January 03, 2020

‘Gone With the Wind’ Actress Olivia De Havilland, 103, Life Story

Share this pen


Olivia De Havilland, of "Gone with the Wind," has lived a life of fame, glam, and glitz, but her most significant achievement is perhaps outliving the people she became famous with.

In July 2019, Olivia De Havilland turned 103, making her the only cast of "Gone with the Wind" to hit the milestone. She is also the only one still alive from the cast. 

De Havilland rose to fame after starring as "Melanie Hamilton Wilkes" in "Gone with the Wind" in 1939. The role got her five Academy Award nominations.

Olivia de Havilland arrives at the 36th Cesar Awards at Theatre du Chatelet on February 25, 2011 in Paris, France | Photo: Getty Images



While the classic movie shot the actress forward, her first notable role was four years earlier, in "Captain Blood." She followed that with the '38 film, "The Adventures of Robin Hood."

At the time she starred in those movies, De Havilland was in her early 20s, and one of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood. The "The Wizard of Oz" star capitalized on those successes to have a successful career with over forty movie roles.



The actress in the early '40s starred in "Hold Back the Dawn." The film got her Academy Award nominations, but she lost to her sister, Joan Fontaine, for her role in "Suspicion."

Getting older agrees with the actress; she wouldn't trade it for anything in the world

At this time, De Havilland had a falling out with Warner Bros after asking for more stringent roles. She got sidelined for a short while, but had a massive comeback in '47 in the film, "To Each His Own."

Olivia de Havilland arrives at the 36th Cesar Awards at Theatre du Chatelet on February 25, 2011 in Paris, France | Photo: Getty Images



The movie earned her an Oscar, and in the years that followed, the actress starred in several productions that delighted critics and got her high praise. The "Alibi Ike" star once said of her time in Hollywood,

"I want respect, respect, for doing a difficult job."

De Havilland got that and much more, and her career continued to soar until she retired in the '80s. Her last appearance behind the camera is in the TV movie, "The Woman He Loved," in '88.



The actress is retired and enjoying a quiet life at her home in Paris, France. Getting older agrees with the actress, and she wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Born in Tokyo in 1916 to British parents, De Havilland moved to California at the age of three. She and Fontaine both loved the theater, and their success at it created a rift between them for years.

Screen legend Olivia de Havilland appears on stage prior to the screening of "The Heiress", in which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1949, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Bing Theater on June 18, 2006 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images


The two never mended fences — at least not to the public's knowledge — until Fontaine passed away in 2013 at the age of 96. Asides from her sister, the "Hold Back the Dawn" star's family are her two sons from two different marriages.

De Havilland wowed the world with her talent in her active years. She is one of the most talented actresses to grace the big screen and will forever be a Hollywood legend.