Joan Fontaine Dead at 96: 12 Roles in Clips and Trailers

Joan Fontaine in New York on February 25, 1944. (Photo: AP/Dan Grossi)

Joan Fontaine in New York on February 25, 1944. (Photo: AP/Dan Grossi)

Joan Fontaine, British silver screen star and one of Alfred Hitchcock‘s most notable “cool blondes,” has died at age 96 today (December 15), BBC NEWS is reporting. She rose to fame in the ’40s with roles in Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941), winning a Best Actress Academy Award for the latter and becoming the sole actress to win an Oscar for a performance directed by the legendary filmmaker.

Born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, Fontaine was also well-known for her fractured relationship with her older, twice Oscar-winning sister, Olivia De Havilland of Gone With the Wind fame. The siblings stopped speaking in the ’70s. Here’s an interview from CBC TV in 1979 in which she explains their feud, her childhood, and her lack of stable romantic relationships:

It’s been a sad weekend for fans of screen legends from the British Isles: Peter O’Toole died on Saturday at age 81. As we did with O’Toole’s filmography, let’s take a look back at Fontaine’s career with trailers from her best films.

Rebecca, 1940

Suspicion, 1941

The Constant Nymph, 1943

Jane Eyre, 1944

The Affairs of Susan, 1945

Ivy, 1947

Letter From an Unknown Woman, 1948

The Emperor Waltz, 1948

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, 1948

September Affair, 1950

Ivanhoe, 1952

Island in the Sun, 1957

See more:
Brit Binge Watching: Five Classics You Can View on Netflix
Five ‘Secretly British’ Stars of the Silver Screen

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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