Olivia de Havilland - Rotten Tomatoes

Olivia de Havilland



Born in Japan to a British patent attorney and his actress wife, Olivia de Havilland succumbed to the lure of Thespis while attending high school in Los Gatos, CA, where she played Hermia in an amateur production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The older sister of actress Joan Fontaine, de Havilland was spotted by famed director Max Reinhardt, who cast her in his legendary Hollywood Bowl production of the play. This led to her part in the Warner Bros. film adaptation of Midsummer in 1935, and being signed to a long-term contract wiht the company. Considering herself a classical actress, de Havilland tried to refuse the traditional ingenue roles offered her by the studio, which countered by telling her she'd be ruined in Hollywood if she didn't cooperate. Loaned out to David O. Selznick, de Havilland played Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind (1939), earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the process. Although she didn't come out on top that year, she would later win two Best Actress Oscars, the first for 1946's To Each His Own, and then again for 1949's The Heiress. De Havilland also made news when she sued Warner Bros. for extending her seven-year contract by tacking on the months she'd been on suspension for refusing to take a part. The actress spent three long years off the screen, but she ultimately won her case, and the "De Havilland Law," as it would become known, effectively destroyed the studios' ability to virtually enslave their contractees by unfairly extending their contract time.



After completing The Heiress, de Havilland spent several years on Broadway, cutting down her subsequent film appearances to approximately one per year. In 1955, she moved to France with her second husband, Paris Match editor Pierre Galante; she later recalled her Paris years with the semiautobiographical Every Frenchman Has One. De Havilland showed up in a brace of profitable fading-star horror films in the '60s: Lady in a Cage (1964) and Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1965), in which she replaced Joan Crawford. During the next decade, she appeared in a number of TV productions and in such all-star film efforts as Airport '77 (1977) and The Swarm (1978). After a number of TV appearances (if not always starring roles) in the '80s, de Havilland once more found herself in the limelight in 1989, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Gone With the Wind. As one of the only surviving stars from this film, she was much sought after for interviews and reminiscences, but graciously refused almost every request.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Tcm Presents Gone With The Wind
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Noon Wine
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet The Woman He Loved
  • Aunt Bessie
1988
No Score Yet Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna
  • Dowager Empress
1986
No Score Yet Murder Is Easy
  • Honoria Waynflete
1982
No Score Yet The Fifth Musketeer (Behind the Iron Mask) (The 5th Musketeer)
  • Queen Mother
1979
13% The Swarm
  • Maureen Schuster
1978
50% Airport '77
  • Emily Livingston
1977
No Score Yet A.F.I. Life Achievement Awards - Bette Davis
  • Actor
1977
No Score Yet Pope Joan
  • Mother Superior
1972
No Score Yet The Adventurers
  • Deborah Hadley
1970
81% Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
  • Miriam
1964
20% Lady in a Cage
  • Mrs. Cornelia Hilyard
1964
No Score Yet Light in the Piazza
  • Meg Johnson
1962
No Score Yet The Proud Rebel
  • Linnett Moore
1958
No Score Yet The Ambassador's Daughter
  • Joan Fisk
1956
0% Not as a Stranger (Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger)
  • Kristina Hedvigson
1955
No Score Yet My Cousin Rachel
  • Rachel Sangalletti Ashley
1952
100% The Heiress
  • Catherine Sloper
1950
100% The Snake Pit
  • Virginia Stuart Cunningham
1948
No Score Yet The Dark Mirror
  • Terry / Ruth Collins
1946
No Score Yet Devotion
  • Charlotte BrontÙ
1946
No Score Yet To Each His Own
  • Jody Norris
1946
No Score Yet Princess O'Rourke
  • Princess Maria - aka Mary Williams
1943
No Score Yet Thank Your Lucky Stars
  • Specialty
1943
No Score Yet In This Our Life
  • Roy Timberlake
1942
No Score Yet The Male Animal
  • Ellen Turner
1942
100% Hold Back the Dawn
  • Emmy Brown
1941
100% The Strawberry Blonde
  • Amy Lind
1941
82% They Died With Their Boots On
  • Elizabeth Bacon
1941
No Score Yet My Love Came Back
  • Amelia Cullen
1940
No Score Yet Santa Fe Trail
  • "Kit Carson" Holliday
1940
No Score Yet Raffles
  • Gwen Manders
1939
94% Gone With the Wind
  • Melanie Hamilton
1939
71% The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
  • Lady Penelope Gray
1939
100% Dodge City
  • Abbie Irving
1939
No Score Yet Wings of the Navy
  • Irene Dale
1939
No Score Yet Four's a Crowd
  • Lorri Dillingwell
1938
100% The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Maid Marian
1938
No Score Yet Gold Is Where You Find It
  • Serena Ferris
1938
No Score Yet Hard to Get
  • Margaret Richards
1938
No Score Yet It's Love I'm After
  • Marcia West
1937
No Score Yet The Great Garrick
  • Germaine de la Corbe
1937
13% Anthony Adverse
  • Angela Guessippi
1936
83% Charge of the Light Brigade
  • Elsa Campbell
1936
No Score Yet The Cowboy Creed
  • Actor
1936
100% Captain Blood
  • Arabella Bishop
1935
89% A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Hermia
1935
No Score Yet The Irish in Us
  • Lucille Jackson
1935
No Score Yet Alibi Ike
  • Dolly Stevens
1935

Quotes from Olivia de Havilland's Characters