It's been 78 years since the epic love story Gone With the Wind stole our hearts, and on July 1, fans will be celebrating the 101st birthday of the film's last surviving cast member, Olivia de Havilland.
Olivia played Melanie Wilkes in the movie, alongside notable names Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. In a recent Vanity Fair interview, the actress praised the classic film for catapulting her to success.
"I didn't identify with Melanie when I first read the book," she said. "But when I read Sidney Howard's wonderful script, Melanie seemed like a totally different character...I liked her, I admired her, I loved her!"
In addition to the southern character that made her a household name, Olivia is best known for her Academy Award-winning roles in To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949). She also made a huge contribution to the acting community by winning a legal battle with Warner Brothers in 1945, forcing the company to release her from her seven-year contract. The ruling set an important precedent: Actors in Hollywood now had the freedom to pick roles and shape their own careers.
"I was very proud of that decision, for it corrected a serious abuse of the contract system...No one thought I would win, but I did," she once said about the case.
Acting career aside, Olivia was married twice, once to author Marcus Goodrich and then to journalist Pierre Galante, whom she divorced in 1979. She had one daughter with Goodrich, named Giselle, and a son with Galante, named Benjamin. Sadly, her son passed away in 1992 from Hodgkin's disease.
Olivia's sister was the late actress Joan Fontaine. To this day, the two women remain the only sisters in Academy Award history to both have best actress trophies—a likely reason for their decades-long feud.
All in all, we can't deny that Olivia simply looks stunning for her age. We wish her all the best on her big day!
h/t Country Living