Happy Birthday Olivia!


Olivia de Havilland (b. July 1, 1916) during the filming of Captain Blood, 1935

I’m breaking my usual “silent film only” theme a bit today to post this little tribute to Olivia de Havilland, 96 years old today and still active, narrating films and accepting awards and publishing memoirs and generally being awesome.

She’s played some of my favorite onscreen good girls, including Amy Lind in The Strawberry Blonde, Arabella Bishop in Captain Blood, and Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood. These characters are good, thoughtful, kind women, but they’re never flat and they’re never boring. She’s quoted as saying:

Playing good girls in the 30s was difficult, when the fad was to play bad girls. Actually I think playing bad girls is a bore; I have always had more luck with good girl roles because they require more from an actress.

I’ve seen her play some very convincing villains, too. She’s definitely an actress with range. But she has a facility for making the ordinary girl next door seem extraordinary. Thank you, Olivia de Havilland, and happy birthday!

Another of my eternal crushes—Olivia de Havilland; the most beautiful “plain” damsel ever. Love you.

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