Muses

Olivia de Havilland (1916)

Born in Japan and installed in California in her teens with her British parents and younger sister, future actress, Joan Fontaine, Olivia de Havilland signed a contract with Warner Bros. Pictures in 1935 and featured in her first notable film Captain Blood, in 1936, opposite Errol Flynn. The acting pair became one of Hollywood's most popular and charismatic on-screen couple even though they never engaged a romantic relationship in real life, and they went on to be united in seven other films including The Adventures of Robin Hood. The actress was the ultimate demure ingénue, the 'damsel in distress' character had become her trademark on-screen persona, a figure epitomized by her role as Melanie, Scarlett O'Hara's best friend in Gone with the Wind, in 1939. Olivia de Havilland rapidly grew frustrated to be only offered the roles of the costumed girls-next-door and was irritated to find out the studio had extended her contract without consulting her. She therefore sued Warner Bros. Pictures, in 1941 and eventually won the case. The decision was one of the most important lawsuits of Hollywood: it gave actors more freedom and is now referred as the 'de Havilland law.' Olivia de Havilland then started playing carefully-chosen, more serious and unglamorous roles such as The Snake Pit, in 1948 and The Heiress, in 1949. From the 1950s, her career declined and she decided to move to Paris enjoying the city's postwar energy and fleeing a decaying Hollywood overshadowed by television she harshly considered was 'crushing, talent destroying and human being destroying.'

Tags / Olivia de Havilland - British Actress - 1940s - Law - Cinematic Women - Muses - Ingu00e9nue
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by George Hurrell, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by George Hurrell, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938. Photo by Bert Longworth
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938. Photo by Bert Longworth
Olivia de Havilland on the set of Captain Blood directed by Michael Curtiz , 1935
Olivia de Havilland on the set of Captain Blood directed by Michael Curtiz , 1935
Olivia de Havilland in The Dark Mirror directed by Robert Siomak , 1946
Olivia de Havilland in The Dark Mirror directed by Robert Siomak , 1946
Lew Ayres and Olivia de Havilland in The Dark Mirror directed by Robert Siomak , 1946
Lew Ayres and Olivia de Havilland in The Dark Mirror directed by Robert Siomak , 1946
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in They Died with Their Boots on directed by Raoul Walsh, 1941
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in They Died with Their Boots on directed by Raoul Walsh, 1941
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in Dodge City directed by Michael Curtiz , 1939. Photo by George Hurrell
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in Dodge City directed by Michael Curtiz , 1939. Photo by George Hurrell
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in Dodge City directed by Michael Curtiz , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in Dodge City directed by Michael Curtiz , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in Dodge City directed by Michael Curtiz , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in Dodge City directed by Michael Curtiz , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming , 1939
Olivia de Havilland and George Brent in Gold is Where You Find it directed by Michael Curtiz, 1938
Olivia de Havilland and George Brent in Gold is Where You Find it directed by Michael Curtiz, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming , 1939
Hattie McDaniel, Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Hattie McDaniel, Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Photo test with Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland on the set of  Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming,  1939
Photo test with Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland on the set of Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Laura Hope and Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Laura Hope and Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard and Vivien Leigh in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard and Vivien Leigh in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of  Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress directed by William Wyler , 1949
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress directed by William Wyler , 1949
Montgomery Clift and Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress directed by William Wyler, 1949
Montgomery Clift and Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress directed by William Wyler, 1949
Portrait of Montgomery Clift and Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress directed by William Wyler, 1949
Portrait of Montgomery Clift and Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress directed by William Wyler, 1949
Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland in In this Our Life directed by John Huston, 1942
Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland in In this Our Life directed by John Huston, 1942
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Olivia de Havilland, Nancy Coleman and Ida Lupino in Devotion directed by Curtis Bernhardt, 1946
Olivia de Havilland, Nancy Coleman and Ida Lupino in Devotion directed by Curtis Bernhardt, 1946
Ida Lupino and Olivia de Havilland in Devotion directed by Curtis Bernhardt, 1946
Ida Lupino and Olivia de Havilland in Devotion directed by Curtis Bernhardt, 1946
Olivia de Havilland and Ida Lupino in Devotion directed by Curtis Bernhardt, 1946
Olivia de Havilland and Ida Lupino in Devotion directed by Curtis Bernhardt, 1946
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1944
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1944
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Charge of the Light Brigade directed by Michael Curtiz, 1936
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Charge of the Light Brigade directed by Michael Curtiz, 1936
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of Montgomery Clift and Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress directed by William Wyler, 1949
Portrait of Montgomery Clift and Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress directed by William Wyler, 1949
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn and Ann Sheridan for Dodge City directed by Michael Curtiz, 1939. Photo by George Hurrell
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn and Ann Sheridan for Dodge City directed by Michael Curtiz, 1939. Photo by George Hurrell
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1945
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1945
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and David Niven  in Raffles directed by Sam Wood, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and David Niven in Raffles directed by Sam Wood, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn for Santa Fe Trail directed by Michael Curtiz, 1940. Photo by Scotty Melbourne
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn for Santa Fe Trail directed by Michael Curtiz, 1940. Photo by Scotty Melbourne
Olivia de Havilland and Robert Cummings in Princess O'Rourke directed by Norman Krasna, 1943
Olivia de Havilland and Robert Cummings in Princess O'Rourke directed by Norman Krasna, 1943
Olivia de Havilland in Princess O'Rourke directed by Norman Krasna, 1943
Olivia de Havilland in Princess O'Rourke directed by Norman Krasna, 1943
Olivia de Havilland in Princess O'Rourke directed by Norman Krasna, 1943
Olivia de Havilland in Princess O'Rourke directed by Norman Krasna, 1943
Olivia de Havilland and Robert Cummings in Princess O'Rourke directed by Norman Krasna, 1943
Olivia de Havilland and Robert Cummings in Princess O'Rourke directed by Norman Krasna, 1943
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Elmer Fryer, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Elmer Fryer, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Elmer Fryer, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Elmer Fryer, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Elmer Fryer, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Elmer Fryer, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Elmer Fryer, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Elmer Fryer, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Robert Coburn, 1942
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Robert Coburn, 1942
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Scotty Melbourne, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Scotty Melbourne, 1940's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Scotty Melbourne, 1942
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by Scotty Melbourne, 1942
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for Gold is Where You Find it directed by Michael Curtiz, 1938. Photo by Elmer Fryer
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for Gold is Where You Find it directed by Michael Curtiz, 1938. Photo by Elmer Fryer
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by George Hurrell, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland by George Hurrell, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland, 1930's
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in Gone Whit the Wind directed by Victor Fleming , 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex directed by Michael Curtiz, 1939
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex directed by Michael Curtiz, 1939
Olivia de Havilland and Dick Powell in A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by William Dieterle and Max Reinhardt, 1935
Olivia de Havilland and Dick Powell in A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by William Dieterle and Max Reinhardt, 1935
Mickey Rooney and Olivia de Havilland in A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by William Dieterle and Max Reinhardt, 1935
Mickey Rooney and Olivia de Havilland in A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by William Dieterle and Max Reinhardt, 1935
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for Captain Blood directed by Michael Curtiz , 1935
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for Captain Blood directed by Michael Curtiz , 1935
Portrait of Fredric March and Olivia de Havilland for Anthony Adverse directed by Mervyn LeRoy , 1936
Portrait of Fredric March and Olivia de Havilland for Anthony Adverse directed by Mervyn LeRoy , 1936
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Charge of the Light Brigade directed by Michael Curtiz , 1936
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Charge of the Light Brigade directed by Michael Curtiz , 1936
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn for The Charge of the Light Brigade directed by Michael Curtiz , 1936
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn for The Charge of the Light Brigade directed by Michael Curtiz , 1936
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for Santa Fe Trail directed by Michael Curtiz, 1940. Photo by Scotty Melbourne
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland for Santa Fe Trail directed by Michael Curtiz, 1940. Photo by Scotty Melbourne
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938
Olivia de Havilland hair and make up test for The great Garrick directed by James Whale, 1937
Olivia de Havilland hair and make up test for The great Garrick directed by James Whale, 1937
Portait of Olivia de Havilland by George Hurrell, 1930's
Portait of Olivia de Havilland by George Hurrell, 1930's
Olivia de Havilland, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh at The Trocadero Club on Sunset Boulevard, 1939
Olivia de Havilland, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh at The Trocadero Club on Sunset Boulevard, 1939
Brian Aherne and Olivia de Havilland in The great Garrick directed by James Whale, 1937
Brian Aherne and Olivia de Havilland in The great Garrick directed by James Whale, 1937
Brian Aherne and Olivia de Havilland in The great Garrick directed by James Whale, 1937
Brian Aherne and Olivia de Havilland in The great Garrick directed by James Whale, 1937