Many people in the younger generation may not be familiar with Olivia de Havilland. If you have been around for a while, however, you likely know more than her name, you know some of her talents. Anybody who was ever seen Gone with the Wind, the classic movie from 1939 will certainly know her by name.
It really doesn’t matter if you are familiar with Olivia or not, she is one of the oldest stars still living in Hollywood. She is even one of the original cast members of Gone with the Wind, which she started in with Melanie Hamilton Wilkes and she was nominated for an Academy award.
She is also starred in movies with other famous actors, including Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh.
de Havilland recently turned 102. She was born on July 1, 1916, in Japan but her parents are British. Her acting career lasted from 1935 till 1988. She was starring in as many as 49 feature films during that time.
In 1938, she starred in Adventures of Robin Hood and then about a year later, she had her role in Gone with the Wind.
Other parts that she played include the 1948 classic, The Snake Pit which won her a National Board Review Award. She also won an Academy award for starring in ‘To Each His Own’.
Olivia has won many awards but she has also been nominated for many others. Some of them include honorary awards and awards for recognition of things she did off the screen. The University of Hertfordshire gave her an honorary doctorate in 1988. She was also named dame by Queen Elizabeth II. The queen gave her that award just a few days before she was 101 years old.
Another award that she received is the National Medal of Arts. This is the highest award that is offered to an individual artist within the United States. Pres. George W. Bush presented her with the award when she was 92 years old.
“I am extremely proud that the Queen has appointed me a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire,” continuing that, “to receive this honor as my 101st birthday approaches are the most gratifying of birthday presents,” she wrote
Her mother was a stage actress who attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and her father was an English professor. In her upbringing, she was provided with an appreciation for the arts and at only four years old, she began taking ballet lessons. That was soon followed with piano lessons.
When it comes to living legends, you truly need to include Olivia de Havilland in the mix. She deserves to be celebrated for all she has done in her life.