The jewel of Hollywood, Olivia de Havilland is best known as one of the leading stars during the Classical Hollywood’s golden age. Olivia de Havilland celebrated her 100th birthday on 1st July 2016.
Here is a look as some of the facts of Olivia de Havilland we might have missed out:
- Both her mother and father are British.
- She was born in Tokyo, Japan, grew up in England and worked in the United States.
- Her mother, Lilian Augusta de Havilland Fontaine was also a stage actress and singer.
- Olivia’s father, Walter Augustus de Havilland had many affairs which resulted in an unhappy marriage.
- Her older sister is actress Joan Fontaine who is best known for her work in Suspicion which won her an Academy Award for Best actress.
- Olivia is the recipient of 2 Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role among five nominations.
- Olivia and her sister Joan always fought seriously when they were teens but continued the feud in their later years as well.
- Olivia had won a scholarship to attend Mills College in Oakland, California.
- She made her debut in the Hollywood arena in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ as character Hermia.
- Olivia received a starting salary of $200 per week for her appearance in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- Olivia is the recipient of the National Medal of Arts. (She honestly deserves it!)
- Olivia had also sued Warner Brother for their unfair labor practices. She even won the case.
- Olivia was married twice. Olivia married Marcus Goodrich in 1946 and separated in 1953. She married Pierre Galante in 1955 and divorced in 1979. Olivia had two children one with each husband.
- Olivia lost her son Benjamin Goodrich in 1991 to Hodgkin’s disease.
- Olivia was the first female president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. (She must have crossed many firsts!)
- Olivia and her sister Joan became the first sisters to win an Oscar Award. They were also the first to be nominated in the same year at once.
- Olivia is a liberal Democrat and anti-communist as well.
Currently living in her Paris home that she built in the 1950s, Olivia celebrated her 100 th birthday with equal zest. Olivia also teaches Sunday school to children at a local church in Rue Benouville where she stays.