Olivia de Havilland from ‘Gone with the Wind’ is 102-years-old, and gorgeous as ever

Even for those of us who weren’t around in 1939, we’ve all heard of the movie Gone with the Wind. The epic historical romance was the highest-earning film made up to that point and held the record for over 25 years.

Lead female actress Vivien Leigh was selected out of 1,400 women for the role of Scarlett O’Hara and the movie was delayed for two years so producers could secure Clark Gable for the lead male role of Rhett Butler.

Olivia de Havilland, earned an academy award nomination for her portrayal of gentle and courageous Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in the movie. Although her character dies at the end of the movie Olivia lives on.

As the legendary movie marks its 80th birthday this year Olivia will celebrate her 103rd birthday.

Gone with the Wind was set in the American south against the backdrop of the American Civil War where Olivia played a conflicting love interest for lead character Scarlett O’Hara.

After the movie British-American actress Olivia went on to appear in more than 50 movies and has received many honors for her services to the big screen.

Before her 101st birthday on July 1, 2017, the two-time Oscar winner, who retired from acting about three decades ago, became the oldest person ever to be appointed a “Dame Commander” when she attended Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday.

Being the oldest person ever to receive the honor, she told People’s magazine that she was “extremely proud.”

“To receive this honor as my 101st birthday approaches is the most gratifying of birthday presents,” Olivia said.

The actress, who was born in Japan to British parents and has American, British and French citizenship, made her stage debut as a child in a production of “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.”

She won her first Oscar for Best Actress for her role in To Each His Own  and three years later in 1950, she won her 2nd Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in The Heiress.

Olivia recalled the moment when she helped Clark Gable through a difficult scene in Gone with the Wind when he was supposed to cry after the death of his on-screen daughter.


Olivia de Havilland, 2-time Oscar winner and one of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, turns 101 tomorrow. http://abcn.ws/2ts1klU 

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The 102-year-old said the secret to her long and healthy life was “the three L’s – love, laughter and light,” according to Vanity Fair.

She also does the New York Times crossword puzzle every day, a habit that started when she was a teenager.

“And would you believe Clark almost quit?” Olivia said, according to an article in The Vintage News.


“It was all about one scene. I remember talking to Clark about the scene when he is supposed to cry, after the death of his daughter. He was worried: you see, he had never cried on the screen before. He thought it was not masculine to cry.

“I remember I said, ‘Tears denote strength of character, not weakness. Crying makes you intensely human.’ He agreed, rehearsed it, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable scenes in the movie.”