Last members of reigning Hollywood royalty Gone with the Wind star OLIVIA de HAVILLAND and her Oscar winning sister JOAN FONTAINE bitter feud has lasted for nine decades!
When the President of France awarded Olivia de Havilland, 97, the prestigious Legion d'honneur, in Paris amidst family and friends one person was not surprisingly in attendance – her sister Joan Fontaine , 96.
The two sisters turned actresses in the 1930s have been openly feuding and competing since childhood.
And they both admit their intense hatred for one another, not speaking to one another for over 35 years!
Often competing for the same man, or the same part, they were both in contention for the Oscar for Best Actress – Joan won for Hitchcock's Suspicion, Olivia lost.
Yet their bitter rivalry lies deep in a festering family jealousy because of their mother Lillian who bizarrely switched her affection from one daughter to the other for more than 50 years!
Born in Tokyo, Japan to a geisha frequenting patent lawyer, the sisters were relocated to California after their mother's divorce.
With Olivia's career on the rise at Warner Brothers collaborating with Errol Flynn, their mother pushed the highly competitive Joan into acting, changing her surname to Fontaine.
Soon both were fighting over aviator billionaire Howard Hughes and the role of Melanie in Gone With the Wind which was ultimately won by Olivia after Joan was dismissed as "too chic".
When Olivia won her Oscar in 1946 for To Each His Own, Joan recalled, "After Olivia delivered her speech and entered the wings, I went over to congratulate her as I would have done to any winner. She took one look at me, ignored my hand, clutched her Oscar and wheeled away."
Despite awkward attempts at reconciliation, the final break came when their mother Lillian died from cancer in 1975.
At the service, neither Joan nor Olivia spoke to one another.
Olivia "scattered a handful of ashes, then silently passed the container to me," Joan remembered.
'Thus I said goodbye to my mother. As for Olivia, I had no words at all."