Olivia de Havilland – the Hollywood and Gone with the Wind favourite – died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Paris at the age of 104 on Saturday, sources have confirmed. The late actress played Melanie in Gone with the Wind.
She was the last remaining member of the cast of Gone with the Wind, filmed in 1939
The star of the screen received five Oscar nominations for that film alone.
Writer Laurie Brookins wrote: “Among Hollywood’s golden-era stars who were still with us, Olivia de Havilland shined above all.
“Beyond the glamour of her work there also was grit: In 1943 she fought Warner Bros. and won, preventing studios from tying actors to endless contracts; the law is named for her.”
Star Trek actor William Shatner said: “Not a good weekend: the great Olivia de Havilland has passed.”
Writer Amee Vanderpool added: “Olivia de Havilland, the delicate beauty and last remaining star of Gone With the Wind who received her two acting Oscars after helping to take down Hollywood’s studio system with a landmark legal victory in the 1940s, died Sunday. She was 104.”
Born in Tokyo in 1916, Olivia was the daughter of British patent lawyer Walter and actress Lilian.
She was also well know for a tempestuous relationship with sister Joan Fontaine, which earned the pair a regular spot in the headlines.
As children, both sisters suffered bronchial problems leading to the family to move to California in 1919.
Olivia made her stage debut in 1933 in an amateur production of Alice in Wonderland.
Her first first was in Warner Brothers’ Midsummer Nights Dream in 1935 and later shot to fame in Hal Wallis’s firm Captain Blood, alongside Errol Flynn.
Olivia later claimed Flynn proposed to her but she turned him down.
In 2015 she admitted she still watched Gone with the Wind to remember her co-stars.
She said: Luckily iit does not make me melancholy. Instead, when I see them alive vibrantly on screen, I experience a kind of reunion with them, a joyful one.”
More to follow…