Sunday, July 01, 2018

Happy Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!

Olivia de Havilland turned 102 today. This legendary actress was born in Tokyo to British parents in 1916 and has appeared in over 50 films during her illustrious career, earning five Oscar nominations and two gold statuettes for Best Actress -- one for To Each His Own (1946) and the other for The Heiress (1949).

To many moviegoers, de Havilland gave her most memorable performance as Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind (1939). “As Melanie, de Havilland is the perfect picture of purity, especially shining when introducing Scarlett O’Hara to the tongue waggers at husband Ashley’s birthday party,” writes Richard Teague in his book, Reel Spirit: A Guide to Movies that Inspire, Explore and Empower. But this talented actress also galvanized attention in roles leaning more to the darker side in films like Dark Mirror (1946) where she portrayed twin sisters -- one a disturbed murderer. 

The list of directors de Havilland has worked with reads like a Filmmaking Who’s Who; it includes such famous names as John Huston, Victor Fleming, Anatole Litvak, Mitchell Leisen, Stanley Kramer and William Wyler. She co-starred with luminaries like Charles Boyer, Richard Burton, Montgomery Clift, Joseph Cotton, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Ralph Richardson and Errol Flynn. 

Flynn appeared with de Havilland in one of my favorite adventure films, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). I own the video of that terrific movie and still watch it frequently. The chemistry between Flynn as Robin Hood and de Havilland as Maid Marian simply can’t be matched in terms of good-natured bantering and mutual attraction. That’s probably why these two actors were paired in seven more films. 

Happy Birthday, dear Olivia de Havilland. 

And thanks for your many terrific film performances! 

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home