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Women’s History: Dame Olivia de Havilland

Happy 101st Birthday to Dame Olivia de Havilland!

Happy Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!

Last surviving ‘Gone With the Wind’ cast member is turning 101

Olivia de Havilland turns 101

Archive Photos/Moviepix/Getty Images; Reed Saxon/AP

Olivia de Havilland was also named a Dame Commander in Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honors list earlier this month.

Although Melanie Hamilton Wilkes died at the end of “Gone With the Wind,” the actress who played her — Olivia de Havilland — lives on. The only surviving cast member from that beloved 1939 film — and one of the last remaining icons from Hollywood’s golden age — turns 101 on Saturday, July 1.

Now living in Paris, de Havilland was named a Dame Commander in Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honors list earlier this month, for her services to drama. The two-time Oscar winner is the oldest-ever recipient of the distinction.

“To receive this honor as my 101st birthday approaches is the most gratifying of birthday presents,”

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She’s one of the last surviving legends of Hollywood’s golden age.

Her beauty and enigmatic smile saw Olivia de Havilland play alongside the biggest names of the silver screen – Errol Flynn, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

Off screen she was romanced by the likes of Jimmy Stewart, John Huston and Howard Hughes – and reportedly turned down the advances of John F Kennedy. She won two best actress Oscars in a career spanning six decades and 49 feature films – many of them considered to be classics.

Classic beauty: Olivia de Havilland as Melanie in Gone With The Wind

But it is only now – two weeks before her 101st birthday – that the Gone With The Wind actress has been given a damehood for services to drama. It makes her the oldest woman ever to receive the honour. In a statement, she called it ‘the most gratifying of birthday presents’.

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