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Olivia de Havilland, Last Survivor of ‘Gone With the Wind,’

Olivia de Havilland, an Oscar-winning actress greatest identified for her function because the timid however sturdy Melanie within the 1939 basic “Gone With the Wind,” died Sunday of pure causes. She was 104.

The information of De Havilland’s passing in her Paris residence was introduced by her publicist, Lisa Goldberg.

In addition to her breakout function in “Gone With the Wind,” de Havilland earned Oscar nominations for 1941’s “Hold Back the Dawn,” 1946’s “To Each His Own” and 1948’s “The Snake Pit” and the 1949 William Wyler drama “The Heiress.” She gained gold for “To Each His Own” and “The Heiress.”

Throughout her profession, De Havilland had a status for standing up for herself. In 1943, she famously went to courtroom when Warner Bros. tried so as to add time to her accomplished contract. Her authorized victory led to what’s nonetheless often called the “De Havilland Law,” a bit of the California Labor Code stipulating that an unique private providers contract — like an actor’s take care of a studio — can’t lengthen previous seven calendar years.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1913, De Havilland moved to England when she was 6 along with her English professor father, appearing trainer mom and youthful sister, who later got here to be often called actress Joan Fontaine. Shortly thereafter, she, her mom and sister moved to California, the place the local weather higher suited the ailing ladies.

De Havilland grew up loving the humanities, taking ballet and piano classes at a really younger age. She made her novice theater debut when she was 10 because the title character in a manufacturing of “Alice in Wonderland,” and several other performs adopted. Her stepfather gave her an ultimatum, saying that if she wished to proceed appearing, she wouldn’t be allowed to reside with the household. She selected appearing and moved in with a household buddy.

A accident led her to her first skilled function, enjoying Hermia in a stage manufacturing of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on the Hollywood Bowl when she was simply 18. So impressed by her work, the director supplied the identical function in his movie adaptation. And that led to a five-year contract with Warner Bros.

Within a 12 months, she was forged in her first costumed historic drama, “Captain Blood” with Errol Flynn, who would grow to be her main man in eight movies, together with “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex,” “They Died With Their Boots On” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”

In 1939, de Havilland satisfied the spouse of Warner Bros.’ head Jack Warner, to let her out of her contract so she might play Melanie Hamilton in “Gone With the Wind,” which producer David O. Selznick was making ready to shoot. Her efficiency earned her an Academy Award nomination (the primary of 5) for Best Supporting Actress. (It was her castmate Hattie McDaniel who made historical past that 12 months to grow to be the primary African American to win an Oscar.)

Returning to her contract at Warners, de Havilland was discontent with the roles she was being given and refused to do them, leading to her suspension on greater than every now and then. Acting on the recommendation of a lawyer, she sued Warner Bros., searching for a declaratory judgment that she was not certain by her contract. The Superior Court dominated in her favor. Her combat for higher roles helped free numerous stars from the studio system.

De Havilland’s profession would ultimately embody 5 Academy Award nominations and two Oscars, one for “To Each His Own” in 1946 and the opposite for “The Heiress” in 1949. (Her youthful sister, Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, would grow to be the actress Joan Fontaine. Though their relationship was famously chilly, they’re the one siblings ever to win lead appearing Oscars.)

She retired from appearing within the late 1980s, however remained within the public eye. In 2017, she sued FX and Ryan Murphy over her portrayal within the acclaimed collection “Feud,” through which she was performed by Catherine Zeta-Jones. The lawsuit, which was later dismissed (after the Supreme…

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