Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, best known for her roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” and “Suspicion,” died Sunday (Dec. 15th) at her northern California home, according to reports. She was 96.
The actress' other works include 1943’s “The Constant Nymph,” 1944’s “Jane Eyre” and 1952’s “Ivanhoe.” Her final role was in a 1994 TV movie.
But Fontaine is perhaps best known for her long-lasting feud with older sister Olivia de Havilland, 97, a fellow Academy Award winner.
The two were bitter rivals, even competing for Best Actress in 1942, which Fontaine went on to win. It is rumored that her triumph over de Havilland is what intensified their rift.
Fontaine wrote about that moment in her 1978 autobiography “No Bed of Roses.”
“Now what had I done! All the animus we'd felt toward each other as children, the hair-pullings, the savage wrestling matches, the time Olivia tried to fracture my collarbone, all came rushing back in kaleidoscopic imagery," she wrote.
The actress had also commented on her broken relationship with her sister to several journalists, telling reporter Angela Fox Dunn in 1992, "My sister was born a lion, and I a tiger, and in the laws of the jungle, they were never friends."
And even before her death, Fontaine predicted that her older sister wouldn’t be pleased if she were to go first.
“Olivia has always said I was first at everything,” Fontaine told PEOPLE in a previous interview. “I got married first, got an Academy Award first, had a child first. If I die, she'll be furious, because again I'll have got there first!"
De Havilland at 97, is currently living in Paris. No word on whether her sister’s predictions are true.
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