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English Olivia DE HAVILLAND

born Olivia Mary DE HAVILLAND

British-American actress

Source :  Pierre-Valéry ARCHASSAL

Born: on July 01, 1916 in Tokyo, Japan
Died: on July 26, 2020 in Paris, France


Olivia De Havilland's mother, Lilian Fontaine (née Ruse; 1886–1975), was educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a stage actress. Lilian also sang with the Master of the King's Music, Sir Walter Parratt, and toured England with the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Olivia's father, Walter de Havilland (1872–1968), served as an English professor at the Imperial University in Tokyo before becoming a patent attorney. Her paternal cousin was Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (1882–1965), an aircraft designer and founder of the de Havilland aircraft company.

Lilian and Walter met in Japan in 1913 and married the following year; the marriage was not a happy one due in part to Walter's infidelities. Olivia Mary de Havilland was born on July 1, 1916. They moved into a large house in Tokyo, where Lilian gave informal singing recitals. Olivia's younger sister Joan (Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland)?—?later known as actress Joan Fontaine?—?was born 15 months later, on October 22, 1917. Both sisters became citizens of the United Kingdom automatically by birthright.

In February 1919, Lilian persuaded her husband to take the family back to England for a climate better suited to their ailing daughters. They sailed aboard the SS Siberia Maru to San Francisco, where the family stopped to treat Olivia's tonsillitis. After Joan developed pneumonia, Lilian decided to remain with her daughters in California, where they eventually settled in the village of Saratoga, 50 miles (80 km) south of San Francisco. Her father abandoned the family and returned to his Japanese housekeeper, who eventually became his second wife.

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See Also :

- Category Actor