Home Entertainment Extravaganza Sister, Sister: Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine's lifelong feud – Monomaxos

Sister, Sister: Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine's lifelong feud – Monomaxos

Sister, Sister: Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine's lifelong feud

 – Monomaxos

“I regret that I cannot remember a single act of kindness from Olivia throughout my entire childhood,” said film star Joan Fontaine said once her equally famous older sister Olivia de Havilland.

De Havilland disagreed. “I loved her so much as a child,” she said Vanity Fair in 2016. Throughout their long lives, they seemed to disagree on almost everything, making their feud one of the few Hollywood feuds that truly lived up to the hype – so much so that it was a subplot in the first season Ryan's was Murphy's feud. (One thing de Havilland didn't like.)

Each woman's resume was impressive. Fontaine was, among other things, the Oscar-winning film star Rebecca, Suspicion And The women. De Havilland won two Oscars alongside her sister's and graced the screen in films as diverse as Blown by the wind, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The snake pit And The heiress. Her love life was also impressive: Fontaine boasted of romances with Conrad Nagel, Brian Aherne, John Houseman, Adali Stevenson, the Aga Khan and cartoonist Charles Adams. De Havilland had affairs with Howard Hughes, Jimmy Stewart and John Houston.

As Charles Higham's vitriolic, garrulous, seemingly pro-Joan biography from 1984, Sisters: The Story of Olivia De Havilland and Joan Fontaine describes them as steely, courageous and talented know-it-alls who were determined to have the last word. In Fontaine's wonderfully bitchy, self-serving autobiography from 1978 No bed of rosesShe claims victimhood in almost every situation – especially with regard to her sister – which leads de Havilland (and Fontaine's ex-husband William Dozier) caustically to describe the book as “…” Not a shred of truth.

de Havilland's own literary work, the charming and light-hearted Expatriate Memoirs of 1962 Every Frenchman has one, barely mentions her younger sister. But after Fontaine's death in 2013, the claws emerged. “Dragon Lady,” like she was referring to Fontaine“was a brilliant, multi-talented person, but had an astigmatism in her perception of people and events that often led her to react unfairly and even hurtfully.”

In fact, Fontaine even turned her impending mortality into competition and transferred her sibling rivalry to the afterlife. “I got married first and won the Oscar before Olivia,” she said Fontaine said in 1978. “And if I die first, she will no doubt be angry because I beat her to it!”

Made in Japan

Oliva de Havilland was born on July 1, 1916 in Tokyo, Japan. Joan quickly followed, on October 22, 1917. “From birth,” writes Fontaine No bed of roses“We weren’t encouraged by our parents or nurses to be anything other than rivals.”

Her parents were an odd couple. Father Walter De Havilland was a British expatriate who had studied at Harrow and Cambridge and came from a productive Channel Islands family that had a touch of madness. An eccentric, haughty and deeply strange man, he married the much younger Lillian, a disabled English actress who, in Fontaine's view, was a “snob” with exquisite taste, “a strict code of conduct…” and not at all mediocre, as she thought in her head.â€

Both girls, especially Fontaine, were sickly and the marriage was a disaster. In 1919, Lillian escaped and took the girls with her to San Francisco to start a new life. While the nervous, flighty Fontaine suffered from health problems and was often in bed, de Havilland was a popular, hard-working go-getter who Fontaine claims would torture her by reading the Bible aloud.

“As I listened with growing enthusiasm to her reading the crucifixion from the Bible, I experienced not only the inhumanity of man to man, but also the inhumanity of sister to sister,” Fontaine writes. “When she read about the crown of thorns… my cries were heard throughout the row of houses.”



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