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Joan Fontaine, Oscar-winning Hitchcock blonde, dies at 96

The actress died in her sleep Sunday at the age of 96.

By Gabrielle Levy
Joan Fontaine, Oscar-winning Hitchcock blonde, dies at 96
Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant star in the 1941 Hitchcock thriller, 'Suspicion,' for which Fontaine won an Academy Award for Best Actress. (RKO Radio Pictures)

Joan Fontaine, the actress who became a star playing troubled wives in early Hitchcock films, has died at the age of 96.

She died at her home in Carmel, Calif., on Sunday, her assistant, Susan Pfeiffer, confirmedd.

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Fontaine's career took off in 1941, when she received her first Oscar nomination playing opposite Laurence Olivier in the Hitchcock thriller Rebecca. A year later, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in Suspicion, opposite Cary Grant, becoming the only actor to ever win for a Hitchcock role.

She had a thriving film career through the 1950s, transforming into a primarily a star of television and stage. Her final role was in 1994.

Fontaine and her sister, Olivia de Havilland, are the only siblings ever to both win Academy Awards. She is survived by her sister, a daughter and a grandson.

[New York Times]

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