Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/16/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Actress is survived by her sister - and rival Olivia de Haviland

One of the silver screen's most fierce divas, Joan Fontaine has died at the age of 96. The Oscar-winning actress was one of the last remaining links to Hollywood's golden age. Working frequently with director Alfred Hitchcock, she won an Oscar for Best Actress in Hitchcock's "Suspicion" and was nominated for same in the director's "Rebecca." She is survived by her sister, Olivia de Haviland, who many consider as her most poisonous rival.

Joan Fontaine, reading the then-new best-seller 'Rebecca' she identified with the put-upon heroine struggling against a powerful - if dead rival.

Joan Fontaine, reading the then-new best-seller "Rebecca" she identified with the put-upon heroine struggling against a powerful - if dead rival.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/16/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Celebrity

Keywords: Joan Fontaine, Olivia de Haviland, Hollywood, actress, death


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "My sister was born a lion, and I a tiger, and in the laws of the jungle, they could never be friends," she would say in a 1990 interview. This rivalry would be explored in depth in the actress' 1978 autobiography "No Bed of Roses."

The animosity felt between the sisters for both acting roles and personal success, many say, provided the inspiration for the 1962 shocker "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" wherein real-life rivals Bette Davis and Joan Crawford descended into madness and murder.

Fontaine owned the screen whenever she deigned to appear. She could seem shy and hesitant, but ironically hammered out a movie career out of sheer will power and drive.

As De Havilland's younger sister, Fontaine maintained a rivalry with the sibling who beat her to the big screen. Critics say that a closer inspection of her filmography reveals an aggressive persona.

The daughters of Walter de Havilland, a British patent attorney with distant royal blood and his actress wife, the sisters were born in Tokyo. Joan was born in 1917. After their mother learned of the father's affair with his Japanese maid, she whisked them to California.

Olivia kept her family name and had early success in Hollywood. Joan took stepfather George Fontaine's name and struggled in smallish roles. Her sister Olivia would continually get larger roles.

She auditioned for and lost the part of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind," only to see Olivia score the part of Melanie. Reading the then-new best-seller "Rebecca" she identified with the put-upon heroine struggling against a powerful - if dead rival.

"Rebecca" shot Fontaine to stardom. She worked again for director Alfred Hitchcock in "Suspicion," as a young wife convinced husband Cary Grant wants to do her in.

Nominated for Best Actress the same year her sister De Havilland was nominated for Hold Back the Dawn, Fontaine won by one ballot. Olivia would kick herself for voting for Barbara Stanwyck.

Fontaine's later roles included a lady on a pirate ship in "Frenchman's Creek" (1944), "Ivy" (1947) - and was nominated once more for "The Constant Nymph" (1943). The four-hankie film "Letter From an Unknown Woman" (1948) was one of her most well remembered roles.

She later retired to Carmel, California. She was married and divorced four times.

When the two sister attended the 1979 Oscars for a reunion of past winners, they were placed at opposite ends of the stage. De Haviland, still living, resides in France.



---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Celebrity

'It does exist': Famed director, Martin Scorsese stands up for faith and warns against 'tossing away' spirituality Watch

Image of Martin Scorsese warns against

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Martin Scorsese was raised a Roman Catholic in Italy. He was a former altar boy and seriously considered a vocation in the Church - until he made the fateful decision to become a Hollywood director instead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scorsese is known for his ... continue reading


Chris Pratt shares the moment he was saved Watch

Image of Actor Chris Pratt shares the moment he turned to Christ.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Chris Pratt is known for his comedy and dashing good looks - but who is he in Christ? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pratt spoke to <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/01/chris-pratt-cover-story?mbid=social_twitter">Vanity Fair</a> to ... continue reading


Death by Broken Heart?: Actress Debbie Reynolds dies at 84, just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Actress Debbie Reynolds has passed away, just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 'Singin' in the Rain' star suffered from a stroke on the afternoon of December 28, according to her son, Todd Fisher. Reynolds and Fisher ... continue reading


Iconic Star Wars actress dies at age 60 - Here's what you need to know Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Star Wars star, Carrie Fisher passed away following a cardiac arrest at the age of 60. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While aboard a plane traveling from London to Los Angeles on December 23, Fisher went into cardiac arrest. An in-flight EMT administered CPR and ... continue reading


'It's usually okay' - Bruce Springsteen on his Catholic childhood, bouts of depression and tensions with his father Watch

Image of Bruce Springsteen opens up about his Catholic childhood.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Famous singer/songwriter Bruce Springsteen told "<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0855znp">Desert Island Discs</a>" his childhood was centered around "the church." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Over his lengthy career, Springsteen admitted to ... continue reading


Spiderman star, Andrew Garfield takes on role as Jesuit priest and finds passion for God Watch

Image of Actor Andrew Garfield encountered God while researching his role as a Jesuit priest.

By Nikki Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Actor Andrew Garfield, famous for "Amazing Spiderman" and recent faith-based film "Hacksaw Ridge," is now appearing in a new Christian film - "Silence." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Garfield and fellow actor Adam Driver, known for his role in "Star Wars: The ... continue reading


TV's favorite sitcom mom, Florence Henderson passes away at 82 Watch

Image of Florence Henderson was best known for her role as

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Television's favorite sitcom mom has passed away at the age of 82.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Actress Florence Henderson, best known as Carol Brady of the Brady Bunch, died on Thanksgiving day due to heart failure. According to her manager, Kayla ... continue reading


Vatican cardinal pays tribute to late 'Hallelujah' singer Leonard Cohen Watch

Image of Leonard Cohen has passed away (Facebook).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Singer songwriter Leonard Cohen passed away on Thursday, November 10. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The largely influential singer reportedly passed away peacefully at 82-years-old.On his Facebook page, Sony Music Canada released the brief statement: "It is with ... continue reading


Michael Savage is censored during LIVE show after questioning Hillary's health. Censorship is alive and well in America Watch

Image of Michael Savage was censored while broadcasting live and asking about Clinton's health.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Censorship is alive and well in America. Yesterday, Dr. Michael Savage's show "Savage Nation" was pulled off the air when he questioned Hillary Clinton's health. Censorship in America comes in two forms, hard and soft. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Dr. Michael ... continue reading


5 popular celebrities who aren't afraid of showing their faith Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Practicing your faith and being in the limelight is not always an easy task, especially in a world where Christians and believers are persecuted for their faithful love of God. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Despite facing paparazzi and crazed fans, there are ... continue reading


All Celebrity News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 8:23--9:3
23 For is not everything dark as night for a country in distress? As the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:12-23
12 Hearing that John had been arrested he withdrew to ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
10 Brothers, I urge you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 22nd, 2017 Image

St. Vincent Pallotti
January 22: St. Vincent Pallotti, Priest (Feast - January 22) ... Read More