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Hollywood mourns the loss of a final link to its Golden Age


Gone With The Wind star Olivia de Havilland has been remembered as a “legend” and “class act” following her death at the age of 104.

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The actor, one of the last surviving figures of Hollywood’s Golden Age, died at home in Paris, her representatives confirmed on Sunday.

“Last night, the world lost an international treasure, and I lost a dear friend and beloved client. She died peacefully in Paris,” de Havilland’s publicist said in a statement.

Tributes flowed in from the acting world, including from Hollywood star Jared Leto who had exchanged correspondence with de Havilland.

“She was a class act. I still have the kind and thoughtful letters she wrote me in longhand on beautiful blue stationery. They were of another era,” he tweeted.

Leto credited de Havilland’s bravery in the 1940s in bringing about a labour law that helped his music career.

He explained that he and his brother were in debt and “not going to get paid a penny” from their record company and were bound to a nine-year contract.

They relied on the so-called “De Havilland Law” as leverage in their legal battle, he said.

The landmark 1944 ruling, reached after the actor sought her freedom from Warner Bros, ended the tight grip studios had on contract actors.

Actor Jane Seymour said she would cherish for life the memories of appearing alongside de Havilland in 1988’s The Woman He Loved.

Sharing a picture of the pair filming together on Instagram, Seymour said de Havilland was “larger than life” and “a brilliant actor”.

“Rest in Peace Olivia, we will miss you dearly,” she wrote.

In a statement, the estate of fellow Hollywood great Humphrey Bogart described de Havilland as a “true Classic Hollywood icon”.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts the Oscars, also paid tribute.

To Each His Own, The Heiress, Gone with the Wind and so many others,” the academy said.

“A two-time Best Actress Oscar winner, Olivia de Havilland was a mainstay of Hollywood’s Golden Age and an immeasurable talent. Here’s to a true legend of our industry.”

De Havilland won two best actress Oscars for her roles in 1946’s To Each His Own and 1949’s The Heiress.

However, she is best remembered for her turn as Melanie Wilkes in the 1939 film Gone With The Wind, and was the last remaining member of the principal cast before her death.

She first appeared on the big screen in 1935 as Dolly Stevens in Alibi Ike.

However, de Havilland soon became known for her on-screen partnership with Hollywood heartthrob Errol Flynn on films including The Charge Of The Light Brigade (1936) and The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938), although they never began a romantic relationship.

De Havilland’s younger sister, Joan Fontaine, with whom she had a famous rivalry, followed in her acting footsteps, winning an Oscar for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1941 thriller Suspicion.


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