All in the Family: Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland

Sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland…

Joan Fontaine was born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland on October 22, 1917 to British parents Walter Augustus de Havilland (patent attorney) and Lilian Augusta (former stage actress). Olivia de Havilland, her elder sister,was born Olivia Mary de Havilland on 1 July 1916. Both sisters were in born in Toyko, Japan.  Their mother returned to acting  as Lillian Fontaine in 1945 (after both daughters achieved fame) debuting in the film The Lost Weekend as Mrs. St. James. 

Sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine

Sisters: Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine

To date, Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine are the only siblings to have ever won a ‘Leading Role’ Academy Award.  Fontaine won the Best Actress Oscar in 1942 for her role as Lina in Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion (1941), and de Havilland won Best Actress in 1947 for her role as Jody Norris in Mitchell Leisen’s To Each His Own (1946), followed by a second Best Actress Oscar in 1950 for her role as Catherine Sloper in William Wyler’s The Heiress (1949).


Lillian Fontaine: Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine's mother

And their mother, Lillian, who later returned to work as an actress under the stage name Lillian Fontaine


–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

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