Gone with the Wind stands as an American film classic. It was adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel of the same name and is well-known for being an extremely difficult movie to make.
Filming had been delayed for two years just to secure Clark Gable for the role of Rhett Butler and 1,400 women were interviewed for the role of Scarlett. It was this dedication that made the film iconic.
As Gone with the Wind came out in 1939, most of the cast have passed away now, but one star remains. On July 1st, Olivia De Havilland (known for her role of Melanie Hamilton) celebrated her 101st birthday. De Havilland has had a lucrative acting career, acting in 49 feature films and receiving two Academy Awards for best actress.
The iconic actress was born in Tokyo to British parents. She had one sibling, Joan Fontaine, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship. Fontaine and de Havilland were both encouraged to act from a young age and it started a rivalry between the two sisters. They stayed estranged in adulthood and Fontaine died in 2013.
De Havilland married twice in her life. Her first husband was author Marcus Goodrich and they married in 1946 until divorcing in 1953. De Havilland’s second marriage was to Pierre Galante, executive editor of the publication Paris Match. They married in 1955 but divorced in 1979, though de Havilland cared for him until his death in 1998.
De Havilland had two children, a son with Goodrich named Benjamin who died of Hodgkin’s disease in 1992, and a daughter with Galante named Gisele. She currently resides in Paris and was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, joining a long list of actresses including Julie Andrews, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth Taylor, and Helen Mirren.
Though her co-stars from Gone With The Wind have passed, de Havilland still holds memories from the set of the classic film dear to her heart. One memory, as she recalled to Vanity Fair, was that Clark Gable was hesitant to cry on camera. She gave him a pep talk and told him that he would be “wonderful.”
We have no doubt that de Havilland celebrated her 101st birthday with her usual grace. Happy Belated Birthday to Dame Olivia De Havilland, a true Hollywood legend!