Olivia de Havilland
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Legendary actress and two-time Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland (1916–2020) is best known for her role as Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind (1939). She often inhabited characters who were delicate, elegant, and refined. At the same time, she was a survivor with a fierce desire to direct her own destiny on and off the screen. She won a lawsuit against Warner Bros. over a contract dispute that changed the studio contract system forever, and is also noted for her long feud with her sister, actress Joan Fontaine.
Victoria Amador utilizes extensive interviews and forty years of personal correspondence with de Havilland to present an in-depth look at the life and career of this celebrated actress, from her theatrical ambitions at a young age to becoming one of the most well-known starlets in Tinseltown. Readers are given an inside look at her love affairs with iconic cinema figures such as James Stewart and John Huston, as well as her onscreen partnership with Errol Flynn. Amador also details how de Havilland became the first woman to serve as the president of the Cannes Film Festival in 1965, and showcases how, even in her later years, she remained active but selective in film and television until 1988. A new chapter covers de Havilland's death at the age of 104 in July 2020.
Olivia de Havilland: Lady Triumphant is a tribute to one of Hollywood's greatest legends—a lady who evolved from a gentle heroine to a strong-willed, respected, and admired artist.
Introduction: Olivia and Me
An Englishwoman Abroad
From Starlet to Little Star
Livvie and Errol
Learning the Job
Leaving the Job
Three Golden Years
Every Frenchwoman Has One
Closing a Career
The Time Is Now
A la prochaine
"With Olivia de Havilland: Lady Triumphant, Amador has addressed a gross oversight in film scholarship by providing a primer to the life and career of one of Hollywood's most enduring legends."~Christina Rice, author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel
"Olivia de Havilland is excellent and very engagingly written—a gift to fans of classic Hollywood cinema, and a celebration of extraordinary longevity."~Ruth Barton, author of Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film
In a tribute as elegant and engaging as its subject, Amador looks at the life and career of one of the two surviving cast members of one of the greatest American films of all time, Gone With the Wind. But there is much more to de Havilland's story than her role as Melanie Wilkes, and it's all here. Amador draws on extensive interviews and her own 40-year-long correspondence with the actress for this gracious portrait. With an extensive bibliography and a lovely collection of black-and-white photographs, including some poignant shots of author and subject, this is a treat for film fans.~Booklist
Amador's interpretations of de Havilland's performances are thorough, exploring how she excelled at making good girls interesting through the simmering emotions she kept hidden beneath the surface.~Isabel Stevens, Sight & Sound: June 2019
[A]n aptly titled – and aptly respectful – biography that explores the triumphant lady's life and career, in a comprehensive and thoroughly entertaining fashion.... It's a well-researched, well-rounded, eminently readable portrait of a great star whose impact went beyond her performances.~Yes! Weekly
A favorable, gracious account that aims to set the record straight on several points... Amador's writing is as elegant as her subject.~Shepherd Express
This is a wonderful book... a gem of a biography.~The Classic Film Collective