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Academy Award Winning Sisters: The Lives of Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine

Academy Award Winning Sisters: The Lives of Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine [Kindle Edition]

Charles River Editors
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

*Includes pictures.
*Includes both actresses' quotes about each other and their careers.
*Includes a bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a table of contents.

“Famous people feel that they must perpetually be on the crest of the wave, not realising that it is against all the rules of life. You can't be on top all the time, it isn't natural.” – Olivia de Havilland

“You know, I've had a helluva life. Not just the acting part. I've flown in an international balloon race. I've piloted my own plane. I've ridden to the hounds. I've done a lot of exciting things.” – Joan Fontaine

Olivia de Havilland is one of the last few living actresses who worked during the Golden Era of Hollywood, but also one of the most decorated, winning dozens of awards over the course of a 50 year career. Among those, she most notably won the Academy Award for Best Actress for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949), more than a decade after she got her start as an 18 year old in Hollywood. Ironically, de Havilland was in California in part because the young British girl who had been born in Tokyo stopped in the States for medical treatment.

Of course, de Havilland isn’t well remembered for any of those accolades or other movies but because she played Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind (1939), perhaps the most famous movie in American history. Although she was a veteran actress at the time, de Havilland’s career hadn’t progressed much since she started, and rumor has it that she eventually got the role after her own sister, Joan Fontaine, was asked to audition for the part and recommended Olivia instead. Olivia was ultimately nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and became a household name in her adopted country overnight.

Having been typecast in light romantic comedies before Gone With the Wind, that performance ensured de Havilland subsequently had a long, productive and versatile career making everything from Westerns and dramas. Of those movies, she is perhaps most closely associated with the enigmatic Errol Flynn, another foreign-born actor who was more notorious for his roles off the screen than on it. Before his untimely death, they appeared in several films together and became one of Hollywood’s most popular on-screen couples.

Although Fontaine and de Havilland would make history by becoming the only sisters to both win an Academy Award for Best Actress, that anecdote was just one of the various stories about the siblings that has shed light on their notoriously contentious and complicated relationship. As Fontaine once put it, “I married first, won the Oscar before Olivia did, and if I die first, she'll undoubtedly be livid because I beat her to it!" De Havilland herself once said, "Joan is very bright and sharp and can be cutting."

Of course, one of the reasons people have remained interested in the sisters is that both of them had such long acting careers, and Fontaine became best remembered both for a career that spanned 60 years and several high profile marriages. With typical humor, Fontaine joked about the fact she had so many husbands, commenting in jest, “If you keep marrying as I do, you learn everybody's hobby.” But that attention has only served to obscure her very serious professional career, which saw her won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion (1941). She also earned a nomination for her performance in The Constant Nymph (1943), and in a television career that spanned several decades, she earned an Emmy nomination for her work on Ryan’s Hope in 1980, nearly 40 years after winning the Academy Award for Suspicion. Fontaine even appeared on Broadway in a couple of productions that ran for several years.

This book profiles the life and career of two of Hollywood’s most prolific actresses. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the sisters like never before.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1791 KB
  • Print Length: 92 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #297,276 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very dry and boring - just a list of dates and films - no story and no history of the feud between the sisters. Not very good
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars 13 Aug 2014
Very disappointed with the presentation - no really a book but a series of photocopied pages bound.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth the Money 8 May 2014
By Colleen Criss - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this book. I was a fan of both Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine and was looking forward to reading about their lives and feelings. Instead, the book mostly listed their accomplishments, awards, movies they starred in, etc. I could have received this information on Wikipedia. There was no close, personal insight into the women themselves.
Colleen Criss
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Great 14 Aug 2014
By LRN - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a decent read about the de Havilland/Fontaine sisters. Good for a beginner of classic Hollywood biographies or newly interested. That said, because I have an extensive background & knowledge of not only Hollywood History but the sisters themselves, there were several errors in the book. Like quotes attributed to the wrong person or mentioned more than once. For instance Olivia's 2nd husband was the one who said Joan's book should have been called No Shred of Truth, not Brian Aherne.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book 11 May 2014
By Cynthia Izon - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading the book. It was brief and left me wanting more. But I prefer that to wishing a writer had written less. I think it is sad that these two sisters were such rivals and did not get along. Made me very thankful for the relationship that I have with my sister.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olivia de Havilland & Joan Fontaine Rival Sisters 29 April 2014
By Sam - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a very good book with a lot of details I didn't know about these two wonderful movie stars and rival sisters. They were both very talented and beautifu. They made some wonderful movies in the 1930's & 40's and some into the later years during the glamours era of Hollywood.
I recommend it to anyone who like this period.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sisters 20 April 2014
By Janine - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't realize they were sisters until after Joan's death. This book wove their separate lives together. It didn't analyze or take sides. But followed the lives of two beautiful talented successful women. Very easy reading.
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