Tags: Hollywood | hollywood

Joan Fontaine on TV: How Her Star Power Went Beyond the Big Screen

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2015 11:43 AM

Joan Fontaine, the Oscar-winning actress best known for playing frightened wives in Alfred Hitchcock movies during Hollywood’s 1940s golden age, had star power that went beyond the big screen.

Vote Now: Which Actress Is Your All-Time Favorite?

She made vulnerability look glamorous, a skill that earned her the Academy Award as a terrified newlywed in Hitchcock’s “Suspicion.” She landed leading roles in “Rebecca,” “The Constant Nymph,” and “Jane Eyre,” and parts in more than 30 movies opposite legends such as Laurence Olivier, Cary Grant, Burt Lancaster, Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, and James Stewart.

She also appeared in 30 dinner theater plays and two on Broadway, replacing Deborah Kerr as a wife helping a young man affirm his sexuality in the 1953 hit “Tea and Sympathy” and Julie Harris as a middle-aged woman involved with a younger man in the 1968 comedy “Forty Carats.”

Tell Us: Who Is Your Favorite Actor of All Time?

Her spot in television history is more than her credits in reruns showing on Turner Classic Movies. Fontaine’s career spanned nearly six decades, and she appeared on shows such as “Wagon Train, “Cannon” and “The Love Boat.” She also was a regular on “The Match Game” and “To Tell the Truth” and talk shows with Doris Day, Merv Griffin, Joan Rivers, Dick Cavett, Mike Douglas, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, according to TV.com.

In 1980, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for an appearance on the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope.” She was quoted on the show’s website about why she took the role: “I said to my agent I've got to become known to a whole group of people who don't stay up until 3 o'clock in the morning to see my films."

In 1994, she came out of retirement to take a role in the Family Channel movie “Good King Wenceslas.”

She was no shrinking violet off-screen, either. Born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland to British parents while her father was working as a patent lawyer in Tokyo, she had a rocky childhood full of moves and divorce, The New York Times said. She married and divorced four times herself.

Fontaine had a lifelong, vicious public rivalry with her fellow actress and older sister, Olivia de Havilland. Drama followed with her own daughters (one with her second husband and the other unofficially adopted from Peru), who both became estranged from her. By 1978, she had plenty of material to fill her autobiography, “No Bed of Roses.”

“You know, I’ve had a helluva life,” The Guardian quoted her. “Not just the acting part. I’ve flown in an international balloon race. I’ve piloted my own plane. I’ve ridden to the hounds. I’ve done a lot of exciting things.”

Fontaine died in 2013 at age 96. She and her sister have stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, just far enough apart that they don’t have to share the spotlight.

Vote Now: Which of These Actresses Stands the Test of Time?

Related Stories:


© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
Joan Fontaine, the Oscar-winning actress best known for playing frightened wives in Alfred Hitchcock movies during Hollywood’s 1940s golden age, had star power that went beyond the big screen.
hollywood
515
2015-43-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 11:43 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved