Olivia de Havilland, Hollywood patriot

Olivia de Havilland, who passed away in Paris at 104 this week, is best known for her role as the genteel Melanie Hamilton in the 1939 Gone with the Wind.  In reality,  Olivia de Havilland was anything but a pushover, on and off the screen.  Before Gone with the Wind, she cavorted with Errol Flynn in The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Adventures of Robin Hood.  At the time, studio bosses locked down stars in seven-year contracts, and Olivia de Havilland was the first to push back in force.  When she demanded more challenging roles, Warner Brothers suspended her for six months, then claimed that the suspension automatically extended her contract.  In 1943, de Havilland risked her career by filing a lawsuit, and her victory shook the studio system to its foundations.  Olivia de Havilland was a liberal Democrat, and in 1944 she joined Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland, and other stars in a...(Read Full Post)
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