“It seems there’s just no room left for elegance in this paper-plate, blue-jean world. And I, for one, think it’s a shame.” – Joan Fontaine
“I regret that I remember not one act of kindness from Olivia all through my childhood. One of my earliest memories is when she was 6 and I was 5. She had learned to read and, one night when we were alone, she read aloud the Crucifixion from the Bible with mounting gusto until finally I screamed. Olivia loved it. One July day in 1933 when I was 16, Olivia threw me down in a rage, jumped on top of me and fractured my collarbone. One person called our relationship paranoid—but he didn’t say on whose part. Not mine, though I may have a persecution complex. There must be some explanation. Olivia so hated the idea of having a sibling that she wouldn’t go near my crib. She was always a stout believer in primogeniture.” — Joan Fontaine, pictured here with her sister, Olivia de Havilland.
Source: A 1978 People Magazine article titled “In No Bed of Roses, Joan Fontaine Talks About the Thorns in Her Life” by Christopher P. Andersen.
“I have had eight names, counting my four married surnames. Professionally de Havilland was Olivia’s; she was the first-born and I was not to disgrace her name. I took my first theatrical name, Joan Burfield, from Burfield Street in Hollywood. Then I became Joan St. John. One evening at the Trocadero nightclub, at the urging of a fortune teller, I picked Fontaine, my stepfather’s name. ‘Take that,’ she advised, ‘Joan Fontaine is a success name.’ She was right.” – Joan Fontaine, whose original name was Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland
Source: Christopher P. Andersen in 1978.
Fontaine with her husband, Brian Aherne, at their home originally located at 703 N. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The property at that location was sold in 2001 for $262,500 (house could have been lost before then) and a sprawling mansion was built the following year.
Brian Aherne, Greer Garson, Joan Fontaine and Basil Rathbone in 1944.