Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Birthday: Joan Fontaine!

Joan Fontaine, (born October 22, 1917). Is the younger sister of actress Olivia De Havilland(pictured below), also an Academy Award winner.

Video: Joan Fontaine talks about her relationship with her sister, Olivia de Havilland (1979).

Her film debut was a small role in, No More Ladies (1935). She also performed with Fred Astaire, in his first RKO film, A Damsel in Distress (1937) without Ginger. Next, she went on to perform in the film, The Women (1939). After which her contract was not renewed.

Her luck changed one night, at a dinner party when she meet producer David O. Selznick and they began discussing the novel, Rebecca. Selznick asked her to audition for the part of Rebecca.

Video: A scene from the film Rebecca.

Rebecca, is a gothic tale about the memory of Maxims first wife Rebecca, which still affects Maxim, his new bride, and Mrs. Danvers long after her death. Rebecca marked the debut of British director, Alfred Hitchcock. In 1940, Joan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She did not win that year (Ginger Rogers took home the award for Kitty Foyle) but Fontaine, did win the following year for Best Actress in Suspicion, which was also directed by Hitchcock.


  1. Thanks for a nice post. Love the photos. I like Fontaine's performance in Rebecca - but she is still too pretty for the character. The one of Joan and Olivia together is very sweet. Was that taken during a somewhat cordial time, or is that more good acting?

  2. Lovely photos. I wish I knew what function that was with the two of them. I am guessing the year is very-early 1970s; they would never be so close together by the end of the decade.

  3. Panavia999, Thank you for stopping by. I agree
    she is too pretty for the character, but... I think her performance was right on. I found a couple of pictures with the two sisters together. I thought this one was very endering.

    Tom, Thank you. I really have no idea when the picture was taken. I will see if I can retrace my steps and find out. I find most of my photos on,


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.