Olivia de Havilland Centennial Tribute

This summer, the Museum proudly honors legendary actress Olivia de Havilland on the occasion of her 100th birthday on July 1. The actress personally selected 12 films, including two for which she won Academy Awards and another three that earned her nominations. The tribute features 35mm studio prints, along with digital restorations.

Pick up a copy of Olivia de Havilland’s delightful memoir, "Every Frenchman Has One"reprinted in honor of her 100th birthdayfor $16 at the MFA Shop, and at the film box office prior to screenings.

Special thanks to de Havilland and her daughter, Gisele Chulack, who is an Honorary Trustee of the Museum, for their active participation in the planning of this tribute.

About Olivia de Havilland

The daughter of a British  businessman and a choir teacher, de Havilland arrived in California at the age of 3. She made her screen debut in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935) and was signed to a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers. She played romantic heroines paired with many top male stars, but her breakout performance came as Melanie in Gone with the Wind (1939), when Warner Brothers loaned her to David O. Selznick for the role in the MGM film. After rebelling for better roles at Warner Brothers, de Havilland was suspended and was not released from her contract at the end of her seven-year term. She sued the studio and won in a landmark case that set the limit for a studio-player contract to expire at the end of seven years (including suspensions). She won Oscars for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949) and received accolades for her roles in Hold Back the Dawn (1941) and The Snake Pit (1948), becoming one of Hollywood’s leading dramatic actresses. In the 1950s she moved to France, where she still resides, continuing to take movie roles that appealed to her. Her comedic adventures in Every Frenchman Has One (a liver, not a mistress) recollect her adaptation to life in Paris. Earlier this year, de Havilland accepted, in good humor, the “Oldie of the Year” honor from the satirical British magazine The Oldie.

Read an overview article on Olivia de Havilland's career.

This program is presented with support from the Vaughn Foundation.