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Olivia de Havilland shocked, saddened by sister Joan Fontaine's death

The 97-year-old actress mourned the death of her sister despite their years of rivalry.

By
Gabrielle Levy
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 and Cary Grant star in the 1941 Hitchcock thriller, 'Suspicion,' for which Fontaine won an Academy Award for Best Actress. (RKO Radio Pictures)

They were bitter rivals, and rarely spoke, but Joan Fontaine and Olivia De Havilland were sisters.

De Havilland called time out on their decades-long feud following Fontaine's death Sunday, saying in a statement she was "shocked and saddened" by the news and was thankful for "the many kind expressions of sympathies."

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The sisters -- Fontaine took her mother's stage name name to avoid confusion -- were both Oscar-winning actresses whose rivalry stemmed from childhood. They last saw one another at their mother's funeral and stopped speaking entirely afterwards.

And in 1978, Fontaine said, perhaps only half in jest, that her 15-month-older sister would take it as an affront if Fontaine died before she did.

“I married first, won the Oscar before Olivia did, and if I die first, she’ll undoubtedly be livid because I beat her to it!” she told the Hollywood Reporter.

But, if only in public, the feud seems to have finally come to an end.

[Hollywood.com] [Washington Post]

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