OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Olivia de Havilland was born Olivia Mary De Havilland in Tokyo, Japan on July 1st, 1916. Her father Walter de Havilland was a lawyer and her mother, Lilian Augusta Ruse was an actress. Olivia was the eldest daughter and her youngest sister Joan Fontaine was also an actress.
At the age of two her family moved from Tokyo to Saratoga, California. Havilland attended high school at Los Gatos High and later on finished her schooling at Notre Dame Convent Catholic Girls' School in Belmont, California. Her university education was received from, Mills College in Oakland, California
Havilland played Hermia in a high school production of, "Mid Summer Nights Dream" and was spotted by a famous director, Max Reinhardt. Reinhardt chose to cast her in his Hollywood Bowl production of the same play and from there, Warner Brothers did a film adaptation of, "Mid Summer Nights Dream" (1935) starring Ian Hunter, James Cagney, Frank McHugh, Mickey Rooney, Joe E. Brown, Victor Jory, Dick Powell and Billy Barty and Havilland was then signed to a long term contract with the company.
Havilland received a co star role in, "Alibi Ike" (1935) starring Joe E. Brown and Roscoe Karns and more films began to follow. It did seem like the majority of character roles she was portraying were always of a, 'damsel in distress' but this was also partly due to the limitations of an actress with Warner Brothers. She tried many times to refuse many of the roles she was offered, but was told that in Hollywood, if you do not cooperate, your career would rumble.
Some of the films she starred in throughout the 30's were, "Captain Blood" (1935) starring Errol Flynn, Lionel Atwood, Basil Rathbone, Guy Kibbee, Ross Alexander and J. Carrol Naish, "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936) starring with Nigel Bruce, Patric Knowles, David Niven, J. Carrol Naish, Spring Byington and Donald Crisp and "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938) starring with Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains. Havilland was loaned out to David O. Selznick for a role in, "Gone With the Wind" (1939) starring alongside Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Leslie Howard, Rand Brooks, George Reeves and Hattie McDaniel, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
The 40's however produced some highly successful films such as, "They Died With Their Boots On" (1941) co-starring Errol Flynn as General George Armstrong Custer and Havilland also earned two Best Actress Oscars for, "To Each his Own" (1946), "Snake Pit" (1948) in which she received a lot of praise for her Oscar nomination and "The Heiress De Havilland" (1949), her second Oscar win. She did receive an Oscar nomination for her role in, "Hold Back The Dawn" (1941), however she lost to her own sister Joan. After the completion of the film, "The Heiress De Havilland", she spent several years on Broadway, cutting down her subsequent film appearances to approximately one per year.
Olivia de Havilland married Marcus Goodrich, a novelist, in 1946, but the pair divorced in 1953. They had a son, Benjamin, who died in 1991 from a heart disease brought on by Hodgkin's disease. Havilland popularity was also publicized when she sued Warner Brothers for extending her seven year contract by tacking on months she had been on suspension for refusing to take a certain part. She did win her case and a law was actually named after her, "De Havilland Law" where a studio can not have the ability to force their Independent contract actors to unfairly extend their contract time.
In 1955, Havilland relocated to France with her second husband, Pierre Galante, and in 1956 their daughter Giselle was born. Havilland did take on some more roles, this time in some horror films such as, "Lady in a Cage" (1964), and "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1965).
During the next decade, she appeared in a number of TV productions as well as more films, "Airport '77" (1977) and "The Swarm" (1978). In 1979, she divorced her second husband Pierre.
Her last feature to date was in, "The 5th Musketeer" (1979) followed by a Golden Globe Award and Emmy nomination for her portrayal of the Dowager Empress Maria in the NBC miniseries "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna" (1986). Then in 1988, her last screen appearance in the CBS movie, "The woman He Loved" followed by the 50th Anniversary of, "Gone With the Wind" (1989) Havilland again, revisited her popularity by being the only surviving original cast member.
Havilland felt very content with the success she achieved with her career that she decided to move to Paris to spend the remainder of her life. She continues to live in Paris. De Havilland received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in 1998 and she was a presenter at the 75th Annual Academy Awards in 2003 and was reportedly working on an autobiography, still the graceful, classy lady even into her ninth decade.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame honored Olivia de Havilland for her contribution to the Motion Picture Industry.
1988 The Woman He Loved
1979 The Fifth Musketeer
1978 The Swarm
1977 Airport '77
1970 The Adventurers
1965 Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
1963 Lady in a Cage
1958 The Proud Rebel
1956 The Ambassador's Daughter
1955 Not As a Stranger
1949 The Heiress
1948 The Snake Pit
1946 The Dark Mirror
1946 To Each His Own
1943 Thank Your Lucky Stars
1942 In This Our Life
1942 The Male Animal
1941 The Strawberry Blonde
1941 They Died With Their Boots On
1940 Santa Fe Trail
1939 Dodge City
1939 Gone With the Wind
1939 The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood
1936 Anthony Adverse
1936 The Charge of the Light Brigade
1935 Captain Blood
1935 A Midsummer Night's Dream