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Joan Fontaine, RIP

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Hard upon the sad news about Eleanor Parker and Peter O'Toole, this.

Joan Fontaine is dead at age 96. Another link with the golden age of Hollywood gone. Her older sister, Olivia de Havilland, survives her. (I guess Olivia wins this round.) Never the world's greatest actor but she was very good in Rebecca and contributes a great deal to the success of that film. RIP to one of Hollywood's great beauties.

Fontaine's assistant confirmed the death to The Hollywood Reporter, a fitting end for the star who once told Vanity Fair she wanted to die 'in bed – alone'.

The link has some nice color pics, one of Joan and Olivia in happier days.

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She was also good in Suspicion with Cary Grant. I have to dig up The Women, where I seem to remember her giving a fine performance too. In that era, her quivering, youthful innocence provided a nice contrast to the sass of actors like Barbara Stanwyck.

RIP

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She won her Academy Award for Suspicion, although it was generally considered a compensation award for not winning the previous year with Rebecca. (The movie itself isn't bad until the end, which departs from the original book and makes no sense whatsoever.)

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In this past week's "Falstaff" Live in HD, one of the women said that director Robert Carsten suggested that they watch "The Women" to see how they acted and moved, even though the movie was made before the '50's, where "Falstaff" was set.

Rest in peace, Ms. Fontaine.

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I really love "Letter From an Unknown Woman." Very intrigued about Joan Fontaine offstage -- she seems to have had a sharp, even prickly sense of humor that was at odds with her ladylike onscreen persona. It's a shame she never reconciled with her sister Olivia.

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De Havilland comments briefly on her sister's death. (The link also has a Fontaine photo gallery.) She's "shocked and saddened." I'm sure she is, although I confess part of me was hoping she'd say "I smoked a victory cigar." In any case Olivia seems in good health. Long may she wave!

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Oh, the passing of Joan Fontaine makes me so sad - I was hoping she'd make it to 100, at least. Who can forget her performance as the naive, in-confident 2nd Mrs. DeWinter? And in The Women? She was so lovely. Rest in Peace, Ms. Fontaine.

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Yes, she was sweet in The Women, just right for that part.

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