Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to a Great Screen Legend!

I just realized that today is the 92nd birthday of one of the most beautiful actreeses ever, Joan Fontaine.  I realize that unless you love old movies you proably don't know who she is so I wanted to list my favorite Joan Fontaine movies for you to find and watch to be introduced to this amazing actress. 

First a little history about her.  She was born, Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, in Tokyo Japan in 1917 where her father was a successful British patent attorney.  Due to recurring illnesses of Joan and her older sister, Olivia de Havilland (yes, her sister is the actress that played Melanie from "Gone With the Wind"), her parents moved them to Califonia.  Her parents divorced and her father remained in Japan to work and Joan later went back there to school.  When she came back to California, her sister had already made a name for herself on the stage and Joan also joined an acting group there.  She originally chose the name "Joan Burfield" as to not infringe on her sisters stage name.  She changed her name to "Fontaine" in '37 when she was in (uncredited) one of my favorite Katherine Hepburn movies, "Quality Street". 

She was nominated for two Acadamy Awards, first for "Rebecca" (1940) and then for "Suspicion" (1941) and she won the second time for "Suspicion" which she starred in with Cary Grant. 

She made several other movies after that, some that are classics, and then her final movie was in 1994 in a TV movie called "Good King Wenceslas" 

Now for my 6 ALL TIME favorite Joan Fontaine movies:
6-Quality Street (1937-she is uncredited in this but it is one of my fav Katherine Hepburn movies so I am listing it!)
5-A Damsel in Distress(1927-with Fred Astair)
4-Jane Eyre (1944 with Orson Wells)
3-Suspicion (1941 with Cary Grant)
2-Rebecca (1940 with Laurence Olivier)
1-The Women(pictured above/1939-with Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell)

The Women was an amazing movie, don't even think of watching the remake that came out last year!  YUCK!!!  There should be a law against re-making the classics!  You can see my review of this movie in my blog archives (August 31 2008).

If you don't know who Joan Fontaine is, I highly recommend you watch some of these movies and you will agree with me that she is one classy and beautiful actress.

Happy Birthday Ms. Fontaine!!!


jordiegirl said...

Great post.

Kim said...

She was so pretty--I'll bet she still is.