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Joan Fontaine

Born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland on October 22, 1917, in Tokyo, Japan, in what was known as the International Settlement. Her father was a British patent attorney with a lucrative practice in Japan, but due to Joan and older sister Olivia de Havilland's recurring ailments the family moved to California in the hopes of improving their health. Mrs. de Havilland and the two girls settled in Saratoga while their father went back to his practice in Japan. Joan's parents did not get along well and divorced soon afterward. Mrs. de Havilland had a desire to be an actress but her dreams were curtailed when she married, but now she hoped to pass on her dream to Olivia and Joan.While Olivia pursued a stage career, Joan went back to Tokyo, where she attended the American School. In 1934 she came back to California, where her sister was already making a name for herself on the stage. Joan likewise joined a theater group in San Jose and then Los Angeles to try her luck there. After moving to L.A., Joan adopted the name of Joan Burfield because she didn't want to infringe upon Olivia, who was using the family surname. She tested at MGM and gained a small role in No More Ladies (1935), but she was scarcely noticed and Joan was idle for a year and a half. During this time she roomed with Olivia, who was having much more success in films.In 1937, this time calling herself Joan Fontaine, she landed a better role as Trudy Olson in You Can't Beat Love (1937) and then an uncredited part in Quality Street (1937). Although the next two years saw her in better roles, she still yearned for something better. In 1940 she garnered her first Academy Award nomination for Rebecca (1940). Although she thought she should have won, (she lost out to Ginger Rogers in Kitty Foyle (1940)), she was now an established member of the Hollywood set. She would again be Oscar-nominated for her role as Lina McLaidlaw Aysgarth in Suspicion (1941), and this time she won.Joan was making one film a year but choosing her roles well. In 1942 she starred in the well-received This Above All (1942). The following year she appeared in The Constant Nymph (1943). Once again she was nominated for the Oscar, she lost out to Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette (1943). By now it was safe to say she was more famous than her older sister and more fine films followed. In 1948, she accepted second billing to Bing Crosby in The Emperor Waltz (1948).Joan took the year of 1949 off before coming back in 1950 with September Affair (1950) and Born to Be Bad (1950). In 1951 she starred in Paramount's Darling, How Could You! (1951), which turned out badly for both her and the studio and more weak productions followed. Absent from the big screen for a while, she took parts in television and dinner theaters. She also starred in many well-produced Broadway plays such as Forty Carats and The Lion in Winter. Her last appearance on the big screen was The Witches (1966) and her final appearance before the cameras was Good King Wenceslas (1994). She is, without a doubt, a lasting movie icon.

The database contains 196 images with Joan Fontaine, divided over 16 titles.

Popular images

All movies

1957 Until They Sail

2 / 8

1952 Ivanhoe

14 / 67

1950 Born to Be Bad

5 / 6

1947 Ivy

15 / 15

1943 Jane Eyre

10 / 11

1941 Suspicion

36 / 37

1940 Rebecca

64 / 69

1939 Gunga Din

1 / 8

1939 The Women

14 / 36
Promo shot

1763 * 2144 Jane Eyre 1943

Promo shot

1996 * 2556 Jane Eyre 1943

Publicity still

1422 * 1800 Rebecca 1940

Publicity still with Judith Anderson

1800 * 1414 Rebecca 1940

Publicity still with Cary Grant

2672 * 2001 Suspicion 1941

Publicity still

2270 * 2805 Suspicion 1941

Publicity still with Cary Grant

1300 * 1695 Suspicion 1941

Publicity still with Cary Grant

1300 * 1624 Suspicion 1941

Publicity still with Orson Welles

1276 * 1600 Jane Eyre 1943

Publicity still with Orson Welles & John Abbott

1600 * 1180 Jane Eyre 1943

Promo shot with Laurence Olivier

1796 * 2084 Rebecca 1940

Promo shot with Cary Grant

1200 * 1565 Suspicion 1941

Promo shot with Cary Grant & Nigel Bruce

1213 * 1508 Suspicion 1941

Promo shot with Robert Taylor

1218 * 1503 Ivanhoe 1952

Promo shot

1128 * 1388 Ivanhoe 1952

Promo shot

1244 * 1554 Ivanhoe 1952