Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy 94th Birthday to Olivia de Havilland

On this day in 1916 actress Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo to a British attorney and his socialite wife. The family moved to California in the 1920s when Olivia and her younger sister, actress Joan Fontaine (born in 1917), would recieve better health as they'd been ill frequently while overseas. Her first screen role came in 1935 in A Midsummer Nights Dream opposite Dick Powell.

In 1939, she starred as Melanie Hamilton in Gone With The Wind co-starring Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Vivien Leigh, and Hattie McDaniel. This role would be her most famous as well as her most memorable. In the 1940s she twice won the Academy Award for Best Actress the first in 1946 for To Each His Own and the second and final time in 1949 for her work in The Heiress opposite an up-and-coming Montgomery Clift.

As of today she is not only the last surviving cast member of Gone With The Wind but one of the last great leading ladies of 1930s and 1940s Hollywood. Presently she enjoys a peaceful retierment in France.

Happy Birthday Olivia!

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