Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Joan Fontaine, Iconic Actress Of Hollywood's Golden Age, Dies At 96

(Photo via Getty Images)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Actress Joan Fontaine, who was one of the legendary Hollywood stars in the "golden age" of the film industry, died today, her publicist confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 96.Fontaine was probably best known for her roles in the films "Rebecca," in which she played a young woman who is seen by a housekeeper as an unworthy replacement to the title character, and Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion," where she won an Oscar for Best Actress over her sister and rival, Olivia de Havilland.

In fact, it was the sisterly rivalry between Fontaine and de Havilland that became a sensational source of gossip in the early days of Hollywood. It is said that when Fontaine won her Oscar, she ignored de Havilland's gesture of congratulations, THR reports. Enraged, de Havilland allegedly brushed off Fontaine when she came forward to claim her Oscar a few years later. "My sister was born a lion, and I a tiger, and in the laws of the jungle, they could never be friends." Fontaine said.

Fontaine's last film role was in "The Witches" in 1966. After that, she lived out her remaining days in her estate in Carmel-by-the-Sea, occasionally appearing in Broadway and television programs.