The perception of classic Hollywood actors is one of glamour and mystique. Unlike the lives of today’s celebrities, theirs were controlled and hidden from the glaring eyes of the public. Especially living in the modern time, we look back at these actors with such reverence for their work and overlooked personal lives that they have become icons. This is all a long-winded way of how people can sometimes neglect the fact that these Classic American actors are not actually American. This list was created by gauging the reaction of a sample size of about ten people when I revealed the fact that said actor was not American. Only classic American actors were considered for this list, so contemporaries, such as the South African Charlize Theron, were not included.
10. Joan Fontaine/Olivia de Havilland
Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland are included together for the list because they are in fact sisters born in Tokyo, Japan to British parents who had a law practice there. These two sisters quite possibly comprise the most successful acting siblings in cinema history as both are Academy Award winners. Fontaine was a leading lady for Hitchcock in his early Hollywood days when she appeared in Rebecca and Suspicion, the latter film winning her a Best Actress Oscar. Olivia de Havilland tops her younger sibling by winning two Academy Awards for The Heiress and To Each His Own. But the most interesting part about these two is the rumoured sibling rivalry caused by mother issues. The reason Fontaine is not using the family name of de Havilland was supposedly because their mother favoured Olivia and did not allow her younger daughter to use it.
This article was first posted on January 14, 2013