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Joan Fontaine

Joan Fontaine

Joan Fontaine (born October 22, 1917) is an international actress. Born Joan De Beauvoir De Havilland in Tokyo, Japan, the daughter of a British patent attorney with a practice in Japan, she is the younger sister of actress Olivia de Havilland.

Because Joan and her mother both had frequent illnesses, the family moved to Saratoga, California for their health. But Joan's father soon went back to Japan, and he and his wife divorced. Joan returned to Tokyo to attend the American School there, but she came back in 1934 to find that her sister was making a name for herself on the stage.

Both sisters moved to Hollywood to start film careers. Because Olivia was using the family name, Joan began acting as Joan Burfield, in No More Ladies in 1935. Her career seemed to be ready to die, even as her sister's blossomed, but Joan changed her name to Fontaine and began receiving bigger parts in such movies as You Can't Beat Love, Quality Street, The Women and Gunga Din.

In 1940, Joan received an Academy Award nomination for Rebecca. The next year she was again nominated, for Suspicion, and this time she won the award. In 1944 she was nominated for The Constant Nymph.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1645 Vine Street.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Joan Fontaine Facts

Birth NameJoan De Beauvoir De Havilland
BirthdayOctober 22, 1917 (105)
BirthplaceTokyo, Japan
Height5' 3" (1m60)  How tall is Joan Fontaine compared to you?
Awards1942 Academy Awards: Best Actress (for Suspicion)

Selected Filmography

Bigamist, The
The Women
One Step Beyond 6 DVD Collector's Set
The Life of David Gale
Universal Hollywood Icons Collection: James Stewart
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Hitchcock Thrillers
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