JOAN FONTAINE : FILM AND THEATER STAR : SIBLING RIVALRY SURVIVOR

This vintage real photo postcard features a lovely portrait of Joan Fontaine (1917-2013). She was a British-American actress known for her starring roles during the Golden Age of Hollywood. She acted in more than 50 films and her career had a five decade duration. Fontaine’s older sister was the actress Olivia de Haviland, and the pair had a rivalry well covered by the press. In 1942, the sisters were both nominated for the Academy Awards “Best Actress” title. Joan won and reportedly rejected her sister’s congratulations. In commenting about their rivalry, Fontaine stated that she had both married and won an Oscar before her sister, and that she had little doubt that “if I die first, she’ll undoubtedly be livid because I beat her to it!”. Their competitive relationship began early. At the age of nine, sister Olivia wrote a will in which she stated, “I bequeath all my beauty to my younger sister Joan, since she has none”. Joan’s film career began in 1935. She was working for RKO pictures. Her first major role was in the film, “The Man Who Found Himself (1937). Also in 1937, she appeared alongside Fred Astaire in “A Damsel in Distress”. She followed that appearance with the female lead in “Gunga Din” (1939). The film was based on the work of Rudyard Kipling and it was an exciting adventure film. Some contemporary critics compare it to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981). I recently viewed “Gunga Din” and it was an exciting film, but it unfortunately glorified colonialism. In 1940 Joan’s career was propelled by her appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca”. This role resulted in an Academy Award nomination for “Best Actress”. In 1941 she won the “Best Actress” award for her appearance in Hitchcock’s “Suspicion”. In 1943 she received her third “Best Actress” nomination. Much of her acting in the 1940’s involved drama films. During the war, she worked on a limited basis as a nurse’s aide. In 1946, Fontaine established her own film company with her husband, William Dozier. The company was named Rampart Productions and she appeared in a number of the company’s films. In the early 1950’s her film career began to dwindle. She then took her talent to stage, radio, and television roles. She appeared in two Broadway theater productions (1955 and 1970). Her final film appearance was in 1966. She continued to act until 1994. Now, for some biographical facts. Fontaine was born in Tokyo, Japan, to English parents. Her father was an English professor and later became a patent attorney. Her mother was a stage actress until she moved with her husband to Tokyo. Her mom did return to the stage after her daughters became successful in the 1940’s. Fontaine’s parents separated in 1914, when Joan was just two years-old. It seems that Fontaine’s father enjoyed intimate relationships with some of the geishas of Tokyo. Joan’s mother decided to move with her two daughters to the United States on the advice of a doctor. Joan was a “sickly” child and a change of climate was advised. The family settled in California and Joan’s health normalized. Joan was married and divorced four times. Her first two marriages were to actors, the third was to a producer/writer, and the fourth to the golf editor at “Sports Illustrated”. She had personal relationships with Harry Belafonte and Presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson. Fontaine was a citizen of both the United States and Great Britain. She had a pilot’s license, was an expert rider, and was an accomplished interior decorator and chef. In fact, she excelled at too many things to mention in this description. This vintage portrait postcard was published by Soberanas as part of a series (no.21). The company was located in Spain. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3286

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$22.00

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Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) 3286

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$31.00



Published in: on November 11, 2020 at 12:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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