July 1, 1916 Olivia De Havilland is a Living Legend from Classic Hollywood of days gone by.
It was a time of Swashbucklers, Gangsters, and Romantic virile Leading Men. It was a time of the Movie Studio System of seven year exclusive contracts, contracts with options to loan out actors or actresses at the whim of the Moguls that ran the Studio System. It was a time of Good Girls, Bad Girls and those girls who fought the system for better acting parts. ‘On Suspension’ was a badge of honor worn by a few. Having that ‘On Suspension’ time tacked onto an expired contract drew the ire of Miss de Havilland, who in August of 1943 sued Warner Brothers. On December 8, 1944 she won her case and her lawsuit became a law. In 1946 Miss de Havilland was named Best Actress for her performance in the Paramount movie ‘To Each His Own’. In 1948 she was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in the 20th Century Fox film ‘Snake Pit’. And in 1949 she was named Best Actress for her performance in the Paramount movie ‘The Heiress’.
My favorite Olivia de Havilland piece of trivia though is that in the great year of movie making: 1939 she appeared in five movies, sometimes running from one studio or set to another for shooting a scene.
Raffles ~ United Artists Corp. no premier date, Wings of the Navy~ Warner Brothers, no premier date, Dodge City ~Warner Brothers premiered April 1st, 1939, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex ~ Warner Brothers premiered September 27, 1939 and Gone With the Wind ~Selznick International Productions premiered December 15, 1939.
Happy 97th Birthday Miss Melly!