Olivia de Havilland was born on July 1, 1916 in Tokyo, Japan. She signed with Warner Brothers in 1935 as well as in 1939 appeared as Melanie in Gone with the Wind. The character got her acknowledgement and she went to win Academy Awards for the movies To Each His Own and The Heiress. She now lives in Paris, France. Produced in Tokyo, Japan, celebrity Olivia de Havilland spent much of her youth in California. She moved there with her mom and younger sister, Joan, after her parents divorced. De Havilland got her big break in 1933 with her stage character.
De Havilland earned the opportunity to reprise her character in 1935 film adaptation with Dick Powell and James Cagney. In addition to her enviable part, she also got a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers. The studio shortly matched her with among her regular co stars Errol Flynn. The couple first appeared together in the action-adventure story Captain Blood (1935). De Havilland continued to work with Errol Flynn, and they proved to be a popular onscreen couple. While these movies were amusing, they did little to show de Havilland’s abilities as a serious performer.
With 1939’s Gone with the Wind, film crowds had their first actual encounter with de Havilland as a dramatic performer. This Civil War age play, on the basis of the Margaret Mitchell novel, proved to among the best movies of the entire year , and it has continued to have tremendous popularity since its launch. De Havilland played the tender and kind Melanie Hamilton opposite Vivien Leigh’s fervent Scarlett O’Hara. Both characters vied for the love of Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), and Melanie gained his heart. Scarlett finally ended up using the dashing Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). McDaniels became the very first African American to win an Academy Award. This time around, de Havilland lost out to her very own sister who used the stage name of Joan Fontaine.
Over time, de Havilland became increasingly frustrated with her situation at Warner Brothers. Good parts appeared to be few and far between, and she was relieved when her contract with all the studio neared its end in 1943. Warner Brothers, nevertheless, subtracted time that she was suspended while under contract and asserted that she owed them that time. As an alternative to honor, de Havilland fought Warner Brothers in court. The case created the de Havilland rule, which restricted the duration of a contract into a maximum of seven calendar years.
After her hiatus, de Havilland immediately returned to top form with To Each His Own. Her turn as an unwed mom brought her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Providing another striking performance, de Havilland starred in 1948’s The Snake Pit. This movie was among the first to investigate mental health problems, and de Havilland played a distressed girl who’s sent to an insane asylum. By the 1950s, de Havilland’s movie career had slowed down.
Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1965) proved to be one of de Havilland’s more noteworthy later parts. She shared the screen with fellow movie legend Bette Davis in this acclaimed psychological thriller. In the 1970s, de Havilland appeared in the most popular disaster film Airport ’77 as well as the killer bee horror movie The Swarm (1978) among other characters. Together with the dawning of the brand new century, de Havilland received another tide of accolades for her work. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences held a special homage for her in 2006.
Olivia de Havilland lives in Paris, France, where she’s lived because the mid-1950s. She’s been married twice—first to writer Marcus Goodrich and afterwards to Paris Match editor and journalist Pierre Galante. Both marriages ended in divorce. With Goodrich, de Havilland had a son named Benjamin. Benjamin expired in 1991. Her daughter, Gisele, from her union to Galante, works as a journalist in France. Over time, Havilland continues to be involved in among Hollywood’s most longstanding feuds. She and her sister, Joan Fontaine, have apparently not talked to every other in decades.