Olivia de Havilland is 97!

This is a repost of a blog originally published at our website Olivia de Havilland – Lady of the Classic Cinema!  Please click on the link to visit the original post!
Scott Feinberg and Olivia de Havilland at Ms. De Havilland's home in Paris, France  May 26, 2013

Scott Feinberg and Olivia de Havilland at Ms. De Havilland’s home in Paris, France
May 26, 2013

Today is that special day, Olivia de Havilland’s birthday!  Born on July 1, 1916 in Tokyo, Japan to British parents, today marks Ms. De Havilland’s 97th birthday!  We wish her a beautiful day in her beloved Paris surrounded by friends, flowers, champagne, and celebration!

Without further ado, we present the 2013 Olivia de Havilland birthday blog!


A look back:  Olivia de Havilland from 1916 – 1932

The high school “hot spot,” according to Olivia, “was the Eatmore Creamery on North Santa Cruz Avenue, where you could get a keen milkshake for 10 cents. At Kirk and Bill’s just up the road, if I had enough pocket money, I could order that most delectable of concoctions, a root-beer float. Kirk and Bill were kind about extending credit, but they kept strict accounts. When I dropped by after an 18-year absence, they presented me with a bill dated 1934 and made out in the sum of $1.81. I paid it on the spot. Kirk and Bill trusted me for 20 years.”

Many who knew de Havilland during her childhood days in Saratoga and Los Gatos predicted she would have a successful life, as an actress or otherwise. It was during her years at Saratoga Grammar School that Olivia began to shine. She achieved top grades, played hockey, participated in school debates, served as associate editor of the school magazine, and won a public-speaking award. Despite serious stage fright, she appeared in an eighth-grade school production of Hansel and Gretel, followed by a pageant, Cinderella in the Redwoods, staged at Stanford University. She’d caught the acting bug.

Willys Peck, a former lawyer, a San Jose Mercury News editor and a columnist for the Saratoga News , remembers young Olivia as “the consummate Alice,” in the Foothill Club’s 1933 performance of Alice in Wonderland.

“Watching her,” said Peck, “you’d think, Olivia is Alice, she’s that convincing.”

~ October 29, 2003 in the Los Gatos Weekly Times

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Olivia de Havilland as an infant, with her father, Walter A. de Havilland, her mother, Lilian de Havilland and two Japanese nurses. Olivia was born in Japan, where her father had a successful patent law practice.
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10-month old Olivia de Havilland Tokyo, Japan in 1917!
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2-year old Olivia de Havilland
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Olivia de Havilland’s 8th grade class photo during 1929-1930 school year at Saratoga Grammar School in Saratoga, CA. Olivia is located on the second row, second from the left.
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Student body officers at Los Gatos High School, 1932. Olivia de Havilland, secretary. stands in front of her fellow officers, from left: president Rego Cacitti; vice president James Gibb; and treasurer Orion Kellan
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1932 LGHS Student Body Officers. Olivia deHavilland, front row, third from left, was elected secretary. She graduated from Los Gatos High in 1934 and quickly left for Hollywood.
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Olivia with her stunning and everlasting beauty and elegance! 15 years old – (1931 or 1932)

Olivia in 2012 – 2013!

As part of the tradition of honoring Olivia’s birthday, I try to include major highlights, statements, or public appearances of Ms. De Havilland over the previous year.  She is reportedly still very active, still lives in her home in Paris, and is often seen doing the readings in her church at The American Cathedral in Paris.   Since her 96th birthday, Ms. De Havilland’s most notable public contributions included releasing a statement of condolence on the passing of Ann Rutherford on July, 2012,  appearing on 60 minutes in November, 2012, and most recently photographed with reporter and blogger, Scott Feinberg who visited Ms. De Havilland in late May, 2013 at her home while covering the Cannes Film Festival in Paris.

Olivia de Havilland’s statement to the fans of Ann Rutherford 

July 29, 2012

Fans of Gone With the Wind were deeply saddened by the death of Ann Rutherford on June 11, 2012.  For the last 25 years Ann had been the most visible flag bearer and ambassador of the film.  Meeting fans, attending events and screenings, and giving much of herself back to the public that loved her and loved the film became the trademarks of Ann Rutherford. On July 29, 2012, GWTWfans gathered in Marietta, Georgia through an event organized by the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum to share our memories of Ann and give her one last goodbye.  Included in that service was a statement of condolence emailed from Ms. De Havilland.
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Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton, Evelyn Keyes as Suellen O’Hara, and Ann Rutherford as Carreen O’Hara in Gone With the Wind
I have at last been able to put some words together which I hope will be suitable at this morning’s service in Marietta. Here they are:In spirit I will be with you in Marietta today, joining Ann’s many friends there as they gather together to celebrate her life in a Memorial Service.

What a beautiful tribute this is, and how moving that it is being held in a place which brought her so much happiness, and among people who meant so much to her.

I am sure that, in sprit, she, too, will be there, full of love and gratitude.

My warmest regards,

Olivia de Havilland

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Ann Rutherford with Olivia de Havilland at the 2006 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences tribute to Olivia at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, CA
June 15, 2006 

 

Olivia de Havilland on CBS’s 60 Minutes 

November 11, 2012

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Sunday evening, November 11, 2012, Olivia de Havilland was included in the 60 Minutes story, “David McCullough’s heroes of history.”  The story followed US historian, David McCullough, through Paris as he relayed stories of 19th century Americans who traveled to Paris to broaden their horizons, increase their exposure to art, music, and architecture, and achieve a higher standard of education.  While in Paris, in May, 2012, David was honored at the residence of the US Ambassador.  Olivia was also present for that event.  In the 60 minutes clip, they cut to David standing at a microphone in the Ambassador’s Residence gleefully announcing “I just kissed Olivia de Havilland!” Then, he ran over and received a hug and kiss from Olivia again.  There are just a few seconds of McCullough and De Havilland speaking about living in Paris.  He asks her how she ended up in Paris and she says, without missing a beat, “A Frenchman” and then she laughs her joyous laugh and says again “A Frenchman.” (She is referring to her second husband, Pierre Galante, the former editor of Paris Match Magazine).  Olivia sums up her relationship with Paris with the following quote:“You feel that it belongs to you.  That’s what’s so magical, that it’s yours!”

David salutes Olivia with the famous classic film quote: “We’ll always have Paris.”

Olivia de Havilland interviewed by Scott Feinberg

May 26, 2013

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In late May and early June, Scott Feinberg, awards analyst and reporter for the Hollywood Reporter, lit up Twitter with reports about visiting with Ms. De Havilland.  Feinberg was apparently in Paris covering the Cannes Film Festival for American media outlets and while there interviewed Ms. De Havilland.  As of the writing of this blog, we have not found a published article from his interview.  We remain hopeful that there will be something soon.On June 10, two weeks after his interview, Feinberg made the following tweet and attached the photo above:  Since she’s so beloved, thought I’d share a pic of me w/ legend Olivia de Havilland post-interview in Paris 2 wks ago 

It was especially appropriate that Feinberg visited with Ms. De Havilland while covering the Cannes Film Festival this year.  Ms. De Havilland’s connection to Paris runs right to the heart of the Cannes Film Festival.  She was the first female president of the Jury in 1965 and it was an invitation to the Festival in 1953 that brought her to France for the first time.  She gave a humorous account of her invitation to Cannes, her flight over with her son Benjamin, and her reception in France in her 1961 book Every Frenchman has One in chapter one entitled “I’m not at all sure if you know that I’m alive…”

About six thousand miles away, on the other side of the Atlantic, the French government was busying itself with its usual occupations and, in addition, preparing for the Cannes Film Festival.  As the chestnut trees along the Champs Élysées were getting ready to bloom, the office of the Secrétaire Général put a lot of white envelopes in the mail; one of them was addressed to me.

When it arrived at my Hollywood apartment, I deflected my gaze from Benjamin for a moment and read the enclosed invitation.  I’d never been to France and I’d never been to a Festival, and after a fifth of a second of solemn deliberation I decided to accept.  Forthwith I sent a message to the French government, which had graciously agreed to provide my transportation to and from the Festival, that I’d be happy to come if it would send me two airplane tickets instead of one.

Do you know, that simple, frank little request absolutely rocked the French government?  And it’s a government that’s had its ups and downs.  The Secrétaire Général of the Festival went right over to the Secrétaire Général  of Paris Match, France’s most celebrated illustrated magazine, because the Secrétaire Général of Paris Match had actually been to Hollywood and had actually met some American actresses on home ground and could, no doubt, give some advice about my request.  He could and he did.  Seeing straight through my petition and seeing no reason why the French government should subsidize American romance, he said with clear, cogent brevity, ‘Non.’

So while Louella and Hedda were shocked because I was not in love, two French Secrétaire Générals were shocked because I was.  When I wasn’t.

When the Secrétaire Général of the Festival finally learned that my proposed companion, though male, was exactly three and a half years old, his French family spirit came to an immediate and joyful boil, and without further ado and by fastest courier he dispatched to me two airplane tickets instead of one.

A month later, as the plane bringing Ben and me to France circled over Orly Field in the midmorning mid-April sunshine, I speculated as to what the very first Frenchman I would meet would be like.  Unquestionably, he’d be dapper, with an Adolphe Menjou mustache.  Naturally he’d be gay, effervescent; he’d gesticulate.  He’d be voluble in French, expressive in English.  Of course he would kiss my hand.  And that would be charming.

The plane landed and Ben and I emerged into the tonic, sun-filled air.  We descended the ramp while the 580,000 photographers who hospitably greet each arriving Festival guest flashed every one of their 2,000,000 flash bulbs.  Then we approached the air terminal door where my American, German-born, French-speaking agent was waiting for us…


2013 and 2014 – 75th Anniversary Celebrations!

2013 and 2014 represent the major milestone of the 75th anniversary for two of Olivia’s most popular films, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Gone With the Wind.  
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Maid Marian in “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938)
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Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in “Gone With the Wind” (1939)

The Adventures of Robin Hood

 1938 ~ 2013

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On May 14, 2013, The Adventures of Robin Hood turned 75!  The Adventures of Robin Hood is a film that for many people was their first introduction to Olivia de Havilland.  Numerous fans have written about that first time of seeing Maid Marian on the screen in all of her technicolor glory! The film, and especially the most recent restoration, is glorious and Olivia is beautiful, wonderful, and magnificent in this film.  The Adventures of Robin Hood is still a special classic with fantastic actors including Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, and the legendary screen partnership of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn!Happy 75th Anniversary to the 1938 cast of The Adventures of Robin Hood and most especially to Olivia whose portrayal of Maid Marion is timeless!

Here is my favorite moment!

Gone With the Wind

1939 ~ 2014

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We’re technically still more than a year and a half away from the official 75th anniversary of the timeless classic, Gone With the Wind, for which Olivia was nominated for an Academy Award.  But, with the film’s anniversary falling on December 15, many people are already putting together celebratory plans to begin early in 2014!  By the time July 1 comes around next year, 75th anniversary celebrations will have likely already occurred at the TCM Film Festival in Hollywood and at the Gone With the Wind Museum in Marietta, GA.  So, in the spirit of celebrations that are months away, I want to give my warmest congratulations to Olivia de Havilland on the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind!This film has been a personal touchstone since I was 8 years old and Melanie has been to me an incredible light of generosity, empathy, and sincerity whose values are still important today.

A look back at celebrations of GWTW!

The 70th Anniversary – 2009

The official 70th anniversary celebration of Gone With the Wind was celebrated in 2009 in Marietta, GA. The climax of the weekend was the world premiere of the newly restored Blu-Ray version of Gone With the Wind screened at the Earl Smith Strand Theater in Marietta. Just prior to the screening of the film, the audience was treated to a message recorded by Olivia de Havilland specifically for this event. It was a remarkable and treasured moment as her voice filled the theater and touched every member of the audience!

The 65th Anniversary – 2004

For the 65th anniversary, GWTW was remastered and re-released for its first special box DVD set.  The crown jewel of the 2004 DVD was the nearly 1 hour special feature, Melanie Remembers.  Through the hour long special, 86 year old Olivia de Havilland shares with her audience her memories of testing for Melanie, being on the set of GWTW, and working with the cast including Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.  This was such a special tribute for all of the fans in celebration of the 65th Anniversary of GWTW!

The 50th Anniversary – 1989

On Sunday, March 12, 1989, Olivia de Havilland appeared at the People’s Choice Awards to accept the award for the People’s Choice for “All Time Favorite Motion Picture.”

Watch Olivia accept the award here.

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Gregory Peck and Olivia de Havilland during The 15th Annual People’s Choice Awards at Disney Studios in Burbank, California, United States. (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)

The 1967 Re-release

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View of Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. and actress Olivia De Havilland in a parade on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia celebrating the re-release of the motion picture Gone with the Wind. (1967)
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:Atlanta, Georgia: Tears glisten in the eyes of actress Olivia de Havilland as she nostagically “introduces” her costars in the world famous movie, Gone With the Wind. As the second world premiere of the 1939 film gotunder way, Miss de Havilland, sole survivor of the “big four,” wept as she introduced Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard. (October 4, 1967)
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Actress Olivia de Havilland weeps as she makes a sentimental journey backward in time 28 years, to the night of the first world premiere of famed movie Gone With the Wind.
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Olivia de Havilland arrives for the West Coast premier of the 70mm edition of the motion picture classic Gone With the Wind. The event was held at the Carthay Circle Theater where the original film premiered in 1939. (October 11, 1967)

The 20th Anniversary – 1959

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View of actress Olivia de Havilland in a car in the parade for the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the Gone With the Wind movie, in Atlanta, Georgia.
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View of Olivia de Havilland and Atlanta Mayor William Hartsfield in a car in the parade for the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind Premiere – 1939

This is my favorite photo of premiere night and so I will let it stand alone as a beacon in honor of the World Premiere of Gone With the Wind.

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Gone With the Wind Premiere Night, December 15, 1939 in Atlanta, Georgia.  
Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Margaret Mitchell, David O. Selznick, and Olivia de Havilland

Olivia’s 1938 & 1939 75th anniversary filmography

While The Adventures of Robin Hood and GWTW will most likely receive the most acclaim for reaching their 75th year, there are a total of eight Olivia de Havilland films to reach the milestone in 2013 and 2014.  They are listed below and linked to imdb for you to learn more!1938 – The Adventures of Robin Hood
1938 – Gold Is Where You Find It
1938 – Four’s A Crowd
1938 – Hard to Get
1939 – Wings of the Navy
1939 – Dodge City
1939 – Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
1939 – Gone With the Wind*

My Olivia de Havilland film of 2012 – 2013!

I have loved Olivia de Havilland’s work for a long time.  I wish I could say that I have seen everything, but due to sometimes limited access to her work, I cannot say that I have.  That being said, at 35 years old it is wonderful to still have films that I can discover for the first time.  I continue to expand my collection of her films.  This past year I saw a couple of her films for the first time.The film that I saw for the first time in 2012 and I continue to go back to is Light in the Piazza!

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I got this film as an early Christmas gift for myself.  In December, as the United States experienced another tragedy, I was looking for an escape from the perpetual 24 hour news cycle.  Although I had promised myself I would not open my Christmas gifts until the holiday, I found my escape in Light in the Piazza.This film was a wonderful surprise for me.  It has stayed with me for many reasons.  First, I love Italy and this film is a delightful trip to Italy.  I have been in many of the locations that were featured in the film.  Often I find myself wishing I were back in Europe and this film gives me that wonderful escape.  Secondly, this film is probably the most gentle film I have ever seen.  In the moment of national tragedy in the United States in
December 2012, this film was an incredible balm to my spirit. While beautiful and at times emotional, the film has a wonderful calming nature to it that beautifully combines with the Italian backdrop.

Olivia’s character, Meg Johnson, is everything you can imagine of a mid-century Olivia de Havilland film. She is confident, she is tender, she is competent, she is assertive, and she is protective of her daughter.  This character encompasses so many of the qualities that I aspire to in my own life.

I’m so happy to have found and own a copy of this film in my collection and I highly recommend it for any collection.

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Author’s Note

Olivia’s birthday is a great time to stop and consider how one person can connect so many generations together.  Olivia de Havilland was born before women could vote in the United States.  I have to remind myself of that fact, especially considering her professional body of work that she was able to accomplish.  At the time when she was born, the women of my family had little education and were merely hoping for a better life in their new country of America.  They could not imagine a college education and yet Olivia turned down a scholarship to Mills College to pursue a professional acting career.Through her career, expectations, and aspirations, she is personally responsible for overturning the studio contract system!  When she was blackballed by those very studios, Olivia found ways to persevere on radio and on the stage.

For me, Olivia de Havilland is a remarkable role model.  She was a professional working woman starting at age 18.  Throughout all that I have read about her, Olivia seemed to know what she wanted and she knew how to communicate to achieve her aspirations.  Olivia has learned how to manage and overcome tragedy and pain in her own life from difficulties in childhood to the divorces from both of her husbands to the tragic illness and death of her son.  Yet, from all who have spoken about their first-hand experiences with her, her spirit of empathy and generosity deeply connects with others.

It is with gratitude to Olivia, that I have compiled this blog for her 97th birthday.

My message to Olivia de Havilland on her 97th birthday!

To Olivia de Havilland,Happy Birthday, Ms. De Havilland!  There are few words that I can say to express my gratitude to you for being a touchstone in my life.  When I was 8 years old, I only knew you as Melanie.  When I was 10 I knew you as Maid Marian.  When I was 11 I watched you accept the People’s Choice Award for Gone With the Wind.  When I was a teenager, I discovered the murky world of Miriam Deering.  When I was 24 I had an impromptu Olivia de Havilland party in my college apartment at your appearance at the Academy Awards.  When I was 31 I was overcome with so many emotions as your voice filled the Strand Theater for the 70th anniversary of Gone With the Wind.

Although I may never get to meet you, I know your spirit and energy have made this world a better place.

Happy Birthday!

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Olivia de Havilland Films on TCM for March 2013

We are beginning a new monthly announcement of Olivia de Havilland films screening on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in the United States.  During March, 2013, there will be two Olivia de Havilland films on TCM: In This Our Life on March 15 at 5:00pm E.T. and The Strawberry Blonde on March 25 at 9:00am on March 25.


In This Our Life

Friday, March 15

5:00pm E.T

In this our life

Directed by: John Huston

Cast:  Bette Davis , Olivia de Havilland , George Brent 

Premiere Info: New York opening: 8 May 1942

Olivia de Havilland and Bette Davis in "In This Our Life"

Olivia de Havilland and Bette Davis in “In This Our Life”

LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE REVIEW:

D: John Huston. Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent, Dennis Morgan, Charles Coburn, Frank Craven, Billie Burke, Hattie McDaniel, Lee Patrick, Ernest Anderson. Fine drama of neurotic family with husband-stealing Davis ruining sister de Havilland’s life and eventually her own; Davis at histrionic height. Based on Ellen Glasgow novel. Walter Huston has cameo role as bartender in one scene.

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The Strawberry Blonde

March 25

9:00am E.T.

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Directed by: Raoul Walsh

Cast: James Cagney , Olivia de Havilland , Rita Hayworth

Release Date: 1941

James Cagney and Olivia  de Havilland in The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland in The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE REVIEW:

D: Raoul Walsh. James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Alan Hale, Jack Carson, George Tobias, Una O’Connor, George Reeves. Cagney’s dynamic in entertaining turn-of-the-century story of dentist infatuated with gold-digger Hayworth, and his subsequent marriage to de Havilland. Remade in 1948 as ONE SUNDAY AFTERNOON, the title of the 1933 Gary Cooper film of which this is a remake.

10 Years since Olivia de Havilland’s Oscar Appearance

It has been 10 years since Olivia de Havilland so graciously and wonderfully appeared on the Academy Awards.  This blog is both a tribute to that moment and my personal editorial commentary about the choice that was made a few weeks ago to remove all references to “The Academy Awards” and all references to this year being the 85th annual ceremony.  My opinions and editorial commentary are my own and are not those of Ms. De Havilland.

Olivia de Havilland after receiving her second Best Actress Oscar for "The Heiress"

Olivia de Havilland after receiving her second Best Actress Oscar for “The Heiress”

At the beginning of February, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that produces and gives out The Academy Awards, quietly dropped the name “The Academy Awards” and all references to this being the 85th ceremony.

“We’re rebranding it,” Oscar show co-producer Neil Meron told several media outlets earlier this month. “We’re not calling it ‘the 85th annual Academy Awards, which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It’s called ‘The Oscars.'”  The majority of the show’s posters and advertising materials focus on host Seth MacFarlane and the phrase “The Oscars,” with no mention of how long the Academy has been hosting this shindig and no use of the phrase “Academy Awards.”

This is an incredible move away from the storied history of The Academy Awards.  It’s a breathtaking way to ignore the artists of the past and to disassociate this audience from any connection with past movies and artists.

Ten years ago during the celebration of the “75th Annual Academy Awards” the approach was very different.  For an unforgettable 2 minutes the world was treated to an appearance by legendary actress Olivia de Havilland who floated across the stage to Max Steiner’s theme to “Gone With the Wind.” In that moment Olivia received a standing ovation from the entire audience and in just a few sentences she summed up the meaning of movies to today’s audience and gave recognition and honor to the past artists.

Olivia de Havilland at the 75th annual Academy Awards (2003)

Olivia de Havilland at the 75th annual Academy Awards (2003)

“This night is a memorable one for me, and so was that night 53 years ago.  Much has changed in our world since then.  But, what hasn’t changed is our love of the movies and their ability to inspire us and to help us through troubled times. Tonight we are celebrating Oscar’s 75th birthday and the great artists who have over the years added so much to our lives through their work.”

Watch Olivia de Havilland at the 75th Annual Academy Awards here.

I cannot describe my own feelings of jubilation as I watched this moment happen from my student apartment on my college campus.  I was in my early 20s (now my early 30s) and was so thrilled with the moment that I screamed with elation and in a matter of seconds introduced a couple girls with whom I lived to one of my favorite actresses, Olivia de Havilland.

I am so grateful that moment happened.  I have shared the video over and over with friends and fellow fans of Ms. De Havilland.  I have found I am not the only one who can describe in detail where I was and how I felt when Olivia de Havilland made this grand surprise appearance on The 75th Annual Academy Awards.  Furthermore, most of my friends and classmates from college, high school, and even elementary school all remember my love of classic films and Gone With the Wind.  In fact I even had several people at my 8th grade class reunion tell me how much they have come to enjoy Gone With the Wind and other classic films.

This year, it seems, there will be no tribute to the history of film and no acknowledgement of past artists.  For me that is a sad and disappointing situation.  “Old movies” have consciously been a part of my life since I was 9 years old.  I remember staying up late on the weekends to watch “All Night Movies on Channel 3” which brought me The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Yearling, National Velvet, The Little Princess, and other classics.

Even moreso for me have been those exciting moments sitting in the theater and seeing the connections made from the past to the present through the movies.  I remember being in middle school and watching Jurassic Park on the big screen for the first time.  What an exciting time of my life for this truer than life dinosaur film to come to the theaters.  All of my 8th grade friends who were at the theater with me that night collectively took a breath followed by all of us in unison saying “cooooooooool!”  Jurassic Park was and still is “cool.” But, a few years later when I was in high school and saw 1933 King Kong, I was stunned and thrilled.  That huge black Gorilla, King Kong, obviously created in a much more technology limited situation did amazing things like fight off and kill a T-Rex, climb the empire state building, and grab airplanes out of the sky.  Not only was King Kong “cool” but suddenly Jurassic Park wasn’t this film made out of 1 person’s technical genius, the groundwork had clearly been laid decades before and ran right through the middle of another of my favorite film makers, David O. Selznick!

The point of this is that movies aren’t made in a here and now vacuum.  The Academy Awards have an 85 year history and films extend beyond that. Of course each year of “The Oscars” is about recognizing those great achievements of that year. But, these films have been created on the foundation of a remarkable history and actively and purposefully removing all acknowledgement of that history to avoid being in “a musty way” is a disservice to both the artists and the audience.

Oscar Stories from Olivia de Havilland

Travels With Oscar

Article Written By: David Hutchings

Published in: InStyle, 10760830, Apr 2002, Vol. 9, Issue 4

Olivia de Havilland's two Oscars for Best Actress in  1946 and 1949

Olivia de Havilland’s two Oscars for Best Actress in 1946 and 1949

“When I was nominated for To Each His Own, I wore a pale blue organza dress from I. Magnin that had a marvelous hand-painted garland. Before going to the ceremony I went to a dinner at [screenwriter] Charlie Brackett’s. And as he was ladling this glorious madeira sauce onto my baked ham, he sprinkled me liberally with sauce. Every napkin at the table was used to try to rub it out. Luckily most fell on the garland so you really couldn’t see it. But I accepted my first Oscar wearing Madeira sauce undetected by even the sharpest eyes. Winning my second Oscar was an immense moment. Very few people had won twice in those days. It’s sobering—you feel a huge responsibility with the second one.” LIFE WITH OSCAR: “They are both in a bookcase that Christian Dior’s architect built for me. I first visited France in 1957, when I attended the Cannes Film Festival. As I got off the plane and breathed the Paris air, it smelled of champagne and I knew I would stay. I had both Oscars flown here, but when the one for The Heiress arrived, it was broken off at the base. I guess when French customs saw the word ‘heiress’ they thought I was smuggling uncut diamonds into the country. It amused me so much I’ve never had it fixed.”

Olivia de Havilland and David McCullough on 60 Minutes

Olivia de Havilland and David McCullough at the US Ambassador’s Residence in Paris, May, 2012

Sunday evening, November 11, 2012, Olivia de Havilland was included in the 60 Minutes story, “David McCullough’s heroes of history.”  The story followed US historian, David McCullough, through Paris as he relayed stories of 19th century Americans who traveled to Paris to broaden their horizons, increase their exposure to art, music, and architecture, and achieve a higher standard of education.  While in Paris, in May, 2012, David was honored at the residence of the US Ambassador.  Olivia was also present for that event.  In the 60 minutes clip, they cut to David standing at a microphone in the Ambassador’s Residence gleefully announcing “I just kissed Olivia de Havilland!” Then, he ran over and received a hug and kiss from Olivia, again.  There are just a few seconds of McCullough and De Havilland speaking about living in Paris.  He asks her how she ended up in Paris and she says, without missing a beat, “A Frenchman” and then she laughs her joyous laugh and says again “A Frenchman.” (She is referring to her second husband, Pierre Galante, the former editor of Paris Match Magazine).  Olivia sums up her relationship with Paris with the following quote:“You feel that it belongs to you.  That’s what’s so magical, that it’s yours!”   David salutes Olivia with the famous classic film quote: “We’ll always have Paris.”

“David McCullough’s Heroes of History” video is linked here

This story has been republished from my original website blog, Olivia de Havilland~Lady of the Classic Cinema

A Conversation with Olivia de Havilland

A Conversation with Olivia de Havilland.

Olivia de Havilland receiving The National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush in November, 2008

I recently found this interview with Olivia de Havilland done by PRX in 2009 or 2010 after Olivia was awarded The National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush in 2008.

A Conversation with Olivia de Havilland

This is one of the best interviews I have ever heard of Olivia. The topics cover everything from her early years to “Gone With the Wind” to her lawsuit against Warner Brothers to her two academy award winning performances in “To Each his Own” and “The Heiress.” We are lucky to have this interview done and archived by PRX!

I have spent many hours contemplating a conversation with Ms. De Havilland. I don’t know if it will ever happen. However, this interview comes really close to it. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy a wonderful conversation with Olivia de Havilland!

Olivia de Havilland 1952 “Candida” Program from Tulsa, OK

Last week while taking a lunch break, I visited one of the many local antique stores of Northwest Arkansas.  While I was looking for a new coffee table and something interesting to hang on my apartment walls.  I stumbled upon this treasure, A 1952 program from Olivia’s performance in “Candida” in Tulsa, Oklahoma!  I was ecstatic to find this unique treasure from Olivia’s stage career.

Front Cover of 1952 “Candida” program from Tulsa, Oklahoma starring Olivia de Havilland

I have especially enjoyed looking through this program.  It came with a package of programs, but, by far has the most advertisements of all of the programs.  So, I photographed it to share this fun vintage piece with other interested fans.

1952 “Candida” Program of Tulsa, OK – Theater Credits on Page 2

1952 “Candida” Program Pages 2-3

1952 “Candida” Program pages 4-5

1952 “Candida” program from Tulsa, OK – Pages 6-7

1952 “Candida” Program of Tulsa, OK – Page 8 Back Cover

The programs came as part of a package of programs from Tulsa, Oklahoma from the 1950s and 1960s. Below is a photo of all of the programs that came together. This is such a great find and I’m thrilled to now have this Olivia program as part of my collection!

Theater programs of Tulsa, Oklahoma from the 1950s and 1960s including 1952 production of Olivia de Havilland in “Candida”

1958 Interview of Olivia de Havilland explains the military jacket photo!

Well, I should start off saying welcome to my new blog space.  I am experimenting with Word Press because everyone is here and it’s much more Google Search friendly than the blog space on my Olivia de Havilland website, although I will post at both places, for sake of continuity.  Also, if you have arrived here hoping you have found Ms. De Havilland online, I must tell you that although I’ve heard rumors and a few stories of Ms. De Havilland’s presence online, I am not Olivia de Havilland and this blog has not been approved, endorsed, or even acknowledged by Ms. De Havilland or anyone representing her.  I am just a fan who likes to share my love and appreciation of Olivia de Havilland!

So, Friday I had the exciting opportunity to go through an old building and go peeking around in an old movie theater in an undisclosed location, in an undisclosed city. It was one of those wonderful things that happened by accident.  I wish I could have gone through all the “junk” I saw because there were probably some fun classic treasures.  But, alas, I only had about 10 minutes to look around and be in the place I really wasn’t suppose to be in.  Supposedly, the owner is fixing up the theater, but little work has been done on it in the last 2 years and it seems to be frozen in a state of future repair. It is one of my dreams to rescue a historical theater and bring it back to life as a community arts venue and classic film venue.  Perhaps, one day, the right opportunity will come my way.

Friday night, I was still basking in the afterglow of being in that old theater.  So, I made it home, put David O. Selznick’s version of “A Star is Born” into the DVD player, and began doing some searches for some new articles or photos of Olivia de Havilland that I had not discovered, before.  That is when I came upon the following article: “From the Stars and Stripes archives Olivia de Havilland recalls wartime shows, enjoys making similar type tours now.”  It is a fabulous article on Olivia discussing much of her life during after WWII.  It also gave me information about this fabulous photo I have featured on my website:

“The Oscar-winning actress, whose performances in “The Snake Pit” and “The Heiress” are regarded among the highlights in the history of the cinema, says she likes living in Paris. Business and social engagements keep her occupied, but she has found time in her schedule to keep appointments with some of her favorite people — U.S. servicemen. Appearing at U.S. military installations is one of the star’s old loves. It was her patriotic contribution during World War II. She earned the reputation for being one of the most faithful and favorite celebrities visiting isolated islands and battlefronts in the Pacific during World War II. She risked life and limb in this effort. Once she rode out a crippled plane over the ocean. Another time she came down with virus pneumonia, spent days in an island hospital before doctors finally could diagnose her near-critical case. She calls herself a “50-cent-a-year” woman, because she is presently under contract with the Army’s Special Services for personal appearances for the next two years in Germany, France, Italy or at whatever installation in Europe where she may be invited. She Is paid $1 for the contract.  Last year she was made a honorary member of the 11th Airborne Div and now one of her prized possessions is the khaki jacket tailored to her measurements bearing the 11th’s patch on one sleeve and the identification patch, “de Havilland” across the chest.”

At her home in Paris in 1958, actress Olivia de Havilland models a jacket given to her when she was made an honorary member of the 11th Airborne Division.
RED GRANDY/STARS AND STRIPES

I found the above photo several years ago and knew that it probably had something to do with Olivia’s service by visiting American Troops during WWII, but I didn’t know anything more than that.  So, it’s great to find an article with the photo and a reference to the jacket!  I wonder if she still has it?

The article is a great read and goes on to talk about her children and her new life in Paris.  It was written just before the national release of “The Proud Rebel.” Olivia talks about attending a premiere of the film in Atlanta, “I’m not sure whether they’re going to like me in Atlanta this time,” she said before leaving Paris. “Last time I was the shining example of Southern womanhood. This time it’s also a Civil War film, but I’m on the other side.”

I’d say you would always be welcome in Atlanta, Ms. De Havilland!