Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

12/16/2013 (1 year 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.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Celebrity

Superstar, Bon Jovi has special message for Israel: 'We Don't Run' Watch

Image of Bon Jovi performed in Tel Aviv [not pictured].


During his first time in Israel, Bon Jovi inspired and encouraged people to fight for Tel Aviv through his new song performed in concert. The musician said that he always wanted to come to the nation and is thankful that he had the opportunity. The Israeli crowd was ... continue reading

Famous MMA fighter overcomes his 'darkness' by finding the light of God Watch

Image of Justin Wren now helps those the needy in Congo.


Justin Wren was a famous professional MMA fighter but in the midst of his widespread success, he was addicted to drugs and admitted to a friend he needed help. The friend then told him something that would change his life forever. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic ... continue reading

Hollywood star, Johnny Depp hands out hearing aids to those in need in South America Watch

Image of


Hollywood couple Johnny Depp and Amber Heard took the time to reach out to Rio de Janeiro locals. The two participated in a charity event, along with Alice Cooper, where they gave hearing aids to those in need. Amber cried as she saw the way the gifts impacted the ... continue reading

Brad and Angelina to adopt Syrian child? Watch

Image of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have decided to adopt a Syrian child. An anonymous source claimed Jolie wanted to adopt three brothers whose father was taken by soldiers and mother was killed in a bombing. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported ... continue reading

Racy novelist Jackie Collins dies at 77 from breast cancer Watch

Image of Novelist Jackie Collins was harshly criticized for both the quality and content of her writing - but offered no apologies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Her fellow British romance novelist Barbara Cartland denounced her novels as "filthy and disgusting and [she was] responsible for all the perverts in England." Author Jackie Collins never shied away from explicit depictions of sex - and her writing "talent" was ... continue reading

Pope Francis' New York Mass to host Pre-Mass show full of celebrities Watch

Image of Celebrities such as Gloria Estefan will perform before Pope Francis' Madison Square Garden Mass.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Archdiocese of New York announced Pope Francis' Madison Square Garden Mass would be preceded by a two-hour show that includes prayer and devotional music performed by celebrities such as Gloria Estefan and Jennifer Hudson. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

Actor David Oyelowo puts God first Watch

Image of David Oyelowo is a Christian actor who keeps his faith and his children in mind when accepting roles.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actor David Oyelowo, known for his acting in Selma, Interstellar, Jack Reacher and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, claims consideration of his faith and children play the biggest roles in determining which scripts he accepts and which he turns down. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading

Comedian Steve Harvey shares intimate relationship with God Watch

Image of Steve Harvey reveals close relationship with God.


Famous comedian, Steve Harvey shared stories of how building a relationship with God helped him get himself out of living in his car and to find success, despite being a college drop out. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Having a close relationship with ... continue reading

'Adam-12' star Martin Milner dies at 83 Watch

Image of His role as a tough - yet compassionate cop Pete Malloy on

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

He was the spitting image of the clean-cut young man who did well. As such, actor Martin Milner was cast in a variety of roles on both the large and big screen as an authority figure. Milner was best remembered for his role as LAPD officer Pete Malloy on the TV ... continue reading

Walt Disney star Dean 'Love Bug' Jones dies at 84 Watch

Image of Dean Jones was an unlikely movie star who was just as clean-cut and straight shooting onscreen as he was in real life.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you were a child growing up in the Sixties, chances are you caught Dean Jones on the big screen in one of his many roles for Walt Disney Studios. Perhaps most famous for "The Love Bug," Jones also starred in "That Darn Cat!" and "The Shaggy D.A." Jones has ... continue reading

All Celebrity News


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, Jonah 4:1-11
1 This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
3 take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-4
1 Now it happened that he was in a certain place ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 7th, 2015 Image

St. Artaldus
October 7: Artaldus (also called Arthaud) was born in the castle of ... Read More