Legendary actress Joan Fontaine has died. She was 96. No details are immediately available.
Born in Japan to British parents in 1917, she and her sister Olivia de Havilland moved to California as toddlers and began working for RKO Pictures by 1935. Early roles include the likes of “Quality Street” and “The Women,” “Gunga Din,” “The Man Who Found Himself,” and “Damsel in Distress”.
Fontaine achieved stardom in the early 1940s when she scored an Oscar nomination for Alfred Hitchcock’s Best Picture winner “Rebecca” (underrated and one of my personal favorite Hitchcocks).
The following year she went on to win the Oscar for “Suspicion,” her second team-up with Hitchcock and the only actress to ever win for a Hitchcock film. Fontaine beat her sister that year at the Oscars, and a rejected attempt to congratulate her added to an already frictional relationship – the pair having not spoken since the 1970s. De Havilland currently lives in Paris.
Following both Hitchcock films, Fontaine also had memorable roles in “The Constant Nymph,” “Frenchman’s Creek,” “Jane Eyre,” “Ivy,” “The Emperor Waltz,” “Letter from an Unknown Woman,” “September Affair,” “Ivanhoe,” “Island in the Sun,” “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” and “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”. Her last film appearance was in 1966’s “The Witches”, though she did do the occasional TV spot in the 1980s.
Fontaine certainly lived her life – married and divorced four times, she was also a licensed pilot, accomplished interior decorator and a Cordon Bleu-level chef.