Peter Bradshaw “Happy birthday Olivia de Havilland! Hollywood’s queen of radiant calm turns 100” https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2016/jul/01/olivia-de-havilland-100-years-old-gone-with-the-wind
It was as if Olivia and Joan were two sides of a single Hollywood diva. Where De Havilland brought something rational and controlled to her performances, Fontaine was the fragile, emotional star of movies such as Rebecca and Letter from an Unknown Woman. Fontaine was more quiveringly vulnerable, a real Hitchcockian leading lady; she was more mercurial, more haunted , sexier.
Olivia was the sister whose acting career was favoured by her mother; their parents were grand British expatriates in Japan, whose family was connected to the aircraft manufacturer. But Joan was not allowed to take the family name, and Fontaine was the name of her stepfather.
Neither sister could quite forgive the other for being in the movies. When De Havilland stepped up to receive her Oscar for The Heiress, she appeared to ignore Fontaine’s handshake (itself a cold gesture) in retaliation for being ignored when she had tried to congratulate Joan at the ceremony after Joan won for Suspicion. Even in late middle age, the sisters quarrelled over what kind of hospital care their mother should receive. To the very last, the women were protective and proprietorial about their elderly mother – whose influence was at the heart of their two careers and stormy relationship – and Joan (who died aged 96 in 2013) was irritated beyond endurance by her older sister’s goody-two-shoes image.
Flynn was the other key figure. He and Olivia had great chemistry and were paired in eight movies, including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) (she was a slightly upmarket Maid Marian to his Robin), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) and Captain Blood (1935). He was perennially the roguish seducer and she was the reserved beauty who despite herself finds this outrageous man attractive. In interviews, Flynn and De Havilland would deny a romance, but confessed to having “crushes” on each other. De Havilland later claimed that Flynn proposed marriage but that she turned him down because he was married to someone else. When De Havilland was interviewed about Errol Flynn on The Dinah Shore Show in the 1970s, this bland, middle-aged lady turned into a blushing schoolgirl, awkwardly twisting her pearls.
It all fuels the speculation that De Havilland and Flynn were having a passionate affair and deeply in love, but Olivia was held back by qualms about Errol’s drinking and womanising. There has always been something mysterious about the public image of Olivia de Havilland. She is the last queen of the postwar Hollywood era.
*2:See Veronica Horwell “Joan Fontaine obituary” http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/dec/16/joan-fontaine Mentioned in http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20131218/1387371986