So sad. The legendary actress who won an Oscar for Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Suspicion’ in 1941 passed away on Dec. 15 of natural causes. She was 96 years old.
Joan Fontaine, the cool, beautiful actress who lit up the 1940s and 50s, died from natural causes in her home in Carmel, Calif. at the age of 96 years old on Dec. 15.
Joan Fontaine: Actress Dies At 96
The Oscar-winning actress passed away in her sleep, longtime friend Noel Beutel told the Associated Press. Noel said that Joan had been fading for the last few days, but that she died peacefully.
With her soft beauty and aptitude for playing frightened damsels in distress, Joan was one of the most recognizable actresses of her time. She won an Academy Award in 1941 for starring in the Alfred Hitchcock film, Suspicion. She was also nominated for best actress for Hitchcock’s Rebecca in 1940 and for The Constant Nymph three years later.
Joan will also be remembered for her lifelong, legendary feud with her sister and fellow actress, Olivia de Havilland. The sibling rivalry was one that would have set tabloids on fire, with Joan and Olivia bickering at awards shows and making comments about each other’s husbands. It was also a professional rivalry — Olivia lost the Academy Award for best actress to Joan in 1941, but would later claim two awards for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949).
Through the course of her life, Joan starred in over 30 movies, and she also tackled the stage, starring in Tea and Sympathy on Broadway in 1954. But her career was a long one, as her acting was recognized again in 1980 when she was nominated for an Emmy for her guest role on the daytime soap Ryan’s Hope.
Joan Fontaine will always be remembered and revered. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.
— Andrew Gruttadaro