Olivia de Havilland


Alibi Ike
The Irish in Us
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Captain Blood


Anthony Adverse
The Charge of the Light Brigade


Call It a Day
The Great Garrick
It’s Love I’m After


Gold Is Where You Find It
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Four’s a Crowd
Hard to Get


Wings of the Navy
Dodge City
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Gone with the Wind


My Love Came Back
Santa Fe Trail


The Strawberry Blonde
Hold Back the Dawn
They Died with Their Boots On


The Male Animal
In This Our Life


Thank Your Lucky Stars
Princess O’Rourke


Government Girl


To Each His Own
The Well-Groomed Bride
The Dark Mirror


The Snake Pit


The Heiress


My Cousin Rachel


That Lady
Not as a Stranger


The Ambassador’s Daughter


The Proud Rebel




Light in the Piazza


Lady in a Cage
Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte


The Adventurers


Pope Joan


Airport ’77


The Swarm


The Fifth Musketeer


I Remember Better When I Paint


Olivia de Havilland was nominated for four Best Actress in a Leading Role Academy Awards and won two:

Hold Back the Dawn (1941), To Each His Own (1946) WON, The Snake Pit (1948), The Heiress (1949) WON

She was also nominated for one Best Actress in a Supporting Role Academy Award for Gone with the Wind (1939)

I would prefer to live forever in perfect health, but if I must at some time leave this life, I would like to do so ensconced on a chaise longue, perfumed, wearing a velvet robe and pearl earrings, with a flute of champagne beside me and having just discovered the answer to the last problem in a British cryptic crossword. ~ Olivia de Havilland  

Olivia de Havilland: Learn more about her, review her filmography and more

Biographies, Actress

Olivia de Havilland ‘s career spanned from 1935 to 1988. She appeared in 49 feature films, and was one of the leading movie stars during the golden age of Classical Hollywood. She is best known for her early screen performances in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Gone with the Wind (1939), and her later award-winning performances in To Each His Own (1946), The Snake Pit (1948), and The Heiress (1949).

Born in Tokyo to British parents, de Havilland and her younger sister Joan moved with their mother to California in 1919. They were brought up by their mother Lilian, a former stage actress who taught them drama, music, and elocution. De Havilland made her acting debut in amateur theatre in Alice in Wonderland. Later, she appeared in a local production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which led to her playing Hermia in Max Reinhardt’s stage production of the play and a movie contract with Warner Bros. Olivia de Havilland made her screen debut in Reinhardt’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1935. Her career playing demure ingénues opposite popular leading men, including Errol Flynn, with whom she made nine films. They became one of Hollywood’s most popular romantic on-screen pairings. She achieved her initial popularity in romantic comedy films, such as The Great Garrick (1937), and in Westerns, such as Dodge City (1939). Her natural beauty and refined acting style made her particularly effective in historical period dramas, such as Anthony Adverse (1936), and romantic dramas, such as Hold Back the Dawn (1941). In her later career, she was most successful in dramas, such as Light in the Piazza (1962), and unglamorous roles in psychological dramas including Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964).

In addition to her film career, de Havilland continued her work in the theatre, appearing three times on Broadway, in Romeo and Juliet (1951), Candida (1952), and A Gift of Time (1962). She also worked in television, appearing in the successful miniseries, Roots: The Next Generations (1979), and television feature films, such as Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. During her film career, de Havilland won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress, and the Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup. For her contributions to the motion picture industry, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her lifetime contribution to the arts, she received the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush, and was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

After romantic relationships with Howard Hughes, James Stewart, and John Huston, she married author Marcus Goodrich, with whom she had a son, Benjamin. Following her divorce from Goodrich in 1953, she moved to Paris and married Pierre Galante, an executive editor for the French journal Paris Match, with whom she had a daughter, Gisèle. In 1962, she published Every Frenchman Has One, an account of her life in France.

De Havilland and Joan Fontaine are the only siblings to have won Academy Awards in a lead acting category. A lifelong rivalry between the two actresses resulted in an estrangement that lasted over three decades. De Havilland has lived in Paris since 1956, and celebrated her 101th birthday on July 1, 2017. In June 2017, two weeks before her 101st birthday, de Havilland was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to drama. She is the oldest woman ever to receive the honor. In a statement, she called it “the most gratifying of birthday presents”.

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