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Overview for Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine

Joan Fontaine


TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (10)

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 22, 1917 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Tokyo, Japan Profession: Cast ...


Fontaine underwent hip replacement surgery on March 30, 1998

On winning the Oscar: "It was a bittersweet moment. I was appalled that I'd won over my sister (Olivia had also lost the previous year for 'Gone With the Wind'). My actor-husband (Brian Aherne) had never been an Oscar contender. A picture taken after the banquet of Brian sitting alone in the empty ballroom, feet up on a chair, my fur coat over his arm, waiting patiently for the photographers to finish with the winners, graphically illustrates the plight of a marriage when the wife is more successful than the husband." --Joan Fontaine

"Working with Cary Grant was wonderful, but I think he wanted a departure from all those light comedies he had been doing. He saw 'Suspicion' as his great dramatic role. He did kill me in the original cut, but at the preview, the audience simply refused to accept him as the murderer ... Halfway through the filming, Cary realized that the whole picture was being told through the eyes of the woman, which gave him quite a shock, since he had given his approval to my being cast on the assumption that he would get to kill me ... He was not a casual actor at all, like Bing Crosby. When Bing arrived, however, he had his writers with him. When we were doing 'The Emperor Waltz', he would appear and say to Billy Wilder, the director and co-writer, 'These are the lines we're doing today.' And Billy would say, 'Well, I don't think so.' And so Bing would say, 'Fine, I'll be playing golf, and when you decide to shoot my lines, I'll be back.'" --From a 1987 interview with Gregory Speck.

Fontaine was a pupil of the Cordon Bleu Cooking School and as a golfer is particularly proud of her hole-in-one shot at California's Cypress Point Club and another at Carmel Valley. A licensed pilot and member of the winning team in an international balloon race over Holland, she is also a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award.

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