RIP, Olivia de Havilland

(Above source: Needpix)

Olivia de Havilland, the Oscar-winning actress who was acclaimed for such films as Gone with the Wind (1938), To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949), passed away at her home in Paris on July 25. She was 104 years old.

Olivia de Havilland Gone with the Wind
(Above: With Leslie Howard. Source: WIkimedia)

De Havilland, who retired more than three decades ago (her last film, The Woman He Loved, was a 1988 TV movie), was born in Tokyo, Japan, to British parents on July 1, 1916. She arrived in Hollywood in the 1930s and is probably best known for her Oscar-nominated portrayal of sweet Melanie Hamilton in the controversial 1938 epic, Gone with the Wind (you can find that film on HBO Max, with an introduction that attempts to contextualize its racial depictions. The film is also available to rent, sans commentary, for $3.99 from Vudu and other services.)

Oscar-Winning Olivia De Havilland

De Havilland won Best Actress Oscars for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949).

In To Each his Own, De Havilland plays an unwed mother who is forced to give up her infant son and then watch him prosper from afar as an adult. (Currently this film is available only on VHS tape!)

In The Heiress, directed by William Wyler, De Havilland falls for a young man (Montgomery Clift) whom her father (Ralph Richardson) suspects is after her money. (Again, no streaming options although you can get it on Blu-Ray or DVD).

Other Films

De Havilland made over 60 film and television appearances in a career spanning more than 60 years.

You can watch two of her films — Sante Fe Trail (1940) and The Proud Rebel (1958) — for free on The Film Detective, YouTube or right here on The Savvy Screener.

Santa Fe Trail is set in 1854, with Jeb Stuart (Errol Flynn), George Custer (Ronald Reagan) and other West Point graduates assigned to pacify Kansas so construction on the Santa Fe railroad can proceed. De Havilland plays Kit Carson Holliday, with Raymond Massey as abolitionist John Brown.

The Proud Rebel stars Alan Ladd as a former Confederate soldier whose son goes mute after witnessing the death of his mother in the Civil War. De Havilland is Linnett Moore, a frontier woman who cares for the boy and falls in love with Ladd.

The Film Detective channel is free with ads online and via iOSRokuApple TVFire TVSling TVStirr and DistroTV. If you want to access its extensive library of movies and shows on-demand, without commercials, it costs $3.99 per month or $34.99 per year. For more information, visit The Film Detective.

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About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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