Classic Hollywood star Olivia de Havilland, who portrayed Melanie in Gone With the Wind, has passed away at the age of 104. The two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress died at her home in Paris, France, while she was sleeping, Entertainment Weekly reports.
She found fame in the 1930s with roles in Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood, where she played the damsel in distress. However, she bucked against being typecast in that role and eventually pursued a lawsuit against Warner Bros. when the studio attempted to lengthen her seven-year contract as punishment for declining roles. She ultimately won in a landmark ruling that is still called the “de Havilland law.”
While she earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal in 1939’s Gone With the Wind, after the lawsuit, she was given more opportunity to play powerful roles. She earned her first Academy Award for 1946’s To Each His Own, where she played the lead role of a mother who tries to find her son after giving him up for adoption. She landed her second Academy Award for her performance in The Heiress, for the role of a woman who, though controlled by her wealthy father and deceived by her greedy lover, ends up winning.
She was also estranged from her sister and fellow actress, Joan Fontaine, who died in 2013 at 96-years-old; the two reportedly stopped speaking in the mid-70s. It’s widely known that de Havilland rejected the role of Blanche DuBois in 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire because she “couldn’t relate to it.”