Get Movie Showtimes & Tickets

Go
Go
Celebs
Photos
Fan Sites
Apply
Directory
Support
MyHollywood
Sign In
Sign Up
Forums
Hot List

Home Celebs Joan Fontaine
Bullet Arrow Photos
Bullet Arrow News
Bullet Arrow Interviews
Bullet Arrow Premieres
Bullet Arrow Forums
Bullet Arrow Meet Fans
Bullet Arrow Fan Sites
Bullet Arrow Get a Poster at AllPosters.com
Advertisement
A delicately beautiful blonde, Joan Fontaine followed her older sister Olivia de Havilland into the business and triumphed in their 1941 Best Actress Oscar battle, winning for Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion" (de Havilland would eventually take home two statuettes). She actually made more of an impact with her star-making turn the year before in Hitchcock's first Hollywood film, "Rebecca", playing the dowdy, hunch-shouldered, willing victim of Judith Anderson's psychological terrorism....

Filmography

The Thrill of Genius - ( Herself / 1985 / Released / )
Tender Is the Night - ( Baby Warren / 1962 / Released / Fox Films, Ltd. )
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - ( Dr Susan Hiller / 1961 / Released / )
A Certain Smile - ( Francoise Ferrance / 1958 / Released / )
South Pacific - ( / 1958 / Released / Magna Theatre Corporation )
Island in the Sun - ( Mavis / 1957 / Released / )
Until They Sail - ( Anne Leslie / 1957 / Released / )
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - ( Susan Spencer / 1956 / Released / )
Serenade - ( Kendall Hale / 1956 / Released / Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution )
Othello - ( (uncredited) Page / 1955 / Released / )
Casanova's Big Night - ( Francesca Bruni / 1954 / Released / )
Decameron Nights - ( Isabella / 1953 / Released / )
Decameron Nights - ( Fiametta / 1953 / Released / )
Decameron Nights - ( Ginerva / 1953 / Released / )
Flight to Tangier - ( Susan / 1953 / Released / Paramount Pictures )
The Bigamist - ( Eve Graham / 1953 / Released / Filmakers Group )
Born to Be Bad - ( Christabel / 1950 / Released / )
Letter From an Unknown Woman - ( Lisa Berndle / 1948 / Released / )
The Emperor Waltz - ( / 1948 / Released / )
Frenchman's Creek - ( / 1944 / Released / )
Suspicion - ( / 1941 / Released / )
Rebecca - ( Mrs. de Winter / 1940 / Released / )
Gunga Din - ( / 1939 / Released / )
The Women - ( Peggy Day / 1939 / Released / )
A Damsel in Distress - ( / 1937 / Released / )
Quality Street - ( / 1937 / Released / )
Man of Conquest - ( / / Released / Republic Pictures Corporation )

TV Credits

Full Biography (Back to top)

A delicately beautiful blonde, Joan Fontaine followed her older sister Olivia de Havilland into the business and triumphed in their 1941 Best Actress Oscar battle, winning for Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion" (de Havilland would eventually take home two statuettes). She actually made more of an impact with her star-making turn the year before in Hitchcock's first Hollywood film, "Rebecca", playing the dowdy, hunch-shouldered, willing victim of Judith Anderson's psychological terrorism. Fontaine had captured the role against tough competition (Vivien Leigh, Susan Hayward, Margaret Sullavan, Anne Baxter and Loretta Young), and the director, recognizing that her state of mind following the protracted casting process mimicked the spirit in which the character in the du Maurier novel comes to Manderlay, exploited her weariness and self-doubt to elicit arguably her finest screen performance. Most of her subsequent roles would lack the emotional depth that Hitch had managed to reveal, so it is deliciously ironic that this class-conscious blue blood, who like her father never made a secret of his family's aristocratic background (two kings of England in the family tree), should have her greatest success as an interloper in a nobleman's household.

Fontaine made her screen debut with a bit part in "No More Ladies" (1935, billed as Joan Burfield), acted opposite Fred Astaire in "A Damsel in Distress" (1937) and attracted attention as the sweet young newlywed out of place in the catty crowd of George Cukor's "The Women" (1939). After her Oscar win, she seemed content to rely on her beauty rather than develop as an actress, failing to live up to the promise of her early excellence, though she continued as a star until the late 50s. Fontaine's better vehicles include the wartime love story "This Above All" (1942), the elaborate costumer "Frenchman's Creek" (1944) and Max Ophuls' hauntingly lush "Letter from an Unknown Woman" (1948), which revisited the romantic vulnerability that Hitchcock had tapped. Too often cast as the shy English rose, she sometimes varied the formula to good effect, most notably as the schemers of "Ivy" (1947) and "Born to Be Bad" (1950). She abandoned features in 1966 but returned to the small screen in her first TV-movie, "The Users" (ABC, 1978), and later earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for her 1980 cameo on "Ryan's Hope" (ABC). Fontaine also acted in the miniseries "Crossings" (ABC, 1986) and the Family Channel's "Good King Wenceslas" (1994), among her other TV projects.


Profession(s):
Actor
Sometimes Credited As:
Joan Burfield
Joan De Beauvoir de Havilland
Joan St John
Horizontal Line
Family
cousin:Geoffrey de Havilland (founder of de Havilland aviation company, a precursor to British Aerospace)
daughter:Deborah Dozier Potter (father, William Dozier)
daughter:Martita (adopted in 1951)
father:Walter Augustus de Havilland (divorced Fontaine's mother c. 1919; de Havilland family listed in De Brett's peerage and Burke's Landed Gentry; related to at least two English kings (Edward II and Henry VIII))
husband:William Dozier (married in 1946; divorced in 1951; formed Rampart Productions with Fontaine)
husband:Alfred Wright Jr (divorced)
husband:Brian Aherne (married in 1939; divorced in 1945)
husband:Collier Young (married in 1952; divorced in 1961)
sister:Olivia de Havilland (older; born on July 1, 1916)

Horizontal Line
Education
Los Gatos High School Los Gatos, California
Notre Dame Convent Belmont, California
Awards (Back to top)
National Board of Review Award Best Acting "Suspicion" 1941
New York Film Critics Circle Award Best Actress "Suspicion" 1941
Oscar Best Actress "Suspicion" 1941
National Board of Review Award Best Acting "Rebecca" 1940

Milestones (Back to top)
1994 Had featured role as the title character's grandmother in the Family Channel TV-movie "Good King Wenceslas"
1986 First TV miniseries, "Crossings" (ABC)
1986 Starred in Aaron Spelling-produced primetime gothic soaper, "Dark Mansions" (ABC); took over when Loretta Young pulled out of project; pilot not picked up by network
1985 Appeared as one of the interviewees in the feature documentary about Alfred Hitchcock, "The Thrill of Genius"
1980 Received daytime Emmy nomination for her cameo on "Ryan's Hope" (ABC)
1978 Published autobiography "No Bed of Roses"
1978 First TV-movie, "The Users" (ABC)
1966 Left film acting after "The Witches"
1961 Hosted and narrated the syndicated TV series "Perspectives on Greatness"
1957 Played sister of Jean Simmons, Sandra Dee and Piper Laurie in Robert Wise's "Until They Sail", starring Paul Newman
1956 Starred opposite Dana Andrews in Fritz Lang's "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt"
1954 Performed on Broadway in Robert Anderson's "Tea and Sympathy" with Anthony Perkins
1948 Starred opposite Louis Jourdan in Max Ophuls' "Letter From an Unknown Woman"; film made by her company, Rampart Productions
1948 Acted opposite James Stewart in "You Gotta Stay Happy"
1947 Played change of pace role as a murderess in "Ivy"
1944 Had title role of "Jane Eyre", opposite Orson Welles
1943 Received Oscar nomination as Best Actress for "The Constant Nymph"
1941 Won Best Actress Oscar for "Suspicion" (with Cary Grant), also directed by Hitchcock; at the time, she was the youngest leading lady to ever take home the prize
1940 Achieved star status with her appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" (opposite Laurence Olivier); earned first Best Actress Academy Award nomination
1937 - 1939 As a contract player at RKO, appeared in such films as "A Damsel in Distress" (1937, opposite Fred Astaire) and "Gunga Din" (1939), playing the only femme speaking role
1935 Film debut in "No More Ladies", billed as Joan Burfield
1932 Returned to Japan at age 15, attending the American school of Tokyo; had falling out with father after about a year (date approximate)
1919 Immigrated to USA
Made one-shot return to acting in "Rikki" (lensed 2002), a feature produced under the auspices of Animal Rights Awareness
Back in California, introduced to May Robson, making her stage debut as the ingenue in "Kind Lady" in support of Robson
Signed to a movie contract after her appearance in "Call It a Day" with Violet Hemming and Conway Tearle; when Hollywood bought the rights to the play, her role went to older sister Olivia de Havillan
Began appearing on TV anthologies in the 1950s


Related Stories
Advertisement