Star of stage and screen, the brilliant Olivia de Havilland recently passed away at her Paris home at the age of 104. Dame Olivia got her start opposite Errol Flynn, playing the damsel in distress to his swashbuckling hero.
Personally, I've been a fan of hers since the fourth grade, when I watched her bring to life the role of Melanie Hamilton in Margaret Mitchell's epic, Gone with the Wind. Historically, the captivating story of Scarlett O'Hara has built a dedicated fan base, but it also romanticizes slavery. Miss Melly is my favorite character, even though I'm probably more like hot-headed Scarlett. I've always wanted to be calm and strong like Melanie - she was the original Steel Magnolia. Her supporting role earned de Havilland the first of five Oscar nominations.
Olivia had a seriously tempestuous relationship with her famous sister, Joan Fontaine. However, they remain the only siblings to both win major Academy Awards.
A few years ago, she resurfaced when her publisher re-released her book about moving to Paris. This book is witty and I enjoyed reading it thoroughly.
At 104 years of age, Olivia de Havilland was the last of the actresses who helped create The Golden Age of Hollywood. I've always thought she was glamorous and wonderful and she will be very missed.
Olivia de Havilland 1916 - 2020