She filled the screen with a radiant smile, beaming with warmth no matter the film, regardless of the role. And, beneath the surface, we always knew there was more.
In a period now called the Golden Age of Hollywood, few actresses dared to explore beneath the veneer of their characters. For more than 50 years on film, Olivia de Havilland - who died on July 25 at age 104 - followed her instincts on and off screen to create a rich gallery of women. Though she may have lacked the eccentricities of Katherine Hepburn, or the personality of Bette Davis, her elegance disguised the complexities of her performances. And, when she didn’t like where her career was headed, she became one of the first actresses to stand up to the studios. She gave us, in 49 feature films, a collection of memorable portrayals. Here are a few of my favorites.