Olivia de Havilland – The Last Great Star of The Golden Age of Hollywood Turns 100 Today
Olivia De Havilland February 1939 photo: George Hurrell
When you think about the Golden Age of Hollywood during the 1930s you realize practically everyone from that era of fabulous film-making is dead.
Except one great star – the two time Oscar winning actress, Olivia de Havilland who turns 100 on July 1, 2016.
Olivia de Havilland is the last link to a Hollywood that has vanished. When Olivia de Havilland began her film career in 1935 it was a time when movie studios cultivated, built up and groomed actors and taught them the elements of acting, song and dance. The studios then placed actors in several films a year to build their popularity with extensive publicity behind them.
The downside was that the studios also controlled the lives of the stars, and many of them did not appreciate the meddling into their private lives. Many movie stars resented the way they were treated by the studios and the non-stop work schedule. But a lot of the movies the stars made are considered classics today and the stars the studios created became legendary.
Olivia de Havilland has starred with all the past film greats. To name them all would be an extensive list, but here are a few: Errol Flynn in many movies; Clark Gable, Leslie Howard and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind; Frederic March; Claude Rains; James Cagney; Rita Hayworth; Charles Boyer; Bette Davis; Frank Sinatra and dozens of other stars – every one of them are now all gone.
Olivia de Havilland wrote a short memoir in 1962, Every French Man Has One (Random House). She has said she was working on writing a real autobiography for several years now. I just hope it does get completed and sees the light of day. She has so much to say and there is a lot she has never revealed, including the reasons behind her famous feud with her sister Joan Fontaine and the details of her relationship with Errol Flynn which apparently was platonic.
I know there is a time Olivia de Havilland will no longer be with us and that makes me very sad. But it makes me happy to know that Olivia de Havilland is according to all reports in very good health and loving her life in France where she resides.
Presented below is a short gallery of Olivia de Haviiland in vintage photographs many of which have not been seen since they were originally released. I’ve read Continue reading →