Olivia de Havilland, star of ‘Gone With the Wind,’ dies at the age of 104. The two-time Oscar winner and the last surviving star of ‘Gone With the Wind,’ has died according to her publicist Lisa Goldberg.
The star died on Sunday from natural causes at her home in Paris, her publicist said. Havilland had been living in Paris for over six decades.
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De Havilland first rose as a star during the classic movie era — first as a partner for Errol Flynn in swashbucklers such as “Captain Blood” and “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and then in “Gone With the Wind” (1939) as Melanie Hamilton Wilkes. The last was considered the top grossing film of all time (after inflation). De Havilland had become one of the screen’s top actresses by the late 1940s.
Olivia de Havilland’s lawsuit against Warner Bros.
Her most notable achievement in Hollywood was her off-screen lawsuit against her employer, Warner Bros. Havilland sued Warner Bros after it attempted to extend her seven-year contract, which was expiring soon. Under the studio system, actors faced suspension with no pay if they rejected roles, and the suspension time was added to their contracts.
De Havilland’s victory in courts against the Warner Bros helped move power from the big studio to celebrities and powerful talent agencies of togay. Also Read: Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green dies aged 73
“Hollywood actors will be forever in Olivia’s debt,” de Havilland’s friend and frequent co-star Bette Davis wrote in her autobiography, “The Lonely Life.”
De Havilland later recalled how rewarding the victory was for her.
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“I was very proud of that decision, for it corrected a serious abuse of the contract system — forced extension of a contract beyond its legal term. Among those who benefited by the decision were the actors who fought in World War II and who, throughout that conflict, were on suspension,” the actress told the Screen Actors Guild in a 1994 interview.