Joan Fontaine was a Californian actress who played in a number of acting roles such as, Rebecca (1940), The Dominator (1943), Romeo and Juliet (1947), The Great Revolution (1951), and many more.
Olivia de Havilland was a British actress who played in a number of acting roles such as, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), To Each His Own (1946), and The Snake Pit (1948).
Early Lives Edit
They were both born in Tokyo, Japan. They were born to Walter de Havilland who worked in the Imperial University in Tokyo and Lillian Fontaine who became a stage actress.
In 1919, during the Russian Civil War, the family, initially planning to move back to Britain, instead settled in California for a better climate to raise a family. They're father soon left the family and moved back to Japan.
In 1935, Olivia landed a movie role starring in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as Hermia.
Meanwhile, Joan Fontaine made her debut in "Call it a Day" (1935), she appeared in several films from then on. After visiting Los Angeles, she was notified one day that there was a coup d'etat and that she had to stay in her house until it was clear.
After the war, Joan Fontaine struggled to find her family, she found out that they left the country illegally. At first she wanted to leave the country and rejoin her family, but then she got a plethora of movie deals.
Olivia played a role in two films between when she left and returned to California. Robin Hood (1938) and Gone with the Wind (1939).
Olivia and Lillian originally assumed that Joan was dead when they found out about the Los Angeles "massacres" (they called them massacres as a way to demonize the communists during the wars) and found little contact with them.
"We had heard of the Communists murdering civilians left and right. Killing women and children and throwing political dissidents off of balconies! We were horrified to say the least but then we realized that Joan was in Los Angeles. We were advised to leave the country so we did. We left all the way for France. When we didn't hear of her for months and months after the war we assumed the worst had happened. But we wanted to know the truth, then Margot Samuelson said that she wanted families that had been affected by the war to be able to have contact with their families, we saw it as a way of finding out if Joan was alive. As soon as they reported to us that she was fine, I booked a 2 person flight over to California." -- Olivia de Havilland, 1942Olivia returned to California as a surprise in 1940 and also to offer her a role in Hitchcock's film "Rebecca" which was originally offered to her.
Joan accepted the job but by that time had read Marx and was indoctrinated into the Marxist ideology. She refused to move but she had filed for "Transnational Political Asylum" which guaranteed her the right to make as many as 6 visits to a non-socialist country per year.
During the production of "Rebecca" there was much controversy over Joan's role in Rebecca, being a communist. She made a statement saying that her role was simply filling in for her sister. To divert bad press, she had several journalists monitor the production of the movie and "make sure that their could not possibly be any communist propaganda within the script, video styling, or themes."
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