Culture

Olivia de Havilland, legendary 'Gone With the Wind' star, dead at 104

Olivia de Havilland, legendary 'Gone With the Wind' star, dead at 104”

De Havilland got to that iconic role thanks to a lucky break when she was only 17.

Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland, best known as the kindly Melanie in Gone With the Wind, has died.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption De Havilland with Errol Flynn in Dodge City (1939).

She starred in dozens of films, including Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Gone With the Wind.

Following this, she became well known for her damsel in distress characters.

"So she was the hero of her own career at that moment", White says, "and she went on to get roles that did allow her to do important things".

Her victory helped bring an end to the studio system, and redefined the business of moviemaking. Vivien Leigh won an Oscar for the role. She made several movies for television, including Roots and Charles and Diana, in which she portrayed the Queen Mother.

And she was fiercely political - fighting against extremism on both sides of the spectrum. "Dragon Lady, as I eventually made a decision to call her, was a brilliant, multi-talented person, but with an astigmatism in her perception of people and events, which often caused her to react in an unfair and even injurious way". In 1952, having started divorce proceedings, she went back to Hollywood for My Cousin Rachel (1952) with Richard Burton.

Off-screen, de Havilland continued to fight the good fight.

Off screen, she took on the studios at a time when they had complete control over their stars.

Four years later when de Havilland won for "To Each His Own", Fontaine extended a congratulatory hand at the ceremony but de Havilland did not acknowledge her - a moment captured by photographers.

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Tom and Lorenzo added: "Olivia de Havilland was the last of an unprecedented and unmatched period of Hollywood star-making".

She later starred in To Each His Own and The Heiress, winning Oscars for Best Actress in those roles.

Olivia de Havilland, as Melanie Wilkes in Gone With the Wind.

Olivia de Havilland, legendary Golden Age Hollywood star, has died at age 104.

Another said: "Today we say goodbye to the last classic Hollywood legend".

The Oscars provided fodder and a venue for de Havilland's rivalry with Fontaine, who was one year younger.

"Another posted: "#oliviadehavilland was truly a wonderful actress.

The news came from the actress' publicist, Lisa Goldberg, who announced her death of natural causes at her home in Paris, where she lived for more than 60 years.

Express.co.uk will update this article when more information becomes available.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be kept private.

She is survived by her daughter Gisèle Galante from her second husband Pierre Galante.



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