Olivia de Havilland passed away of natural causes at her home in Paris, where she had lived for more than 60 years, it said, citing her publicist.– Advertisement –
Olivia de Havilland, the star of the classic movie ‘Gone With the Wind’, has died. She was 104. The news of her demise was confirmed by her former lawyer Suzelle M. Smith to Variety.
“Last night, the world lost an international treasure, and I lost a dear friend and beloved client. She died peacefully in Paris,” the publication quoted Smith as saying.
Olivia de Havilland made her film debut in the 1935 A Midsummer Night’s Dream. At the time. Warner Bros signed her to a seven-year contract and cast her in several films thereafter. However, de Havilland was not happy with the work she was cast in, and was even suspended by Warner Bros on several occasions. However, on the expiry of her contract, the studio claimed the actress owed it an extra six months of work for the time that was lost while she remained suspended, which she countered in court.
“Hollywood actors will be forever in Olivia’s debt,” de Havilland’s friend and frequent co-star Bette Davis wrote in her autobiography, “The Lonely Life.”
De Havilland later recalled how rewarding the ruling was for her.
“I was very proud of that decision, for it corrected a serious abuse of the contract system — forced extension of a contract beyond its legal term. Among those who benefited by the decision were the actors who fought in World War II and who, throughout that conflict, were on suspension,” the actress told the Screen Actors Guild in a 1994 interview.
In 1940, the veteran actor won the Oscars for her performance in ‘The Heiress’ and ‘To Each His Own’. She then was given the Academy Award nominations for ‘Gone With the Wind’, ‘The Snake Pit’, and ‘Hold Bach the Dawn’.
Olivia de Havilland’s acting career included two Academy Awards, a victory over Hollywood’s studio system and a long-running feud with sister Joan Fontaine that was worthy of a screenplay.