After both of her daughters reached film stardom, Fontaine returned to acting with a notable role in Billy Wilder's drama The Lost Weekend (1945) as the mother of Jane Wyman's character. ( Log Out /  [1], After a stage career Fontaine married the British patent attorney Walter de Havilland (1872–1968). | Lilian was a tough mother, but I think it’s so sweet that during their last phone conversation, Lilian took the time to express her love in words, and Joan finally felt the assurance that her mother loved her. Lilian Fontaine never appeared in a film starring her eldest daughter, Olivia de Havilland. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Lara is the author of CAPTAIN OF HER SOUL: The Life of Marion Davies (UC Press, 2022). Skip to 5:45 in this clip from Ivy. Looking for some great streaming picks? I really enjoyed your piece. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. They all belong to the ages now, hopefully they are at peace. Her ashes were scattered by her daughters in the woods near Villa Montalvo, a community theater in Saratoga, California that she helped to found, where she had directed plays. To view this content, please use one of the following compatible browsers: Ivy A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and also a trained singer, Lilian was a native of Reading–a large English city in the Berkshires. A beautiful and graceful end to a life, I think. The three of them look so happy together. Bio by: Jennifer M. She was married to George Milan Fontaine and Walter Augustus de Havilland. Leave some flowers. If you would like to contact the author, please send an email to, Remember How Much I Loved You–Joan and Lilian Fontaine, Olivia de Havilland–Lady of Classic Cinema. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I grew up about 5 miles from Villa Montalvo, and I went there with my Mum & Dad many times over the years in the 60s and 70s. Even today, while Joan lives a quiet life in Carmel at the age of 95, her mother is not far from her mind. Here you will find pieces on frequently seen classics and some lesser-known gems, as well as book reviews, festival coverage, and pieces on the history, theory and culture of film as it relates to the study of classic cinema. Daughter of Alfred (1845-1919), born in Swaffam, Cambridgeshire, and Mary (née Hocking) Ruse (1846-1906), born in Brighton, Sussex. Regards, (1947), The Imperfect Lady Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Lilian with Joan (on the floor) and Olivia (seated) shortly after their arrival to the United States. When she began to earn money in movies, she sent monthly checks to her mother, supporting her completely of her own will. June 11, Support Backlots and Lara's work at Patreon. She was married to George Milan Fontaine and Walter Augustus de Havilland. Though Lilian was not always able to show it, Joan finally heard those words of love she so craved from her mother during their very last phone conversation. Excellent writing but such a sad, unfortunate, lopsided relationship with Lilian being Joan’s best friend but Lilian really not seeming to like Joan at all. Prime Video has your Halloween picks covered, including a groundbreaking zombie film, an adventure to discover alien life, and a whodunit that will keep you guessing till the end.

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