Scott Feinberg and Olivia de Havilland at Ms. De Havilland's home in Paris, France
May 26, 2013
Today is that special day, Olivia de Havilland's birthday! Born on July 1, 1916 in Tokyo, Japan to British parents, today marks Ms. De Havilland's 97th birthday! We wish her a beautiful day in her beloved Paris surrounded by friends, flowers, champagne, and celebration!
Without further ado, we present the 2013 Olivia de Havilland birthday blog!
A look back: Olivia de Havilland from 1916 - 1932
The high school "hot spot," according to Olivia, "was the Eatmore Creamery on North Santa Cruz Avenue, where you could get a keen milkshake for 10 cents. At Kirk and Bill's just up the road, if I had enough pocket money, I could order that most delectable of concoctions, a root-beer float. Kirk and Bill were kind about extending credit, but they kept strict accounts. When I dropped by after an 18-year absence, they presented me with a bill dated 1934 and made out in the sum of $1.81. I paid it on the spot. Kirk and Bill trusted me for 20 years."
Many who knew de Havilland during her childhood days in Saratoga and Los Gatos predicted she would have a successful life, as an actress or otherwise. It was during her years at Saratoga Grammar School that Olivia began to shine. She achieved top grades, played hockey, participated in school debates, served as associate editor of the school magazine, and won a public-speaking award. Despite serious stage fright, she appeared in an eighth-grade school production of Hansel and Gretel, followed by a pageant, Cinderella in the Redwoods, staged at Stanford University. She'd caught the acting bug.
Willys Peck, a former lawyer, a San Jose Mercury News editor and a columnist for the Saratoga News , remembers young Olivia as "the consummate Alice," in the Foothill Club's 1933 performance of Alice in Wonderland.
"Watching her," said Peck, "you'd think, Olivia is Alice, she's that convincing."
~ October 29, 2003 in the Los Gatos Weekly Times
Olivia in 2012 - 2013!
As part of the tradition of honoring Olivia's birthday, I try to include major highlights, statements, or public appearances of Ms. De Havilland over the previous year. She is reportedly still very active, still lives in her home in Paris, and is often seen doing the readings in her church at The American Cathedral in Paris. Since her 96th birthday, Ms. De Havilland's most notable public contributions included releasing a statement of condolence on the passing of Ann Rutherford on July, 2012, appearing on 60 minutes in November, 2012, and most recently photographed with reporter and blogger, Scott Feinberg who visited Ms. De Havilland in late May, 2013 at her home while covering the Cannes Film Festival in Paris.
Olivia de Havilland's statement to the fans of Ann Rutherford
July 29, 2012
Fans of Gone With the Wind were deeply saddened by the death of Ann Rutherford on June 11, 2012. For the last 25 years Ann had been the most visible flag bearer and ambassador of the film. Meeting fans, attending events and screenings, and giving much of herself back to the public that loved her and loved the film became the trademarks of Ann Rutherford. On July 29, 2012, GWTW fans gathered in Marietta, Georgia through an event organized by the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum to share our memories of Ann and give her one last goodbye. Included in that service was a statement of condolence emailed from Ms. De Havilland.
Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton, Evelyn Keyes as Suellen O'Hara, and Ann Rutherford as Carreen O'Hara in
Gone With the Wind
I have at last been able to put some words together which I hope will be suitable at this morning’s service in Marietta. Here they are:
In spirit I will be with you in Marietta today, joining Ann’s many friends there as they gather together to celebrate her life in a Memorial Service.
What a beautiful tribute this is, and how moving that it is being held in a place which brought her so much happiness, and among people who meant so much to her.
I am sure that, in sprit, she, too, will be there, full of love and gratitude.
My warmest regards,
Olivia de Havilland
Ann Rutherford with Olivia de Havilland at the 2006 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences tribute to Olivia at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, CA
June 15, 2006
Olivia de Havilland on CBS's 60 Minutes
November 11, 2012
Sunday evening, November 11, 2012, Olivia de Havilland was included in the 60 Minutes story, “David McCullough’s heroes of history.” The story followed US historian, David McCullough, through Paris as he relayed stories of 19th century Americans who traveled to Paris to broaden their horizons, increase their exposure to art, music, and architecture, and achieve a higher standard of education. While in Paris, in May, 2012, David was honored at the residence of the US Ambassador. Olivia was also present for that event. In the 60 minutes clip, they cut to David standing at a microphone in the Ambassador’s Residence gleefully announcing “I just kissed Olivia de Havilland!” Then, he ran over and received a hug and kiss from Olivia again. There are just a few seconds of McCullough and De Havilland speaking about living in Paris. He asks her how she ended up in Paris and she says, without missing a beat, “A Frenchman” and then she laughs her joyous laugh and says again “A Frenchman.” (She is referring to her second husband, Pierre Galante, the former editor of Paris Match Magazine). Olivia sums up her relationship with Paris with the following quote:
“You feel that it belongs to you. That’s what’s so magical, that it’s yours!”
David salutes Olivia with the famous classic film quote: “We’ll always have Paris.”
Olivia de Havilland interviewed by Scott Feinberg
May 26, 2013
In late May and early June, Scott Feinberg, awards analyst and reporter for the Hollywood Reporter, lit up Twitter with reports about visiting with Ms. De Havilland. Feinberg was apparently in Paris covering the Cannes Film Festival for American media outlets and while there interviewed Ms. De Havilland. As of the writing of this blog, we have not found a published article from his interview. We remain hopeful that there will be something soon.
On June 10, two weeks after his interview, Feinberg made the following tweet and attached the photo above: Since she's so beloved, thought I'd share a pic of me w/ legend Olivia de Havilland post-interview in Paris 2 wks ago
It was especially appropriate that Feinberg visited with Ms. De Havilland while covering the Cannes Film Festival this year. Ms. De Havilland's connection to Paris runs right to the heart of the Cannes Film Festival. She was the first female president of the Jury in 1965 and it was an invitation to the Festival in 1953 that brought her to France for the first time. She gave a humorous account of her invitation to Cannes, her flight over with her son Benjamin, and her reception in France in her 1961 book Every Frenchman has One in chapter one entitled "I'm not at all sure if you know that I'm alive..."
About six thousand miles away, on the other side of the Atlantic, the French government was busying itself with its usual occupations and, in addition, preparing for the Cannes Film Festival. As the chestnut trees along the Champs Élysées were getting ready to bloom, the office of the Secrétaire Général put a lot of white envelopes in the mail; one of them was addressed to me.
2013 and 2014 - 75th Anniversary Celebrations!
2013 and 2014 represent the major milestone of the 75th anniversary for two of Olivia's most popular films, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Gone With the Wind.
The Adventures of Robin Hood
1938 ~ 2013
On May 14, 2013, The Adventures of Robin Hood turned 75! The Adventures of Robin Hood is a film that for many people was their first introduction to Olivia de Havilland. Numerous fans have written about that first time of seeing Maid Marian on the screen in all of her technicolor glory! The film, and especially the most recent restoration, is glorious and Olivia is beautiful, wonderful, and magnificent in this film. The Adventures of Robin Hood is still a special classic with fantastic actors including Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, and the legendary screen partnership of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn!
Happy 75th Anniversary to the 1938 cast of The Adventures of Robin Hood and most especially to Olivia whose portrayal of Maid Marion is timeless!
Here is my favorite moment!
Gone With the Wind
1939 ~ 2014
We're technically still more than a year and a half away from the official 75th anniversary of the timeless classic, Gone With the Wind, for which Olivia was nominated for an Academy Award. But, with the film's anniversary falling on December 15, many people are already putting together celebratory plans to begin early in 2014! By the time July 1 comes around next year, 75th anniversary celebrations will have likely already occurred at the TCM Film Festival in Hollywood and at the Gone With the Wind Museum in Marietta, GA. So, in the spirit of celebrations that are months away, I want to give my warmest congratulations to Olivia de Havilland on the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind!
This film has been a personal touchstone since I was 8 years old and Melanie has been to me an incredible light of generosity, empathy, and sincerity whose values are still important today.
A look back at celebrations of GWTW!
The 70th Anniversary - 2009
The official 70th anniversary celebration of Gone With the Wind was celebrated in 2009 in Marietta, GA. The climax of the weekend was the world premiere of the newly restored Blu-Ray version of Gone With the Wind screened at the Earl Smith Strand Theater in Marietta. Just prior to the screening of the film, the audience was treated to a message recorded by Olivia de Havilland specifically for this event. It was a remarkable and treasured moment as her voice filled the theater and touched every member of the audience!
The 65th Anniversary - 2004
For the 65th anniversary, GWTW was remastered and re-released for its first special box DVD set. The crown jewel of the 2004 DVD was the nearly 1 hour special feature, Melanie Remembers. Through the hour long special, 86 year old Olivia de Havilland shares with her audience her memories of testing for Melanie, being on the set of GWTW, and working with the cast including Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. This was such a special tribute for all of the fans in celebration of the 65th Anniversary of GWTW!
The 50th Anniversary - 1989
On Sunday, March 12, 1989, Olivia de Havilland appeared at the People's Choice Awards to accept the award for the People's Choice for "All Time Favorite Motion Picture."
Watch Olivia accept the award here.
The 1967 Re-release
:Atlanta, Georgia: Tears glisten in the eyes of actress Olivia de Havilland as she nostagically "introduces" her costars in the world famous movie, Gone With the Wind. As the second world premiere of the 1939 film gotunder way, Miss de Havilland, sole survivor of the "big four," wept as she introduced Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard. (October 4, 1967)
The 20th Anniversary - 1959
Gone With the Wind Premiere - 1939
This is my favorite photo of premiere night and so I will let it stand alone as a beacon in honor of the World Premiere of Gone With the Wind.
Gone With the Wind Premiere Night, December 15, 1939 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Margaret Mitchell, David O. Selznick, and Olivia de Havilland
About the Blog
Olivia de Havilland has reached her centenary! July 1, 2016 marks her 100th birthday! Olivia stands as the oldest living recipient of an Academy Award and is a member of a class of only four other women currently living to receive at least two best actress Academy Awards! Her career, life, and legacy continue to inspire and engage generations of fans around the world!
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