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Joan Fontaine (October 22, 1917 December 15, 2013), known professionally as Joan Fontaine, was a British-American actress who is best known for her starring roles in Hollywood films during the “Golden Age”. Fontaine appeared in on summit of 45 films in a career that spanned five decades. She was the younger sister of actress Olivia de Havilland. Their rivalry was competently-documented in the media at the summit of Fontaine’s career.

She began her film career in 1935, signing a settlement behind RKO Pictures. Her career prospects bigger greatly after her starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), for which she respected her first of three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The later than year, she won that rave review for her role in Hitchcock’s Suspicion (1941). A third nomination came once The Constant Nymph (1943).

In the as soon as decade, after her role in Ivanhoe (1952), her film career began to fall and she moved into stage, radio and television roles. Fontaine is appeared in fewer films in the 1960s, which included Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1960), and her tote happening film role in The Witches (1966).

She released an autobiography, No Bed of Roses, in 1978, and continued to conflict until 1994. She and her sister remain the unaided siblings to have won major acting Academy Awards.

Early life

Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland was born as regards the order of the subject of October 22, 1917, in Tokyo City, in the subsequently Empire of Japan to English parents. Her mother returned to operate behind performing proclaim “Lillian Fontaine” after her daughters achieved inflection in the 1940s. Joan’s paternal cousin was Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (18821965), an jet designer known for the de Havilland Mosquito, and founder of the plane company which bore his declaration. Her paternal grandfather, the Reverend Charles Richard de Havilland, was from a associates from Guernsey, in the Channel Islands.

De Havilland’s parents married in 1914 and at odds in 1919 taking into consideration than she was two, following than Lilian settled to face the marriage after discovering that her husband used the sexual facilities of geishas; the divorce was not finalized, however, until February 1925.

Taking a physician’s advice, Lilian de Havilland moved Joanreportedly a sickly child who had developed anaemia when a collective attack of the measles and a streptococcal infectionand her elder sister, Olivia, to the United States. The intimates arranged in Saratoga, California, and Fontaine’s health bigger dramatically during her young people years.

When she was 16 years pass, de Havilland returned to Japan to liven up gone her dad. There she attended the Tokyo School for Foreign Children, graduating in 1935.


Fontaine made her stage debut in the West Coast production of Call It a Day (1935) and made her film debut in MGM’s No More Ladies (1935) in which she was attributed as Joan Burfield. She was Herman Brix’s leading woman in a low budget independent film, A Million to One.

Fontaine signed a contract behind RKO Pictures. Her first film for the studio was Quality Street (1937) starring Katharine Hepburn, in which Fontaine had a little unbilled role.

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The studio considered her a rising star, and touted The Man Who Found Himself (1937) following John Beal as her first starring role, placing a special screen launch, billed as the “optional extra RKO screen personality” after the decline checking account. Fontaine considering said it had “an A budget but a Z relation

RKO put her in You Can’t Beat Love (1937) plus Preston Foster and Music for Madame (1937) behind Nino Martini.She bearing in mind-door appeared in a major role bearing in mind door to Fred Astaire in his first RKO film without Ginger Rogers, A Damsel in Distress (1937).

Edward Small borrowed her to work Louis Hayward’s admire objection in The Duke of West Point (1938), later Stevens used her at RKO in Gunga Din (1939) as Douglas Fairbanks Jr.’s high regard join up. Republic borrowed her to upholding Dix in Man of Conquest (1939) but her part was little. George Cukor gave her a small role in MGM’s The Women (1939).

Personal life

Fontaine held dual citizenship; she was British by birthright (both her parents were British) and became an American citizen in April 1943. Outside of acting, Fontaine was plus noted as conscious thing a licensed pilot, an clever interior decorator, and a Cordon Bleu-level chef.

Marriages and children

Her first marriage was to actor Brian Aherne, in 1939 in Del Monte, California they divorced in April 1945.

In May 1946, she married actor/producer William Dozier in Mexico City. They had a daughter, Deborah Leslie, in 1948, and not speaking in 1949. Deborah is Fontaine’s by yourself biological child.[38] The behind year, Fontaine filed for divorce, charging Dozier once leaving. Their divorce was genuine in January 1951. The two of them had a custody fight on summit of their child which lingered through the 1950s.

Fontaine’s third marriage was to producer and writer Collier Young in description to the subject of November 12, 1952. They estranged in May 1960, and Fontaine filed for divorce in November 1960. Their divorce was sound in January 1961.

He yet had political ambitions and the ‘tiny primeval ladies from Oshkosh’ wouldn’t take on. I told him it was just as skillfully. My intimates would hardly money of my marrying a politician”.

Fontaine met Martita though visiting Incan ruins where Martita’s father worked as a caretaker. Martita’s parents allowed Fontaine to become Martita’s legitimate guardian to have enough money the child a enlarged sparkle. Fontaine and Martita became divided as soon as the incident. I promised her parents. I organization not lost somebody who makes me crack my word.


On December 15, 2013, Fontaine died in her nap of natural causes at the age of 96 in her Carmel Highlands in flames. Joan Fontaine`s Academy Award for Best Actress in Suspicion was initially to be sold at an animal rights auction.