Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, or, perhaps, Joan Burfield, or maybe even Joan Fontaine de Havilland or as she may best be remembered, Joan Fontaine.

What is this chick, a second story man or something? We've got aliases up the yin-yang here.

Joan Fontaine was born under the first name listed above as the younger sister of Olivia de Havilland. Both were born in Tokyo, with Joan springing forth on October 22, 1917. About two years after Joan came about, their parents divorced and mom skirted them off to Saratoga, California. While Olivia was discovered by Max Reinhardt and landed a Hollywood contract, Joan's film career took a little more time to get underway. She began working under the name Joan Burfield and her first film, No More Ladies, hit the screens in 1935. Alas, she had only a minor role in the film and no one paid all that much attention. Two years later, Joan returned to the screen as Joan Fontaine, borrowing her stepfather's surname instead of using her own.

Most of her early work stayed in the realm of B movies, but she did manage to star in A Damsel in Distress with Fred Astaire and Gunga Din with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Soon after, her movie career would be kicked into high gear through the assistance of Alfred Hitchcock who cast her in Rebecca, Suspicion, and The Constant Nymph. She won the Best Actress Oscar for Suspicion and was nominated for both of her other Hitchcock films.

Flying is not a problem for Joan, who is able to fly planes and balloons through our skies. She has won prizes for her tuna fishing ability and her ability to cook Cordon Bleu (I kid thee not). She has been married four times and wrote her autobiography in 1978, entitling it No Bed of Roses. For some reason I constantly confuse her with Joan Collins, even though they look nothing like each other.

The tabloids in the good old days, back in the 1930s and 1940s made quite a living off of reported feuds between Joan and her sister Olivia. According to various quotes from Joan, the feuds were publicity manufactured by the studios. Joan Fontaine pretty much retired from the world of movie making in 1958. She apparently had too many hobbies to continue a film career. I mean, it is hard work winning prizes for tuna fishing and ballooning, golfing, interior designing and whatnot.


Some material researched at allmovie.com,
The Smurfs' Newsletter
bayarea.com
and
"The Joan Fontaine is not Joan Collins" Newsletter

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