O Is For Dame Olivia de Havilland

Miriam E. A.Thompson > Miriam’s Blog > Uncategorized > O Is For Dame Olivia de Havilland

Dame Olivia Mary de Havilland was a screen gem. As a classic movie buff, (have I been saying that too much? LOL) I can safely say that most of my top favorites include movies by Dame Olivia de Havilland. She was in a competitive class of actors and actresses, but she held onto her own unique craft.

Dame Olivia Mary DeHavilland with a pleasant smile from the major motion picture Gone With The Wind, wearing a brown dress, short, blonde hairstyle with pearl earrings and seated against a floral wallpaper backdrop.
Photo: Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images; From Biography.com

Learn more about Dame Olivia Mary DeHavilland here.

Reasons I Admire Her

  • Actresses were hesitant to challenge movie production houses in the 1940s. This was their bread and butter, right? Well, Dame de Havilland put a stop to the sneaky actions by taking Warner Brothers to court.
  • The California Supreme Court instituted the de Havilland Rule, which set contracts for a maximum of seven (7) calendar years. This, in my mind, paved the way for actresses to demand a voice in contract negotiations.
  • My favorite Dame Olivia de Havilland movies are Gone With the Wind, The Heiress, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Dark Mirror and Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte.
  • No matter the film, Dame de Havilland engaged the audience’s attention even though she was alongside some of the biggest stars. Yes, I still nurse that crush on Errol Flynn. Judge me! (laugh)
  • She made her characters believable, drawing you in from the first scene. Melanie Wilkes in Gone With The Wind was a character who believed all people were good at heart, even when it was obvious Scarlett O’Hara tried to sabotage her marriage. I still scream at the scene when her character could have dragged Scarlett by those bouncy curls. Anyhow…
  • Dame de Havilland enjoyed a long, successful career on her own terms. I hope to live as long as she did. She passed away at the great age of 104.

So…do you like classic movies? What are your favorites?

M.

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