It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since Gone with the Wind has been on the silver screen. Olivia De Haviland is now the last living cast member and she is 102 years old. She has seen a lot of success in her life, including being the oldest person appointed as a ‘Dame Commander’ by Queen Elizabeth II just before turning 101.
As far as the Golden age of the silver screen, she was one of the best. When the 1939 film Gone with the Wind was released, she was a star.https://www.facebook.com/GoneWithTheWindOfficial/photos/a.306314079461816/651074161652471/?type=3
Gone with the Wind depicts the lives of those living in the American South during the Civil War in 1861. De Haviland played the part of Melanie Wilkes, who was a conflicting love interest for the lead role of Scarlett O’Hara.
De Haviland said that she had a hard time identifying with Melanie Wilkes when she first read the novel.
“But when I read Sidney Howard’s wonderful script, Melanie seemed like a totally different character,” she said. “I liked her, I admired her, I loved her!”
She must have turned things around because she ended up receiving an Academy Award nomination for best-supporting actress. Her first Oscar was won for her 1946 appearance in ‘To Each His Own’ and she won her second Oscar three years later for best actress in The Heiress.
With a career spanning from 1935-1988, she has performed in over 50 films. Her first performance was in a production of A Midsummer Nights Dream when she was a child.
Aside from Gone with the Wind, she has appeared in The Snake Pit in 1948 and acted together with Errol Flynn in eight films-The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), Four’s a Crowd (1938), Dodge City (1939), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941).
When she was getting ready to celebrate her 101st birthday, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her as Dame Commander. She is the oldest person to ever receive that honor and was ‘extremely proud’.
“To receive this honor as my 101st birthday approaches is the most gratifying of birthday presents,” de Havilland said.
With such a long life behind her, you might want to know what her secret is to longevity. She says that she owes it to the ‘three L’s – love, laughter and light’. She also has a daily habit of doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.
Here’s wishing Olivia De Haviland many happy returns.