Olivia de Havilland, known for starring in films such as Gone With The Wind and The Adventures Of Robin Hood, has died aged 104.
The two-time Oscar winner died of natural causes at her home in Paris, where she had lived for more than 60 years, according to her publicist Lisa Goldberg (via The Hollywood Reporter).
Born in Tokyo and raised in California, de Havilland was the older sister of fellow actor Joan Fontaine, who died in December 2013 aged 96. She made her screen debut in Max Reinhardt’s 1935 adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
With a career that spanned more than 50 years and almost 50 feature films, de Havilland was the last surviving star of the 1939 classic Gone With The Wind, in which she starred as Melanie Hamilton Wilkes.
While she didn’t wind Oscar for her role in Gone With The Wind, she was nominated in the supporting actress category but lost to fellow cast member Hattie McDaniel, who became the first African American to win an Oscar.
She won two Oscars for To Each His Own (1946), in which she played an unwed mother forced to give up her baby, and The Heiress (1949), where she starred as a vulnerable woman who falls for a handsome journeyman against the wishes of her father.
She earned two other nominations for her turns in Hold Back The Dawn (1941) and The Snake Pit (1948).
At the time of her death she was the oldest living performer to have won an Oscar.
Aside from the aforementioned films, de Havilland starred in Raffles, Thank Your Lucky Stars, That Lady, Not As A Stranger, Pope Joan, The Fifth Musketeer, and It’s Love I’m After, in which she appeared opposite Leslie Howard and Bette Davis.
A regular collaborator of Errol Flynn, de Havilland starred in eight movies with him, including turns in Captain Blood, They Died With Their Boots On, and The Adventures Of Robin Hood. She also starred alongside Patrick Swayze in TV mini-series North And South.
Not only on-screen, de Havilland had a huge impact off-screen after suing Warner Bros. in 1943 in order to gain freedom from the studio after her seven-year contract had expired.
At the time, Hollywood lawyers felt that a contract should be considered suspended during the periods when an artist wasn’t actually working. This interpretation meant that, in de Havilland’s case, seven years of actual service would be spread over a much longer period.
Warner Bros. tried to extend her deal after she was suspended for rejecting a series of roles she deemed were inferior, it was at this point that de Havilland sued the studio. In 1945, the courts ruled that not only was de Havilland free, but all artists were to be limited to the calendar terms of their deals.
De Havilland was awarded the National Medal for the Arts in 2008 and briefly emerged from retirement to narrate the 2009 Alzheimer’s documentary I Remember Better When I Paint.
The Academy paid tribute to de Havilland, tweeting: “To Each His Own, The Heiress, Gone with the Wind and so many others. A two-time Best Actress Oscar winner, Olivia de Havilland was a mainstay of Hollywood’s Golden Age and an immeasurable talent. Here’s to a true legend of our industry.”
English actor Stephen Mangan tweeted: “Olivia De Havilland has died. A link with the past gone. Starred in Captain Blood with Errol Flynn in 1935 for goodness sake. And of course Gone With The Wind. RIP.”
“Not a good weekend: the great Olivia de Havilland has passed,” William Shatner added.
“To Each His Own,” “The Heiress,” “Gone with the Wind” and so many others. A two-time Best Actress Oscar winner, Olivia de Havilland was a mainstay of Hollywood’s Golden Age and an immeasurable talent. Here's to a true legend of our industry. pic.twitter.com/VYMMNknh4v
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) July 26, 2020
Ah. Olivia De Havilland has died. A link with the past gone. Starred in Captain Blood with Errol Flynn in 1935 for goodness sake. And of course Gone With The Wind. RIP.
— Stephen Mangan (@StephenMangan) July 26, 2020
Not a good weekend: the great Olivia de Havilland has passed
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 26, 2020
See more tributes to the legendary actor below:
“Playing good girls in the ’30s was difficult when the fad was to play bad girls,” she once said. “Actually, I think playing bad girls is a bore; I have always had more luck with good girl roles because they require more from an actress.” RIP #OliviaDeHavilland pic.twitter.com/G0OfiL78qU
— Loni Love (@LoniLove) July 26, 2020
— Andy Gotts (@DrGotts) July 26, 2020
Damn, Olivia de Havilland. Ripped from us too soon.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) July 26, 2020
So sorry to lose #oliviadehavilland (here w my great friend Roddy McDowall) We attended the same events many times. I was once seated between her and Robert Mitchum. What stories! A lovely lady and great actress. Always so gracious! #RIPOliviadeHavilland🌷 pic.twitter.com/wdvwEcFwnf
— Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) July 26, 2020
When Alfred Hitchcock died,I was 14. I remember wanting to watch one of his films that night, but there was no streaming, no DVD, and we didn't yet have a VHS player.
Tonight I can stream #OliviaDeHavilland movies (14 on Amazon Prime, none on Netflix) if I want to, and I do.
— mark cousins (@markcousinsfilm) July 26, 2020
Sad to hear #OliviaDeHavilland has died. When I wrote Reborn my dream was to have her play the older Bonnie Black in the Sandra Bullock movie we're doing at Netflix. My Adventures of Robin Hood poster just being framed this weekend, weirdly. A final link into the Golden Age. https://t.co/gdW6UwMoJq
— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) July 26, 2020
You cannot stream my favorite Olivia de Havilland movie, THE HEIRESS, anywhere currently. However, you *can* stream two gems, HOLD BACK THE DAWN and TO EACH HIS OWN, on Peacock only. I don't understand how any of this works.
— Scott Tobias (@scott_tobias) July 26, 2020
Because I’m a little bit crazy, I have a wall of autographs that I’ve collected over the years. #OliviadeHavilland has been watching me for a while. Every time we shot in Europe I wanted her to be in one of my movies (including #Sharknado). But she had taste. #RIP. pic.twitter.com/8pddEXabaf
— David Michael Latt (@DavidMLatt) July 26, 2020