Sunday, July 26, 2020

Olivia de Havilland Dies at 104

Word is breaking this morning that the great Olivia de Havilland has left us.

She died in Paris this weekend, just weeks after turning 104.

While her obituaries will understandably focus on GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), I'm especially grateful for her performance as Maid Marian in one of my all-time favorite films, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938). That film is at the top of any list I would make of perfect movies.

Though some actors of the '30s remain with us, including 102-year-old Marsha Hunt, it's hard not to feel that this passing marks, in a significant way, the closing of an era.

Miss de Havilland was a woman of faith, and this morning I am particularly remembering an interview she gave several years ago on how she prepared to give Scripture readings at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris.

At this sad time, Errol Flynn's moving line from THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON (1941) comes to mind as the most appropriate thing a classic film fan can say today, with deepest gratitude: "Walking through life with you, ma'am, has been a very gracious thing."

Previously: Happy Birthday to... (2009), Happy Birthday to Two Amazing Ladies (2013), Happy 99th Birthday to Olivia de Havilland (2015), TCM Star of the Month: Olivia de Havilland (2016), and Happy 101st Birthday to Olivia de Havilland (2017).

Reviews of Olivia de Havilland films: THE IRISH IN US (1935), GOLD IS WHERE YOU FIND IT (1938) (also here), THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938), FOUR'S A CROWD (1938), HARD TO GET (1938) (also here), WINGS OF THE NAVY (1939), DODGE CITY (1939), RAFFLES (1939), MY LOVE CAME BACK (1940), HOLD BACK THE DAWN (1941) (also here), THE MALE ANIMAL (1942), IN THIS OUR LIFE (1942), THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS (1943), PRINCESS O'ROURKE (1943), GOVERNMENT GIRL (1943), DARK MIRROR (1946), THE PROUD REBEL (1958), LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (1962), and AIRPORT '77 (1977).


Blogger JeffZanker said...

She will be missed very much. Have you seen The Strawberry Blonde (1941) with James Cagney and Rita Hayworth? Underrated entertainment.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

What a lovely tribute, Laura! What a remarkable actress Olivia De Havilland was, a true legendary performer from the golden era! How wonderful to know she was also a woman of deep faith.

I hope TCM gives her a warm fitting movie marathon tribute.

Blessings! Net

10:36 AM  
Blogger SimpleGifts said...

Thank you, Laura, for this heartfelt tribute to lovely Olivia. I deeply share your feelings that "it's hard not to feel that this passing marks, in a significant way, the closing of an era." I'm so sad she has left us but so grateful for all the joy she brought us through her films. Jane

12:19 PM  
Blogger Walter S. said...

Laura, a nice tribute to Olivia de Havilland. I watched THE HEIRESS(filmed 1948, released 1949) recently and she was so good it, as she was in everything she ever did. Yes, it does seem like the closing of an era in movie making. Olivia was a star in 1935 and still is and always will be, because we have her wonderful performances captured on film.


2:04 PM  
Blogger DKoren said...

Oh, this is just such sad news. Thank you for the lovely tribute to her. I think I loved her movies with Errol Flynn the best, but her work was just so fantastic.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you all so very much for sharing your thoughts on Olivia de Havilland. A remarkable woman with a legacy of many great films and performances.

Best wishes,

10:42 AM  

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