Valerie Frederick submits the below piece as her contribution to the 2015 TCM Summer Under the Stars blogathon
MY 5 FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND
Her talent. Olivia’s “Melanie” in Gone With the Wind is obviously the role she’s most remembered for today, but she is just as good if not better in other films. The Heiress, The Dark Mirror, The Snake Pit, and the underrated In This Our Life are just a few of her many fantastic gems. She is quite simply one of the greatest female actors ever.
Her silliness. If you go to Youtube and look up Olivia in old game shows such as ‘What’s My Line?’, you’ll see a very different side to her from the roles she usually played. She’s playful, fun, energetic, and always up for a good laugh.
Her voice. Seriously, listening to Ms. De Havilland’s voice is like listening to the most soothing sound in the world. If she could record an audiobook for Gone With the Wind, and win a Grammy for it, that would be splendid.
Her fearlessness. In 1943, Olivia filed a lawsuit against her longtime film studio Warner Bros. which resulted in the ‘De Havilland Law’, meaning that performers contracts didn’t have to continue for more than seven years. She fought for creative freedom, and won.
Her longevity. This woman is just 11 months away from reaching 100, and is still as sharp and alert as she was in 1943. I want to be her, but then again, who wouldn’t?