Sisters' Oscar Feud Continues, 71 Years Later
Sisters Olivia de Havilland, Joan Fontaine still don't speak
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2013 12:09 PM CST
A screenshot of Olivia de Havilland from "Captain Blood."   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Olivia de Havilland and her sister, Joan Fontaine, have been feuding away since they were kids—but things got really bad at the 1942 Academy Awards, and they've never improved. De Havilland is, of course, well known for her role as Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in Gone With the Wind. But Fontaine is an actress as well, and in 1942 they were both nominated for Best Actress. Fontaine won, and said she "felt Olivia would spring across the table and grab me by the hair." De Havilland won her own Best Actress award four years later, and refused to take her sister's hand when Fontaine tried to congratulate her.

The two had always competed for roles; Fontaine actually auditioned for Wind first, but upon hearing that "Melanie must be a plain Southern girl," she suggested her sister. (She may have meant it as a burn, but de Havilland ended up getting nominated for an Oscar for the role.) The two stopped talking entirely in 1975, when their mother died and Fontaine claimed de Havilland never invited her to the funeral service. In 1988, they were both invited to the Oscars and placed in hotel rooms next-door to one another—and Fontaine said she would never attend the Academy Awards again. Today the 95- and 96-year-old still don't speak, Mental Floss reports.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Jun 30, 2013 9:08 AM CDT
Sorry to say this, but the story can not be accurate. My mom use to live next to the sisters after they had won their awards and she says they were very nice and LIVED TOGETHER!!! She never heard any feuding, and when she saw them (often) they were very sisterly. Mom was in her teens and lived next door for several years. Mom is just now in her 70s's. So feuding for 71 years sound very unlikely to me. Someone should get their facts straight instead of just going off of gossip. So many news stories are not checked out well enough to report and then feelings are hurt, the public impressions are incorrect and people's lives are ruined.
Jun 29, 2013 10:10 PM CDT
July 1st Olivia de Havilland will turn 98. All accounts have her as being in very robust health. Quite amazing.... ( I don't believe everything this article has to say) this article has so many things wrong about these two ladies. At least with regard to all the articles written about the "feud" they both have had quite the amount of respect for each other and do not comment on one another or their private feelings about each other. It's all left to pure conjecture on the part of any given gossip columnist. They're quite smart about it all, and have this "feud" under complete control. It's served them quite well publicly.
Feb 22, 2013 11:58 PM CST
I guess at 95 and 96 years of's too late to tell them to grow up!