Olivia de Havilland Mourning Sister, Actress Joan Fontaine

Image: Olivia de Havilland Mourning Sister, Actress Joan Fontaine

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 03:44 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Acting icon Olivia de Havilland is in mourning Tuesday after learning her younger sister and actress Joan Fontaine died on Sunday.

Fontaine was 96 when she died in Carmel, Calif.

The two sisters pulled off a rarity of winning sibling Academy Awards, but the competition played out in a bitter public rivalry that lasted most of their lives.

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"Joan was her kid sister — of course she's hugely sad at her passing," one of de Havilland's friends told the Daily Mail in Paris, where de Havilland currently lives. "She's certainly in mourning and has made it clear that she will never forget Joan."

De Havilland, 97, issued a statement Monday, wrote the Daily mail, saying that she was "shocked and saddened" by Fontaine's death.

Fontaine and de Havilland were pitted against each other for best actress Oscar nominations in 1941, with Fontaine winning for her role in the Alfred Hitchcock film "Suspicion."

"All the animus we'd felt toward each other as children, the hair pullings, the savage wrestling matches, the time Olivia fractured my collarbone, all came rushing back in kaleidoscopic imagery," Fontaine said, according to the Daily Mail, in an earlier interview about her name being called for the Oscar that night. "My paralysis was total. I felt Olivia would spring across the table and grab me by the hair."

When de Havilland won the first of her two Oscars in 1947 for "To Each His Own," she rebuffed Fontaine who walked up to congratulate her, wrote The Associated Press.

"This goes back for years and years, ever since they were children," de Havilland's publicist said then, according to the AP.

Fontaine was born in Tokyo in 1917, where the family lived, but moved to California in 1919.

"There was always something wrong with me," Fontaine said in an earlier interview, noted the Associated Press. "For a while I averaged about two days a week in school. I had headaches, I had all kinds of pains. I was kept away from other children, never allowed to do the things they did."

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