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Oscar-Winning Actress Joan Fontaine Dies At 96

The star of the Hitchcock classics Suspicion and Rebecca famously won an Oscar in 1942 over her rival and older sister Olivia de Havilland.

Best Actor winner Gary Cooper (Sergeant York) kisses Best Actress winner Joan Fontaine (Suspicion) at the 14th Academy Awards ceremony on February 26, 1942. Flickr: paulsedra

Joan Fontaine, who rose to stardom in the 1940s for her roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca and Suspicion, died Sunday at her home in Carmel, California of natural causes at the age of 96, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

She was well-known as an actress as well as for her rivalry with her older sister Olivia de Havilland. In 1940, Fontaine was nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars for her role in Rebecca, and although she lost, the film won Best Picture. She went on to win the Oscar in 1942 for her role opposite Cary Grant in Suspicion, and beat out her sister, who had been nominated for her performance in Hold Back The Dawn.

Fontaine also starred in The Constant Nymph (which earned her a third Best Actress Oscar nomination in 1943); Jane Eyre, playing the heroine opposite Orson Welles; the September Affair with Joseph Cotton; Ivanhoe with Robert Taylor; and in Island in the Sun with Harry Belafonte.

Fontaine is survived by her two children and her sister de Havilland, a two-time Oscar winner, who is 97 and living in Paris.

Joan Fontaine in “Rebecca” Flickr: a75

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Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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