Olivia de Havilland birthday, update, & quiz

Website & blogs © Louis Kraft 2013-2020
Contact Kraft at writerkraft@gmail.com or comment at the end of the blog

Friends have been contacting me all day regarding Olivia’s 97th birthday (July 1). On Sunday good friend Paul Fardink, who has written a terrific article on Lt. Charles Gatewood and his military service in the Southwest with Apache Indians (which includes a cool interview of me), let me know that he had seen her on 60 Minutes this past Sunday night (June 30). He said: “David McCullough was in Paris doing a book signing and she shows up unexpectedly—96 years old and sharp as a tack!” Just what I want to hear!!!! What a great present from Olivia to the world that enjoys her classic films.


Original artwork of Olivia de Havilland by Susan Goulet. (Louis Kraft personal collection)

Here’s a personal note on Livvie: In a letter I received from her in December 2012 she requested information regarding her life; what I thought was important and who she should talk about. I sent her a detailed list. Hopefully some of it will work its way into her autobiography.

The original artwork of Olivia seen here is in my personal collection. In 2004 when my daughter Marissa and I visited her in Paris, I gave her a print of it. She immediately recognized who she was playing. If you recognize who she’s playing, let me know.

The first person with the correct answer will receive one free dueling lesson with sabers. ‘Course you will need to live in the Los Angeles area for I don’t travel to train people on how to run other people through with a blade.

I should add that there is probably only one person that lives locally who might be able to identify this portrait correctly. Unfortunately, or fortunately for you, I don’t think he’ll step forward as I don’t think he wants to cross blades with me. I wonder why.

Do your research and submit your answer to the email address at the bottom of this page. Good luck to all!

The good news is that Livvie at the time of her 97th birthday looks well and sounds great. Happy Birthday to a wonderful person!

2 thoughts on “Olivia de Havilland birthday, update, & quiz

  1. Deborah Ground Buckner successfully answered the OdeH quiz. Congratulations to her winning a saber lesson!

    However, since she doesn’t live in SoCal and it is unknown when she’ll be able to collect her reward, I’m going to leave the contest open to someone living the Los Angeles area. Perhaps someone living locally can join Deborah and receive a dueling lesson.

  2. I have my second winner for naming who Olivia played in the artwork in this blog. Veronica McGinley successfully named OdeH as playing Lady Penelope Gray in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939). Congratulations to Veronica! She also doesn’t live in Los Angeles, but does visit, and will receive her dueling lesson during one of her trips to SoCal.

    A quick note on Olivia playing Lady Penelope: Basically it was punishment for daring to try out for and land the role of Melanie in Gone With The Wind. This hurt her terribly, but it also gave her a vibrant life in what should have been a nothing role in Liz & Essex. She was so alive on camera, that in my humble opinion she gave the best performance in the film. … Again, congrats to Veronica. I look forward to meeting her (and crossing blades with her).

    Ladies & gents, there will be more EF and OdeH questions in the future. Alas, no free trips and no money rewards (I’m just a writer), but if you have a desire to handle a sword … consider answering the questions. The next blog that deals with E&O will discuss how I’m approaching their acting on film. There will be a question on this blog.

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