her Sister, And Scarlett O'Hara
By: Bob Mondello, NPR-All Things Considered
Today in Paris, she celebrates her 100th birthday, which seems a good moment to reflect on the mix of sparkle and resilience that marked her public life.
"Oh Scarlett, you've been so good to me. No sister could've been sweeter."
No sister indeed. De Havilland was 22 when she said that line, still learning about life as her character was giving up the ghost.
She was the only star to die in Gone With the Wind, so perhaps it's fitting that she should be the star who gets to shine-on in seeming perpetuity, a storied figure from Hollywood's golden age.
‘Gone With the Wind’ Star Olivia de Havilland Talks with PEOPLE on Her 100th Birthday
By: People Magazine and Yahoo News
In 2010, de Havilland began corresponding (she’s very much into email and hand-written notes) with Leto, whose attorneys were citing it as precedent to exit him from a recording contract. “I was more than surprised to hear from Jared Leto,” she tells PEOPLE. “I was enchanted! He came to my house to thank me for the de Havilland Decision, which he and his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, had utilized victoriously in a similar contractual dispute. "It’s wonderful knowing that the Decision continues to be useful to artists and other professionals these many years later.”
De Havilland, who has lived for over 60 years “in Paris in a little white house, as tall and narrow as a chimney,” says she is “content with the role that life has given me: a centenarian!” Asked if there’s any advice she’d give to her younger self, she replies, “Take a long leave of absence from the Warner contract and go to Mills College, where the scholarship I had won in 1934 is still waiting for me!”
Olivia de Havilland Through the Years
The famed actress celebrates her 100th birthday Friday
By: Entertainment Weekly
A photo gallery collection of 30 photos of Olivia through the years.
Olivia de Havilland at 100: See Classic Photos of the Star
By: Lily Rothman and Liz Ronk, Time Magazine
Olivia de Havilland appeared on the cover of TIME in 1948 for her starring role in the movie The Snake Pit, a film based on Mary Jane Ward’s book of the same name about mental illness. The article noted that even though “she made her first movie 14 years ago, and has since done some skilled acting (Gone With the Wind, Hold Back the Dawn, To Each His Own—which won her the Academy Award in 1947), few people in or out of Hollywood know very much about Olivia de Havilland.” What was known: she feuded with her sister, the actor Joan Fontaine; she had been romantically linked to people like Jimmy Stewart and Howard Hughes; and she took “a hardheaded, serious-minded approach to her career.”
Happy birthday, Olivia de Havilland! 'Gone With the Wind' star turns 100
by: Renee Dawn, Today Show and NBC
Frankly, my dear, we give a damn!
To reach 100 years of age no matter who you are is a giant milestone. But to have reached that banner birthday as the last living actor from one of the most beloved (and controversial) movies of all time, "Gone With the Wind," requires a special note of congratulations. So happy 100th birthday, Olivia de Havilland! Your Melanie "Mellie" Hamilton character may have lacked your physical endurance, but you made her indelible in the minds of millions with a performance that absolutely justified the Academy Award nomination you earned.
Screen legend Olivia de Havilland celebrates her 100th birthday on July 1
By: Ned Ehrbar, CBS News
Friday marks quite the milestone for Olivia de Havilland. The famed "Gone with the Wind" star -- and the last living member of its sprawling cast -- will turn 100 years old.
Olivia de Havilland: Hollywood grande dame to celebrate 100th birthday
By: Lee Smith, CNN
She was pretty and demure, and usually played sympathetic heroines with ladylike airs in a movie career that spanned three decades.
But off-screen she was a fighter, maneuvering for challenging roles and winning a tough legal battle against a major studio, a victory that still resonates in Hollywood 70 years later.
This Friday, Olivia de Havilland proves once again she's no ordinary Hollywood survivor. The Oscar-winning actress is celebrating her 100th birthday as the last surviving female superstar from the golden era of movies. Her chief male competitor, Kirk Douglas, will join the centenarian club in December, but de Havilland made her screen debut more than 10 years before him.
Olivia de Havilland: The actress who took on the studio system and won
By: Thomas J. Stipanowich, LA Times
When a loan to Paramount for “Hold Back the Dawn” brought her another Oscar nomination, she began counting the months until her contract with Warner Bros. would be up.
Under California’s studio-friendly labor statute, employers were entitled to hold individuals to personal services contracts for up to seven years; De Havilland’s contract was set to end in mid-1943. But when the time came, she was shocked to discover that she still wasn’t free. All of the months of suspension without pay that she had accumulated would be tacked on to the end of her original contract period. In other words, De Havilland owed the studio a full seven years of active labor, however long that might take.
The enforceability of such “tack on” terms had never been addressed by the courts and no actor had risked making a legal challenge, although powerful stars like Cagney and Davis were able to negotiate modifications in their contracts. Now, 27-year-old De Havilland decided to fight back. She hired attorney Martin Gang to seek a judicial declaration that the “tack on” provision of the suspension clause was invalid under California law. Despite the very real possibility of wrecking her acting future by taking on the system, she persevered. In late 1944, an appellate court victory freed her — and the rest of the studios’ contract actors — from Hollywood’s version of indentured servitude.
De Havilland immediately proved the value of her freedom by taking roles in three great films: “To Each His Own,” “The Snake Pit” and “The Heiress.” The result was three Oscar nominations, two Academy Awards and a New York Film Critics Circle Award.
De Havilland breaks silence on Fontaine feud
by: Associated Press
Celebrating her 100th birthday Friday, indomitable actress Olivia de Havilland is finally breaking her silence on Hollywood's most famous sibling rivalry.
De Havilland said the "legend of a feud" with her sister was first created by an article entitled "Sister Act" in Life Magazine following the 1942 Oscars, where both sisters were nominated for an Academy Award. Fontaine, who was then the lesser known sister, won, for Suspicion while de Havilland had been nominated for Hold Back the Dawn.
"A feud implies continuing hostile conduct between two parties. I cannot think of a single instance wherein I initiated hostile behavior," she said.
"But I can think of many occasions where my reaction to deliberately inconsiderate behavior was defensive," she added.
By Manon Garrigues, translated by Audrey Aller, Vogue Magazine
The star of 1940s American cinema is celebrating her 100th birthday today, July 1t, 2016. Unforgettable as Lady Hamilton in Gone with the Wind, Olivia de Havilland is a legendary actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood, her powerful roles earning her two Oscars for Best Actress. A look back in 15 images at the career of an icon and now centennial Parisian.
Olivia De Havilland Turning 100: An Appreciation Of A Golden Age Icon
By: Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline Hollywood
Olivia de Havilland, the last surviving grande dame of Classic Hollywood, turns 100 tomorrow. The last time I saw her she was a spry 86, bounding up the stairs of her house in Paris’ 16th arrondissement and with no signs of slowing. Reflecting on that, it seems hardly surprising that this formidable woman is celebrating a century on the planet. Long after she left Hollywood in 1956, the mark De Havilland made on the town remains. A star of Gone With The Wind and a double Best Actress Oscar winner, she also was responsible for the De Havilland Law which in 1944 broke the stranglehold that studios had on contract players.
The Last Surviving "Gone With the Wind" Cast Member Just Turned 100
By: Marlisse Cepeda, Country Living Magazine
Olivia de Havilland, who played Melanie Wilkes in the beloved film Gone With the Wind, is becoming a centenarian on Friday, July 1. Acting alongside Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, Olivia is the last surviving principal cast member of the classic movie.
While she's best known for playing Melanie, she has earned two best actress Academy Awards for her work in To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949). She is also seen as a pioneer in the acting community for winning a legal battle over Warner Brothers, forcing them to release her early from their seven-year contract. The 1945 ruling made an enormous impact on Hollywood, giving actors the freedom to pick roles and shape their own careers. "I was very proud of that decision, for it corrected a serious abuse of the contract system ... No one thought I would win, but I did," she once said about the case.
Olivia de Havilland turns 100: 'Gone With The Wind' star gives her younger self some advice
By: Rachael Revesz, The Independent
Asked if she had any advice for her younger self, she told People Magazine: “Take a long leave of absence from the Warner contract and go to Mills College, where the scholarship I had won in 1934 is still waiting for me!”
Happy birthday Olivia de Havilland! Hollywood’s queen of radiant calm turns 100
By: Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Olivia de Havilland established herself forever in the film world’s collective memory at the age of 22, as the wise, gentle and beautiful Melanie Hamilton in the colossal epic Gone With the Wind. The film appeared in 1939 as war was breaking out in Europe: the mighty theme of old orders being swept away was especially potent. De Havilland was an exemplar of radiant womanly calmness, a polar opposite to the capricious sexiness of Vivien Leigh’s bewitching belle Scarlett O’Hara. The role probably encumbered her with something stately and reserved, which she never entirely lost – though with a hint of mystery and suppressed emotional tumult, on screen and off... There has always been something mysterious about the public image of Olivia de Havilland. She is the last queen of the postwar Hollywood era.
Timelessly elegant at 100: Gone With The Wind's Olivia de Havilland celebrates milestone birthday and finally breaks silence on Golden Age of Hollywood's most infamous sibling rivalry
By: Associated Press, Daily Mail UK
Posing on a chaise longue in a demure black dress in her Saint James Paris residence, the still-glamorous two-time Oscar winner quipped that only 'the pearls are fake,' before she agreed to answer more detailed questions via email - her preferred mode of communication because of her failing hearing and vision.
'(Sexism) was a fact of life I simply had to accept. Men felt threatened and mistrustful of women who had good ideas, and one had to employ immense tact when dealing with directors and producers,' she said.
'As to remuneration for one's work, women were resigned to receiving less financial compensation than a man for their work,' she said.
Last Remaining Cast Member From "Gone With The Wind," turns 100
By: Kristin Peach, Santa Monica Observer
Olivia de Haviland will celebrate her 100th birthday on Thursday, June 30th at 4 pm at the Spitfire Grill at the Santa Monica Airport. The event is being organized by Spring de Haviland, who is "related to Olivia, but no one is entirely sure how."
The guest of honor will not be present herself at the event, because she is on the way to a private family celebration in Paris, France, where she has resided since 1956. Partygoers plan to dress as characters from her films, and tape a message to be presented to her.
How Hollywood Remembers Olivia de Havilland's Major Accomplishments
By: Spencer Beck, LA Confidential
The last, incandescent flicker of Hollywood’s great golden age lives on, not in the shady confines of Bel-Air, but rather on a small, cobblestone street in the heart of Paris’s immaculate, gleaming sixteenth arrondissement. This July 1, Olivia de Havilland, the oldest living actor who has won an Academy Award (make that two, in fact), celebrates her 100th birthday a stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Somehow fitting. Elegant but famously feisty, de Havilland, most renowned for her role as Melanie in Gone With the Wind (and the only living cast member of that original mega-movie), not only won Best Actress Oscars for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949), she also broke cinematic ground for her part in the much lauded The Snake Pit (1948), a brave portrayal completely devoid of glamour that pointed up the horrors of U.S. mental-health institutions at the time. More significantly, de Havilland changed Hollywood history forever when, in 1943, she dared to take Warner Bros. to court when the studio refused to allow her out of her contract. The win for the actress remains one of the most far-reaching legal rulings in Hollywood—the resulting “seven-year rule,” in fact, is still known as the De Havilland Law.
Screen legend Olivia de Havilland celebrates her 100th birthday on July 1
By: WREG (Memphis, TN) and CBS News Wire
Friday marks quite the milestone for Olivia de Havilland. The famed “Gone with the Wind” star — and the last living member of its sprawling cast — will turn 100 years old.
Bloggers Celebrate Olivia de Havilland
The Last Drive In - Wishing a Happy Grand Birthday to Olivia de Havilland 100 years old July 1st 2016!
Social Media Celebrates Olivia de Havilland
HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY
Celebrating Screen Legend Olivia de Havilland from Warner Brothers
Excerpt from this personal note to Ms. de Havilland from Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara:
Dear Ms. de Havilland:
I wanted to send you a note to personally extend my best wishes, along with those of the entire Warner Bros. family around the world, for a very happy 100th birthday. You are truly a living legend, and your contributions to the global cinematic arts are unmatched.
I hope you spend your birthday in good health, surrounded by loved ones, knowing you are held in the highest esteem by millions around the world.
In 2008,de Havilland was recognized with the National Medal of Arts for her lifetime achievements and contributions to American culture as an actress. You may know her best from her portrayal of Melanie Hamilton in the Civil War and Reconstruction era drama, Gone with the Wind, a role that earned her a 1939 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of a woman suffering a mental breakdown in The Snake Pit (1948), and two Academy Awards for Best Actress for her performance in the tragic romance To Each His Own (1946) and her devastating portrayal in The Heiress (1949), an outstanding adaptation of Henry James novel Washington Square.
She won her first Oscar® for TO EACH HIS OWN ('46), and her second for THE HEIRESS ('49)