Gone with the Wind and The Adventures of Robin Hood actress Olivia de Havilland was mostly of the surviving stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age. But this weekend, the Oscar-winning legend left this world after spending over a century onto it. Olivia de Havilland died peacefully in her sleep at home in Paris, France on Saturday at 104 years old. Join us in remembering the actress who left her mark on Hollywood in more ways than one.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed news of the passing of Olivia de Havilland.
Olivia de Havilland became well-known for starring alongside Errol Flynn. The two appeared in Captain Blood, Dodge City, and The Charge of the Light Brigade together. But their most well-known collaboration is without a doubt The Adventures of Robin Hood from 1938, arguably the best adaptation of the folk hero. Other famed roles for de Havilland include Gone with the Wind, Santa Fe Trail, The Snake Pit, The Proud Rebel, and Lady in a Cage.
In her esteemed acting career, de Havilland also earned two Oscars, one for her lead performance in To Each His Own in 1946, the story of a lady fighting to reclaim the son she gave up for adoption after being born out of wedlock. The other Oscar was awarded to de Havilland on her turn in The Heiress in 1949, adhering to a woman who’s betrayed by her lover, and controlled by her rich father, but she ends up obtaining the better of these in the end.
Following decades spent on the big screen, in the course of time becoming more of a supporting actress in the 1970s, de Havilland shifted to tv with roles in Roots: The Next Generations, The Love Boat, Murder is Easy, North and South Book II, and a Golden Globe-winning turn in Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna.
But perhaps de Havilland’s biggest contribution to Hollywood originated in her famous legal battle where she sued Warner Bros. Pictures to free herself from an unjustly extended contract after her initial seven-year contract with the studio had expired. The studio tried to claim that the contract extension was justified due to the time period that de Havilland spent turning down roles and never working, spreading the seven-year contract out over a much longer time period. But the courts ruled against the studio, and the lawsuit freed many actors from wrongfully extended contracts at all studios.
Though Olivia de Havilland’s last role was in the TV movie The Women He Loved in 1988, she remained a prominent figure in Hollywood, and she was a key element of a 75th anniversary celebration of the Academy Awards with 58 other past acting winners and current acting winners. Olivia de Havilland’s legacy has already lasted several generations, and it will last for many more in the real history of cinema. Rest in peace.
If you’d like to learn about this legendary actress, you can view this documentary short below:
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