Best photos ( Joan Fontaine )

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Birth information

22 October 1917 Tokyo, Japan

Death information

15 December 2013 Carmel, California, USA

Given Name

Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland

How tall is Joan Fontaine?

1.61 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Alfred Wright, Jr.
Collier Young
William Dozier
Brian Aherne

Life Story of Joan Fontaine

Born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland on October 22, 1917, in Tokyo, Japan, in what was known as the International Settlement. Her father was a British patent attorney with a lucrative practice in Japan, but due to Joan and older sister Olivia de Havilland's recurring ailments the family moved to California in the hopes of improving their health. Mrs. de Havilland and the two girls settled in Saratoga while their father went back to his practice in Japan. Joan's parents did not get along well and divorced soon afterward. Mrs. de Havilland had a desire to be an actress but her dreams were curtailed when she married, but now she hoped to pass on her dream to Olivia and Joan. While Olivia pursued a stage career, Joan went back to Tokyo, where she attended the American School. In 1934 she came back to California, where her sister was already making a name for herself on the stage. Joan likewise joined a theater group in San Jose and then Los Angeles to try her luck there. After moving to L.A., Joan adopted the name of Joan Burfield because she didn't want to infringe upon Olivia, who was using the family surname. She tested at MGM and gained a small role in No More Ladies (1935), but...

Significant features of Joan Fontaine

Often played delicate women put through emotional turmoil
Natural blond hair
Striking, innocent beauty

Publications and Magazines about Joan Fontaine

Marsha Lynn Beeman Joan Fontaine: A Bio-Bibliography. 1994
Charles Higham Sisters: The Story of Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine. 1984
Joan Fontaine No Bed of Roses. 1978
Tommy Lightfoot Garrett Letters From A Known Woman: Joan Fontaine. 2005

What movies did Joan Fontaine play or participate?

Producers Filmography
Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) ,
Actors Filmography
Good King Wenceslas (1994) Queen Ludmilla, Dark Mansions (1986) Margaret Drake, Hotel (1986) Ruth Easton, Crossings (1986) Alexandra Markham, Bare Essence (1983) Laura, The Love Boat (1981) Jennifer Langley, Ryan's Hope (1980) Paige Williams, The Users (1978) Grace St. George, Cannon (1975) Thelma Cain, The Witches (1966) Gwen Mayfield, The Bing Crosby Show (1965) Mrs. Taylor, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1963) Alice Pemberton, Wagon Train (1963) Naomi Kaylor, Kraft Mystery Theater...

Birth information

22 October 1917 Tokyo, Japan

Death information

15 December 2013 Carmel, California, USA

Given Name

Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland

How tall is Joan Fontaine?

1.61 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Alfred Wright, Jr.
Collier Young
William Dozier
Brian Aherne

Life Story of Joan Fontaine

Born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland on October 22, 1917, in Tokyo, Japan, in what was known as the International Settlement. Her father was a British patent attorney with a lucrative practice in Japan, but due to Joan and older sister Olivia de Havilland's recurring ailments the family moved to California in the hopes of improving their health. Mrs. de Havilland and the two girls settled in Saratoga while their father went back to his practice in Japan. Joan's parents did not get along well and divorced soon afterward. Mrs. de Havilland had a desire to be an actress but her dreams were curtailed when she married, but now she hoped to pass on her dream to Olivia and Joan. While Olivia pursued a stage career, Joan went back to Tokyo, where she attended the American School. In 1934 she came back to California, where her sister was already making a name for herself on the stage. Joan likewise joined a theater group in San Jose and then Los Angeles to try her luck there. After moving to L.A., Joan adopted the name of Joan Burfield because she didn't want to infringe upon Olivia, who was using the family surname. She tested at MGM and gained a small role in No More Ladies (1935), but...

Significant features of Joan Fontaine

Often played delicate women put through emotional turmoil
Natural blond hair
Striking, innocent beauty

Publications and Magazines about Joan Fontaine

Marsha Lynn Beeman Joan Fontaine: A Bio-Bibliography. 1994
Charles Higham Sisters: The Story of Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine. 1984
Joan Fontaine No Bed of Roses. 1978
Tommy Lightfoot Garrett Letters From A Known Woman: Joan Fontaine. 2005

What movies did Joan Fontaine play or participate?

Producers Filmography
Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) ,
Actors Filmography
Good King Wenceslas (1994) Queen Ludmilla, Dark Mansions (1986) Margaret Drake, Hotel (1986) Ruth Easton, Crossings (1986) Alexandra Markham, Bare Essence (1983) Laura, The Love Boat (1981) Jennifer Langley, Ryan's Hope (1980) Paige Williams, The Users (1978) Grace St. George, Cannon (1975) Thelma Cain, The Witches (1966) Gwen Mayfield, The Bing Crosby Show (1965) Mrs. Taylor, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1963) Alice Pemberton, Wagon Train (1963) Naomi Kaylor, Kraft Mystery Theater...

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Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson in Rebecca (1940)

Younger sister of Olivia de Havilland.

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Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan in Boccaccios große Liebe (1953)

Daughter of Lilian Fontaine.

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Joan Fontaine, Orson Welles, and Margaret O'Brien in Die Waise von Lowood (1943)

Attended Oak Street School in Saratoga, CA.

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Fred Astaire and Joan Fontaine in Ein Fräulein in Nöten (1937)

She was a licensed pilot, champion balloonist, expert rider, prize-winning tuna fisherman, a hole-in-one golfer, Cordon Bleu chef and licensed interior decorator.

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Fred Astaire and Joan Fontaine in Ein Fräulein in Nöten (1937)

At the age of three she scored 160 on an infant IQ test.

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Fred Astaire and Joan Fontaine in Ein Fräulein in Nöten (1937)

Took her stage name from her step-father, George Fontaine.

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Fred Astaire and Joan Fontaine in Ein Fräulein in Nöten (1937)

The only actor or actress to win an acting Oscar in a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. She won Best Actress for Hitchcock's 1941 film Suspicion (1941).

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Fred Astaire and Joan Fontaine in Ein Fräulein in Nöten (1937)

Became pregnant twice in 1964, at the age of 46, but miscarried both times.

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Joan Fontaine, Sandra Dee, Piper Laurie, and Jean Simmons in Land ohne Männer (1957)

She and Olivia de Havilland are the first sisters to win Oscars and the first ones to be Oscar-nominated in the same year.

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Joan Fontaine, Sandra Dee, Piper Laurie, and Jean Simmons in Land ohne Männer (1957)

Head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1982

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Joan Fontaine and Dennis O'Keefe in Oh, Susanne! (1945)

When sister Olivia de Havilland was nine years old she made a will in which she stated, "I bequeath all my beauty to my younger sister Joan, since she has none".

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Joan Fontaine and James Stewart in Startbahn ins Glück (1948)

Ex-sister-in-law of Pierre Galante and Marcus Goodrich.

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Joan Fontaine, Mel Ferrer, and Zachary Scott in Born to Be Bad (1950)

In Italy almost all of her films were dubbed by Lydia Simoneschi. She was occasionally dubbed by Rosetta Calavetta and Renata Marini. She was dubbed once by Micaela Giustiniani in The Women (1939), once by Dina Perbellini and once by Paola Barbara in Suspicion (1941).

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Joan Fontaine and Zachary Scott in Born to Be Bad (1950)

Vice-President Emeritus of the Episcopal Actors' Guild of America.

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Joan Fontaine and Robert Ryan in Born to Be Bad (1950)

She became an American citizen on April 23, 1943.

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Joan Fontaine and Harold Vermilyea in Born to Be Bad (1950)

Alfred Hitchcock and George Cukor were her favorite directors.

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Joan Fontaine and Zachary Scott in Born to Be Bad (1950)

Is one of three Japan-born actresses to have won an Academy Award. The others are her sister Olivia de Havilland and Miyoshi Umeki.

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Joan Fontaine and Robert Ryan in Born to Be Bad (1950)

In a rare act of reconciliation, she and sister Olivia de Havilland celebrated Christmas 1962 together with their then-husbands and children.

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Joan Fontaine, Mel Ferrer, and Joan Leslie in Born to Be Bad (1950)

She was the last surviving cast member of George Cukor's The Women (1939) until she passed away in December 2013.

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Joan Fontaine and Zachary Scott in Born to Be Bad (1950)

She used to correspond with her fans on a regular basis until her 90th birthday. The only time fans received mail from her personally was at Christmastime.

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Joan Fontaine and Robert Ryan in Born to Be Bad (1950)

Was allergic to shellfish.

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Joan Fontaine in Born to Be Bad (1950)

She died in her sleep of natural causes at the age of 96 in her home in Carmel, California.

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Joan Fontaine in Born to Be Bad (1950)

Was a registered Democrat.

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Joan Fontaine, Mel Ferrer, Robert Ryan, and Harold Vermilyea in Born to Be Bad (1950)

Survived by her daughter Debbie Dozier and two grandsons.

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Joan Fontaine and Robert Ryan in Born to Be Bad (1950)

Was the 18th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Suspicion (1941) at The 14th Academy Awards on February 26, 1942.

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Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine

In 1946 a huge crack in the already tense relationship between she and sister Olivia de Havilland occurred when Joan made an unkind remark about Olivia's new husband, author Marcus Goodrich. Olivia insisted on an apology or she would not talk to her anymore. Joan refused to do so. A year later when Olivia won her first Oscar, Joan, who was at the awards show as a presenter, went up to congratulate her sister but was completely snubbed.

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Joan Fontaine and John Beal in The Man Who Found Himself (1937)

The long-standing feud between she and sister Olivia de Havilland was seldom discussed by Olivia. Joan, on the other hand, was quite candid and felt the complete victim of Olivia's abuse and blamed her sister for the long estrangement. Her side of the story is that the feud started practically from Joan's birth--and that the root of their problem was Olivia's acute unhappiness at having to share the attention of her parents with a younger sibling. The fighting continued into their hair-pulling, clothes-tearing teen years as well.

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Joan Fontaine and Arturo de Córdova in Der Pirat und die Dame (1944)

After a self-imposed retirement, Joan returned and played Good Queen Ludmella in the TV movie Good King Wenceslas (1994) because the base of her house in Carmel, CA, was damaged by an earthquake and Joan decided it was better to use the money she got for the movie to fix the house rather than take $200,000 out of her bank account.

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