Friday, July 1, 2011
birthday gal olivia de havilland. 95! she was the lovely and understanding 'melanie' who won 'ashley' for her husband, against all the tricks and wishes of 'scarlett o'hara.' who wouldn't want to win the affections of someone played by leslie howard?
olivia, who has worked with all the greats, was absolutely divine as the good girl who falls for the bad guy in 1941's 'hold back the dawn.' i think i love her sister joan fontaine's work more than she does but you know, sibling rivalry. both olivia and joan made terrific films. i really cannot imagine one playing the role done by the other. they were both so good yet so different. ain't that how sisters ought to be? perhaps their famous feud had something to do with... a hat!
'The 1941 Oscar's marked the first round in the battle of the feuding sisters, when both of them were nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. Joan received the nod for Suspicion, her second film with Alfred Hitchcock directing her, while Olivia was recognized for Hold Back the Dawn.
Joan actually didn't plan on attending the ceremony, stating that she had to be up early the next morning, however, older sister, Olivia twisted her arm, stating, "You have to be there. Your absence would look odd."
Gingers Rogers presented the Best Actress award, while the two sisters sat next to each other at the Selznick table. When she called out Joan's name, Joan remembers how she just froze. "Get up there," her sister nudged. Joan remembers bursting into tears at that very moment. "All the animus we felt toward each other as children," she recalled. "The hair pulling, the savage wrestling matches, the time Olivia fractured my collar bone, all came rushing back in kaleidoscopic imagery. My paralysis was total ... I felt age four, being confronted by my older sister. Damn it! I incurred her wrath again."'