Joan Fontaine facts for kids
Fontaine in 1951
Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland
October 22, 1917
|Died||December 15, 2013
|Relatives||Olivia de Havilland (sister)|
|Awards||Academy Award for Best Actress (1941)|
Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland (October 22, 1917 – December 15, 2013), known professionally as Joan Fontaine, was a British-American actress best known for her starring roles in Hollywood films. Fontaine appeared in more than 45 feature films in a career that spanned five decades. She was the younger sister of actress Olivia de Havilland.
Early life and career
Born in Tokyo to British parents, Fontaine moved to California before she was two years old. She traveled there along with her mother, Lilian Fontaine, and sister, the actress Olivia de Havilland, following her parents' divorce.
After living in Japan and attending school there for a short while, she began her stage career in 1935, signing a film contract with RKO Pictures. Fontaine received her first major role in The Man Who Found Himself (1937); however, she failed to make a significant impression and her contract was not renewed.
Her career prospects improved greatly after her starring role in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed Rebecca (1940), for which she received the first of what would be three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress; the following year, she won for her role in Suspicion (1941). A third Oscar nomination came with the film The Constant Nymph.
She appeared mostly in drama films through the 1940s—including Letter from an Unknown Woman, which is now considered a classic. In the next decade, her career began to decline and she moved into stage and television roles. She appeared in fewer films into the 1960s, her final feature film being The Witches (1966).
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 also noted as being a licensed pilot, an accomplished interior decorator, and a Cordon Bleu-level chef.
Fontaine's last role for television was in the 1994 TV film Good King Wenceslas, after which she retired to her estate, Villa Fontana, in Carmel Highlands, California, where she spent time in her gardens and with her dogs.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Fontaine has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1645 Vine Street. She left her hand and foot prints in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on 26 May 1942.
For most of her middle to later life, Fontaine was active in radio, television, and the stage. She released an autobiography, No Bed of Roses, in 1978; she continued to act until her last performance in 1994. Fontaine lived in Carmel Highlands, California, where she owned a home, Villa Fontana.
Having won an Academy Award for her role in Suspicion, Fontaine is the only actor to have won an Academy Award for acting in a Hitchcock film. Furthermore, she and her sister remain the only siblings to have won major acting Academy Awards.
Death and legacy
On December 15, 2013, Fontaine died in her sleep of natural causes at the age of 96 in her Carmel Highlands home. Her longtime friend Noel Beutel said, "She had been fading in recent days and died peacefully." After Fontaine's death, de Havilland released a statement saying she was "shocked and saddened" by the news. Fontaine was cremated.
Fontaine's Academy Award for Best Actress in Suspicion was initially going to be sold at an animal rights auction; however, the Academy threatened to sue since it was not offered back to them for $1 and Fontaine's estate retained possession.
|1935||No More Ladies||Caroline 'Carrie' Rumsey||Credited as Joan Burfield|
|1937||A Million to One||Joan Stevens|
|Quality Street||Charlotte Parratt||Uncredited|
|The Man Who Found Himself||Nurse Doris King|
|You Can't Beat Love||Trudy Olson|
|Music for Madame||Jean Clemens|
|A Damsel in Distress||Lady Alyce Marshmorton|
|1938||Maid's Night Out||Sheila Harrison|
|Blond Cheat||Juliette 'Julie' Evans|
|Sky Giant||Meg Lawrence|
|The Duke of West Point||Ann Porter|
|Man of Conquest||Eliza Allen|
|The Women||Mrs. John Day (Peggy)|
|1940||Rebecca||The second Mrs. de Winter||Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress – directed by Alfred Hitchcock
|1941||Suspicion||Lina||Academy Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress – directed by Alfred Hitchcock
|1942||This Above All||Prudence Cathaway|
|1943||The Constant Nymph||Tessa Sanger||Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress|
|Jane Eyre||Jane Eyre (as an adult)|
|1944||Frenchman's Creek||Dona St. Columb|
|1945||The Affairs of Susan||Susan Darell|
|1946||From This Day Forward||Susan Cummings|
|1948||Letter from an Unknown Woman||Lisa Berndle|
|The Emperor Waltz||Countess Johanna Augusta Franziska|
|You Gotta Stay Happy||Dee Dee Dillwood|
|Kiss the Blood Off My Hands||Jane Wharton|
|1950||September Affair||Marianne 'Manina' Stuart|
|Born to Be Bad||Christabel Caine Carey|
|1951||Darling, How Could You!||Alice Grey|
|1952||Something to Live For||Jenny Carey|
|Flight to Tangier||Susan Lane|
|The Bigamist||Eve Graham|
|1954||Casanova's Big Night||Francesca Bruni||Alternative title: Mr. Casanova|
|Beyond a Reasonable Doubt||Susan Spencer|
|1957||Island in the Sun||Mavis Norman|
|Until They Sail||Anne Leslie|
|1958||A Certain Smile||Françoise Ferrand|
|1961||The Light That Failed||Hostess||TV movie|
|Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea||Dr. Susan Hiller|
|1962||Tender Is the Night||Baby Warren|
|1966||The Witches||Gwen Mayfield||Alternative title: The Devil's Own|
|1978||The Users||Grace St. George||TV movie|
|1986||Dark Mansions||Margaret Drake||TV movie|
|1994||Good King Wenceslas||Queen Ludmilla||TV movie|
|1953–1954||Four Star Playhouse||Trudy||"Trudy"
"The Girl on the Park Bench"
|1956||The Ford Television Theatre||Julie||"Your Other Love"|
|1956||Star Stage||"The Shadowy Third"|
|1956||The 20th Century Fox Hour||Lynne Abbott||"Stranger In the Night"|
|1956–1957||The Joseph Cotten Show||Adrienne||"Fatal Charm"
"The De Santre Story"
|1956–1960||General Electric Theater||Linda Stacey
Countess Irene Forelli
|"A Possibility of Oil"
"The Story of Judith"
"At Miss Minner's"
"The Victorian Chaise Lounge"
"In Summer Promise"
|1959||Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse||Margaret Lewis||"Perilous"|
|1960||Startime||Julie Forbes||"Closed Set"|
|1960||Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond||Ellen Grayson||"The Visitor"|
|1961||Checkmate||Karen Lawson||"Voyage Into Fear"|
|1962||The Dick Powell Show||Valerie Baumer||"The Clocks"|
|1962||Kraft Mystery Theatre||Margaret Lewis||"Perilous"|
|1963||Wagon Train||Naomi Kaylor||"The Naomi Kaylor Story"|
|1963||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Alice Pemberton||"The Paragon"|
|1965||The Bing Crosby Show||Mrs. Taylor||"Operation Man Save"|
|1975||Cannon||Thelma Cain||episode: "The Star"|
|1980||Ryan's Hope||Paige Williams||Five episodes
nominated – Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest/Cameo Appearance in a Daytime Drama Series
|1981||Aloha Paradise||"Love Teacher/The Actress/Prodigy"
"Turn Me On/Treasure Hunt/A Child Will Become Father"
|1981||The Love Boat||Jennifer Langley||"Chef's Special/Beginning Anew/Kleinschmidt"|
|1983||Bare Essence||Laura||"Hour Four"
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Joan Fontaine Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.