16:13 16 December 2013
Joan Fontaine, the Academy Award-winning actress who is best known for her string of roles as well-mannered heroines in the 1940s, died in California at the age of 96.
Fontaine and her sister Olivia de Havilland were intense rival during their time among Hollywood’s golden era of starlets. Their rivalry peaked when she beat Havilland for the 1941 Best Actress Oscar.
The Oscar award-winning actress was born in 1917 in Tokyo, Japan. However, they moved to California after suffering from recurring ailments throughout her childhood. She was the daughter of stage actress Lillian Fontaine. Although her sister was the first one to pursue acting career, Joan quickly rose to fame after starring in the classic comedy The Women.
She went on to become the only actor to win an Oscar under Alfred Hitchcock’s direction. It came for her work in Suspicion, a year after being nominated for classic melodrama Rebecca.
She continued to work throughout the 1950s and her last appearance was in Hammer Films horror movie The Devil’s Own (aka The Witches). She then continued acting on television and received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Ryan’s Hope.
In 1978, she published an autobiography entitled No Bed of Roses. She retired for good after the television film Good King Wenceslas. She is survived by her daughter, Debbie Dozier.
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