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

(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.

A screenshot of Olivia de Havilland from Captain Blood.
A screenshot of Olivia de Havilland from "Captain Blood."   (Wikimedia Commons)
A screenshot of Joan Fontaine from Until They Sail.
A screenshot of Joan Fontaine from "Until They Sail."   (Wikimedia Commons)
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