Having worked in over 50 movies in her career, even at the age of 103, the last surviving cast member of 'Gone With The Wind', Olivia de Havilland is as gorgeous as ever.
Even as Gone With The Wind celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2019, the iconic film continued to set new benchmarks. The special showings of the classic movie held in honor of the jubilee, went on to generate a whopping $2.23 million in the box office, setting a new record as the highest-grossing classic film for Fathom Events. It's quite something that the 1939 movie has achieved this feat over four days (in 2019) with just six screenings. Much like the Academy Award-winning film, its star Olivia de Havilland holds legendary status within the entertainment industry. Also, at 103 years old, she is as gorgeous as ever.
Kirk Douglas and Olivia de Havilland, both born in 1916, at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953.— The Film Stage 📽 (@TheFilmStage) February 6, 2020
The actress, who is one of the last living actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood, will turn 104 this July. pic.twitter.com/jjhISeJp2E
The last surviving member of the cast, de Havilland, who turns 104 this year in July, has had an illustrious career in Hollywood. Although she retired from acting about three decades ago, she continues to be admired and respected within the fraternity as one of the best actresses of all time.
Apart from her shining resume as an artist, the star also holds the honor of being the oldest person to be ever to be appointed a "Dame Commander" by Queen Elizabeth II. The title was bestowed upon her when she attended the monarch's birthday, prior to celebrating her 101st birthday on July 1, 2017.
Olivia de Haviland, superviviente casi única (junto a Kirk) del viejo Hollywood, es Dama Comendadora de la Orden del Imperio Británico. pic.twitter.com/T9xo1FvBBC— Hombre Revenido (@hombrerevenido) March 14, 2019
Speaking to People about being bestowed with the honor, the former actress stated that she is "extremely proud that the Queen has appointed me a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire." According to The Epoch Times, de Havilland further spoke on the subject, saying, "To receive this honor as my 101st birthday approaches is the most gratifying of birthday presents." One of the most notable films of her career, Gone With The Wind, portrayed the lives of southern Americans during the civil war in 1861. In the movie, Olivia delivered a memorable performance as the character Melanie Wilkes.
#TrophyUnlocked's #SaturdayMorning #Review takes a long overdue look at Gone With the Wind (1939). Starring: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDonald. Directed by Victor Fleming. #Romance https://t.co/vsKQG1xo6l pic.twitter.com/aj5OYZwxTO— David Hankins (@lionsroar91406) March 16, 2019
In the film, Wilkes stood shoulder to shoulder with the lead character Scarlett O’Hara as a worthy conflicting love interest. Although she played the character to perfection, during a past interview with Vanity Fair, Olivia reportedly said that she couldn't initially relate with Wilkes when she read Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind, on which the film is based. However, Sidney Howard's version of the story for the film's screenplay changed things completely for the actress. So much so, that not only did she identify with the character, she even grew to admire her.
"But when I read Sidney Howard’s wonderful script, Melanie seemed like a totally different character. I liked her, I admired her, I loved her!" de Havilland said. In fact, she went on to bag an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actress for her brilliant portrayal of Wilkes. Although her fans still believe she deserved to win the award for her work in the movie, she wouldn't hold the iconic golden statuette until much later. While Gone With The Wind failed to make her an Academy Award winner, the star won her first Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the 1946 film To Each His Own.
Here is Olivia de Havilland in her first winning Oscar dress, when she won for To Each His Own. This dress was designed by the first African-American to become a noted fashion designer, Ann Lowe. Later in her career, Lowe also designed Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress. #Oscars @tcm pic.twitter.com/vqhwn8RurU— Lara Gabrielle (@backlotsfilm) February 25, 2019
de Havilland went on to win her second Oscar three years later in 1950, in the Best Actress category for her performance in The Heiress. In the span of her career from 1935 to 1988, the 103-year-old has worked in over 50 films. It all started for the British-American actress with her stage debut as a child in a production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Apart from Gone With The Wind, Olivia's work in the 1948 film The Snake Pit is also slated by many as one of her best works and an incredible contribution to the entertainment industry as a whole.
Olivia de Havilland in a publicity photo for The Snake Pit (1948) pic.twitter.com/JrUceFwcY1— Conrad J. Barrington (@cjubarrington) August 2, 2018
She has starred alongside the legendary Australian-born American actor Errol Flynn in a total of eight films, namely, Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), Four’s a Crowd (1938), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Dodge City (1939), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941). To this day, Olivia de Havilland remains one of the most gorgeous stars the world has ever seen. So, what exactly is the secret to the icon's longevity? How does one age like fine wine in an incredible manner that she has?
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in "The Charge of the Light Brigade", (1936)— Bushman (@MrBushman1) March 19, 2019
I love this film pic.twitter.com/uEwp9bwa7c
de Havilland claims she owes it all to "the three L’s – love, laughter, and light." Also, she has maintained a sharp mind thanks to her habit of doing The New York Times crossword puzzle every day since she was a teenager. A resident of Paris, de Havilland spoke to People in 2016 as she celebrated her milestone 100th birthday. When asked if there any piece of advice she would like to give her younger self, she said, "Take a long leave of absence from the Warner contract and go to Mills College, where the scholarship I had won in 1934 is still waiting for me!"
The star has also made a lot of headlines for her troubled relationship with her sister, fellow Oscar winner Joan Fontaine. Remarking on their dynamic as sisters, she said, "On my part, it was always loving, but sometimes estranged and, in the later years, severed. … ‘Dragon Lady,’ as I eventually decided to call her, was a brilliant, multi-talented person, but with an astigmatism in her perception of people and events which often caused her to react in an unfair and even injurious way." Well-spoken, gracious, elegant, and gorgeous, we hope this legendary actress lives on forever.
Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine are the only sisters to have won Academy Awards for outstanding lead actress. Between them they have three Oscars although Joan was the first to win, Olivia earned 2 to Fontaine's 1 pic.twitter.com/0OxUk5kHMx— 💛DesiraeSunshine🌞 (@DesiraeDream) February 22, 2019