Olivia de Havilland was undoubtedly one of the best actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood. She also played a pivotal role in the entertainment industry- establishing more freedom for actors. And now, we have lost the actress at 104. This comes as nothing but grief among everyone in the industry and fans alike. We, at The Hollywood Tribune, have collected some of de Havilland’s best work so that you can reminisce her charisma.
Gone With The Wind (1939)
It would be sinfully wrong of us if we did not start the list with Gone With The Wind, the movie that will always be remembered and praised. It is perhaps one of the best Olivia de Havilland movies. Olivia de Havilland opted for the role of the sweet and generous Melanie Hamilton, instead of the widely sought-after fierce Scarlett.
At just 22, de Havilland amazes us all with her impeccable portrayal of the character. Gone with the Wind also marks the first time the actress was nominated for an Oscar.
The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938)
Considered to be de Havilland’s big break, The Adventures Of Robin Hood is the most famous movie starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland as partners. Flynn plays the iconic Robin Hood, a hero to the poor and villain to the rich. Lady Marian, the beautiful yet strong high lady who sees the goodness in Robin and inevitably falls for him, is played by de Havilland.
The Heiress (1949)
The Heiress marks the second time de Havilland earned the Oscar for Best Actress. Inspired by a play of the same name, the actress convinced the director William Wyler to make the movie. She plays the naïve Catherine Sloper who is easily influenced by her father. When she falls for the seemingly innocent Morris Townsend (played by Montgomery Clift), her father accuses the man of wooing her only for the riches.
The Snake Pit (1948)
Set during a time where melodramas were widely preferred, The Snake Pit successfully showcases the harsh realities of mental asylums. Olivia de Havilland plays the lead, Virginia Cunningham, a schizophrenic who ends up in an asylum, unable to remember how.
To pursue this role of the mentally disordered, de Havilland did extensive research from visiting mental asylums regularly to observing orthodox treatments like hydrotherapy and electric shock treatment.
After the release of The Snake Pit, mental asylums all over the US were forced to revise harsh treatment procedures.
Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964)
Olivia de Havilland played the heartless villain Miriam Deering in Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte, very different from her usual do-good roles. And surely, the actress has done justice to the character, despite being a rather petite and harmless-looking woman.
Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte was initially supposed to be the reunion of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? But due to Crawford’s unavailability, de Havilland was given the role.
To Each His Own (1946)
Jody Norris of To Each His Own gave de Havilland the “Oscar-winner” tag. The sweet young Norris falls in love with a World War I pilot (played by John Lund), and soon enough, becomes pregnant. Unfortunately, she loses her lover to war, and because of societal pressures, gives up her son for adoption.
To Each, His Own was the first film that de Havilland did after the success of her lawsuit against Warner Bros., And she won the Oscar for it too!
It is indeed a very sad day for the entire Hollywood and our heart goes out to her family and we hope she’s happy wherever she is!
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