Olivia De Havilland Turns 100 Years Young Today

Illustration for article titled Olivia De Havilland Turns 100 Years Young Today

Olivia de Havilland, legendary star of classics like Gone With the Wind and (my personal favorite) Lady In a Cage, was born on this day in 1916. The newly minted centenarian has called three continents her home (she was born in Japan), lived through two world wars, had two husbands, and won two Oscars.


But one of the most wonderful things about de Havilland—and something I only learned today—is that she published a memoir over fifty years ago. The newly re-printed book, Every Frenchman Has One, was reviewed by Vogue earlier this week, and sounds like something we should all get our hands on immediately—as well as one that needs a follow-up chronicling her life’s second half. In it, de Havilland (who moved to France in the 50s and still calls Paris her home) writes:

“I have the idea that anyone who has ever heard my name has the distinct impression that I was put under the sod years ago just before they buried Lillian Russell. And so, when I wonder if you know that I live in France, I’m sure you don’t, because I am certain that you think me peacefully interred, and in good old native American soil. If that’s the case, you’re in for a surprise.”

When asked by People for the advice she would give her younger self, de Havilland responded, “Take a long leave of absence from the Warner contract and go to Mills College, where the scholarship I had won in 1934 is still waiting for me!” Now that’s a movie I’d watch.

Image via Getty.

Staff Writer, Jezebel | Man



She is also the sole survivor of one of the best feuds in Hollywood history — with her sister, Joan Fontaine.

From their high school newspaper:

“I bequeath to my sister [Joan] the ability to win boys’ hearts, which she does not have at present.”