Olivia de Havilland is mourning the death of her sister, Joan Fontaine. She is reported as telling her friends, ” I’ll never forget her.”
The question is – will she now also forgive her? The sisters were feuding for most of their lives; their bitter quarrels were legendary. But, on Monday she issued a statement saying she was ‘shocked and saddened’ by Joan’s death on Sunday at the age of 96.
Olivia and her sister both enjoyed long and illustrious careers in the movie business. Both were nominated for an Oscar in 1941 for Best Actress; Joan Fontaine won it for her role in the Hitchcock film ” Suspicion.”
Talking about the Oscar ceremony years later, Ms Fontaine said:
“All the animus we’d felt toward each other as children, the hair pullings, the savage wrestling matches, the time Olivia fractured my collarbone, all came rushing back in kaleidoscopic imagery. My paralysis was total. I felt Olivia would spring across the table and grab me by the hair. I felt age 4, being confronted by my older sister. Damn it, I’d incurred her wrath again!”
Subsequently, Olivia de Havilland won not just one, but TWO Oscars for leading actress. The first in 1947 for her role in “To Each His Own”, and the second in 1950 for “The Heiress.” When Fontaine tried to congratulate her for the 1947 award, Ms De Havilland ignored her. At the time, a spokesman said: ” This goes back for years and years, ever since they were children.”
Olivia de Havilland is now almost 97 and lives in a luxury apartment block close to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. She is hugely respected in France and was awarded the Legion of Honor by the then President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010.
Joan Fontaine once told The Hollywood Reporter: ” I married first, won the Oscar before Olivia did, and if I die first, she’ll undoubtedly be livid because I beat her to it.”
Image: Getty Images