Gone With The Wind actress Dame Olivia de Havilland is remembered as a “legend” and a “class act” after her death at the age of 104.
The actress, one of the last surviving figures of Hollywood’s Golden Age, died at home in Paris, her representatives confirmed on Sunday.
A statement said, “Last night the world lost an international treasure and I lost a dear friend and a beloved customer. She died peacefully in Paris. ‘
Tributes poured in from the acting world, including from singer and Hollywood star Jared Leto, who had exchanged correspondence with Dame Olivia.
He tweeted, “She was a class act. I still have the kind and thoughtful letters she wrote me by hand on beautiful blue stationery. They were from a different era. ‘
In a series of Twitter posts, in the 1940s, Leto attributed Dame Olivia’s bravery to bringing about a labor law that benefited his music career.
Legendary Olivia De Havilland passed away yesterday. She was 104. Olivia had a big impact in my life and I had the pleasure of spending some time with her in Paris. I thanked her for her courage and told how her choices affected me and my brother (1/6) pic.twitter.com/R9RXsrWHS9
– JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) July 26, 2020
He explained that he and his brother were in debt and would ‘not get a dime’ from their record company and that they had a nine-year contract.
They relied on the so-called “De Havilland Law” to leverage their legal battle, he said.
The historic 1944 statement, reached after Dame Olivia sought her freedom from Warner Bros, ended the tight grip studios had on contract actors.
Leto said he had “a great time” when he later met Dame Olivia in Paris and tweeted, “I have to thank her for fighting the system back then so I could fight it now. It was great meeting her – she is a legend. “
Actress Jane Seymour said she would “ cherish ” the memories of appearing alongside Dame Olivia in 1988’s The Woman He Loved for life.
Seymour shared a photo of the couple filming together on Instagram, saying that Lady Olivia was ‘bigger than life’ and ‘a brilliant actor’.
“Rest in peace Olivia, we will miss you very much,” she wrote.
In a statement, fellow Hollywood greatness Humphrey Bogart’s legacy described Dame Olivia as a “truly classic Hollywood icon.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, said: “To each his own, the heiress, away with the wind and so many others.
Olivia de Havilland, two-time Oscar winner for Best Actress, was a mainstay of Hollywood’s Golden Age and an immeasurable talent. Here is a true legend of our industry. “
SAG-AFTRA, where the Screen Actors Guild Awards are held, added, “With deep respect we mourn the death of Oscar-winning Hollywood legend & @ sagaftra actress Olivia de Havilland.
“Her (guts) & grit to take on the studio system in 1945 helped her fellow actors for generations to come. Our condolences to family and friends. “
Dame Olivia won two best actress oscars for her roles in 1946’s To Each His Own and 1949’s The Heiress.
However, she is best remembered for her role as Melanie Wilkes in the 1939 film Gone With The Wind and was the last surviving member of the lead role before her death.
She was born on July 1, 1916 to British parents in Tokyo, but moved to California at a young age.
She first appeared on the big screen in 1935 as Dolly Stevens in Alibi Ike and quickly became known for her collaboration with Hollywood heartthrob Errol Flynn on films such as The Charge Of The Light Brigade (1936) and The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938 ), although they never started a romantic relationship.
After leaving Hollywood in the 1950s, the actress moved to Paris with her second husband.
a ???? For all of him, â ???? a ???? The heiress, â ???? a ???? Gone with the Windâ ???? and so many others. Olivia de Havilland, two-time Oscar winner for Best Actress, was a Hollywood Golden Age mainstay and an immeasurable talent. Here is a true legend of our industry. pic.twitter.com/VYMMNknh4v
– The Academy (@TheAcademy) July 26, 2020
She made a number of TV appearances and often worked on several film titles every year until her last TV movie role as Aunt Bessie Merryman in The Woman He Loved in 1988.
Her younger sister, Joan Fontaine, with whom she had a famous rivalry, followed in her footsteps and won an Oscar for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1941 thriller Suspicion.
In 2017, she said she was “ extremely proud ” to become a lady for drama services.
In 2019, she lost her lawsuit over a television series she claimed had portrayed her as false and dishonest.
In the anthology series Feud: Bette And Joan from FX, about the lives of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Catherine Zeta Jones plays Dame Olivia.
With deep respect we mourn the death of an Oscar-winning Hollywood legend and @sagaftra actress Olivia de Havilland. Her guys & grit to take on the studio system in 1945 helped her fellow actors for generations to come. Our condolences to family and friends. https://t.co/PTSJ2XamOm
– SAG-AFTRA Foundation (@sagaftraFOUND) July 26, 2020
Gone With The Wind was recently the center of controversy after being removed from the HBO Max streaming service due to its pre-Civil War South portrayal.
It has since returned with a message that it “denies the horrors of slavery.”