Joan Fontaine was an American actress who rose to fame in the 1940s and 1950s. She had a successful career in Hollywood, appearing in numerous films and earning critical acclaim for her performances. However, her personal life was often tumultuous, marked by a strained relationship with her sister Olivia de Havilland and several failed marriages. In this blog post, we will explore the life and career of Joan Fontaine, from her early years to her iconic roles and personal life details.
Early Years and Sibling Rivalry with Olivia de Havilland
Joan Fontaine was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1917 to British parents. Her family moved to California when she was a child, and she and her sister Olivia de Havilland both pursued careers in acting. However, their relationship was often strained, with rumors of jealousy and competition between the two. Fontaine once said, “I married first, won the Oscar before Olivia did, and if I die first, she’ll undoubtedly be livid because I beat her to it!” Despite their rivalry, both sisters had successful careers in Hollywood.
Joan Fontaine Images and Early Movie Roles
Fontaine began her acting career in the 1930s, appearing in a number of small roles in films. Her breakthrough role came in 1940, when she starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca.” The film was a critical and commercial success, earning Fontaine an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She went on to star in several more Hitchcock films, including “Suspicion” and “The Paradine Case.”
Joan Fontaine Movies and Iconic Roles
In addition to her work with Hitchcock, Fontaine appeared in several other notable films throughout her career. She starred opposite Laurence Olivier in “Jane Eyre” and “The Constant Nymph,” and received another Academy Award nomination for her role in “The Heiress.” She also appeared in “Ivanhoe” and “Island in the Sun,” among others.
Personal Life Details
Fontaine’s personal life was often tumultuous. She was married four times, and had one child. Her first marriage, to actor Brian Aherne, ended in divorce after just two years. She later married producer William Dozier, actor Collier Young, and sportsman Alfred Wright Jr., but all three marriages ended in divorce as well. Fontaine also had a strained relationship with her mother, who she claimed was emotionally abusive.
Joan Fontaine Height and Later Years
Fontaine continued to act throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but her roles became less frequent. She also worked in television and on stage. In her later years, Fontaine lived a quiet life in California. She passed away in 2013 at the age of 96. Despite the ups and downs of her personal life, Joan Fontaine will always be remembered as a talented and iconic actress.