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Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland dies at 104

From the Hollywood Reporter -

Olivia de Havilland - Warner Bros.

The two-time Oscar winner, so memorable in 'Gone With the Wind,' 'The Adventures of Robin Hood,' 'The Snake Pit' and 'The Heiress,' broke free of Warner Bros. with a watershed court triumph in the 1940s.


Olivia de Havilland, the delicate beauty and last remaining star of Gone With the Wind who received her two acting Oscars after helping to take down Hollywood’s studio system with a landmark legal victory in the 1940s, died Sunday. She was 104.


De Havilland died of natural causes at her home in Paris, where she had lived for more than 60 years, publicist Lisa Goldberg announced.


She was the older sister (by 15 months) and rival of fellow Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, who died in December 2013 at age 96. Fontaine won her only Oscar in 1942 for Suspicion, beating out fellow nominee de Havilland.


De Havilland captured her best actress Oscar statuettes for To Each His Own (1946), in which she played an unwed mother who is forced to give up her baby and loves him from afar, and The Heiress (1949), where she starred as a vulnerable woman who falls hard for a handsome journeyman (Montgomery Clift) against the wishes of her emotionally abusive father (Ralph Richardson). She was the oldest surviving Oscar-winning actor.


For her performance as the sweet and suffering Melanie in Gone With the Wind (1939), de Havilland earned her first Oscar nom, but in the supporting actress category, she lost to fellow castmember Hattie McDaniel.


She also was nominated for her turns in Hold Back the Dawn (1941), where she played a spinsterish schoolteacher wooed by Charles Boyer, and The Snake Pit (1948), a harrowing film that had de Havilland's character in an asylum for reasons she can’t recall. It was one of the earliest films to attempt a realistic portrayal of mental illness and perhaps the most challenging role of her fabled career.


In addition to her award-winning turns, de Havilland was a true star, playing in a number of the day’s most popular movies. She appeared in nine films at Warner Bros. opposite the dashing Errol Flynn, including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), where she played a sweet Maid Marian, and she teamed with director Michael Curtiz nine times as well.


De Havilland also appeared in a handful of TV movies during the 1980s, including Murder Is EasyThe Royal Romance of Charles and Diana and, in her last credited role, 1988’s The Woman He Loved, playing Queen Anne.


She penned a satirical book, Every Frenchman Has One. Published in 1962, it was a wry autobiographical account of her attempts to adapt to French life. In 1965, she became the first female jury president at the Cannes Film Festival.


In the summer of 2010, de Havilland recorded an introduction that was played at an Academy screening of The Dark Mirror (1946), in which she played twins, one evil and one good. In one of her final public appearances, she attended the Cesar Awards in France in February 2011 and received a standing ovation.


In the 2004 documentary Melanie Remembers: Reflections by Olivia de Havilland, she explained why she wanted to play Melanie when most everyone else in Hollywood was going after the Scarlett role.


"It was the character of Melanie that attracted me most because of her admirable qualities and the values that meant so much to her and meant so much to me," she said. "I wanted to perpetuate these values. And the perfect way to do that of course would be to play the part of Melanie."