She's one of the only actresses left from the golden age of Hollywood, and she still has the same power and positivity.
Ever since her onscreen performance in the evergreen classic, Gone with the Wind, Olivia de Havilland became someone who's loved and adored across the world. And she's one of the few stars still living from the golden age of Hollywood, according to AARP.
Now 102 years old, and the last surviving cast member of the 1939 iconic film, Havilland exudes elegance and remains as gorgeous as ever.
Even as she grew older, there are some habits that she formed in her younger years and carried them with her as she grew older, like solving the Times crossword puzzle every single day. That's a habit she absolutely enjoyed as a teenager.
She mentioned that the secret to her long, healthy and happy life are three simple, but meaningful worlds; “the three *L’*s—love, laughter, and light,” Olivia told Vanity Fair in 2016. She takes on each day with great positivity. Whenever she came across a symptom of pain, she looked at it as a mystery to be solved (which is probably an extension of her love for solving puzzles). An attitude like that helps her conquer anything that gets in the way of her health. Crossing the age of 100 was never enough for her. She told her doctor that she's planning on living till the age of 110.
For Olivia, her 101st birthday was probably one of the most special ones. She was titled Dame Commander, an honor given by Queen Elizabeth II, and she made history by becoming the oldest person to ever earn the title. She told People, she is “extremely proud that the Queen has appointed me a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”
“To receive this honor as my 101st birthday approaches is the most gratifying of birthday presents,” she went on to say.
Olivia's smile is still the same as it was during her younger years, reminding people of how she was a bit of a badass back then. Apart from winning two Academy Awards, she also changed Hollywood history when she was utterly tired of the rules. During the 1940s when she had a contract with Warner Bros, she started rejecting certain roles because she no longer wanted to play the damsel-in-distress or girl-next-door. Eventually, she realized that she was being put "on suspension" each time she rejected a role, and her contract was being extended by the duration another actress would take to play the role. And this frustrated her. That's when she decided to challenge the Hollywood giant all by herself and took Warner Bros to court.
"Everyone in Hollywood knew that I would lose but I knew that I would win. I had read the law. I knew what the studios were doing was wrong," she said, according to Independent.
She stayed strong and fought for what she believed in, and she won! But it wasn't just a victory for her, it was considered a victory for talented actors. She played a huge role in bringing down a practice that took power from studios and gave talent a fair chance, according to Reuters.
Although challenging the big studio meant putting her career on hold for a few years, it didn't matter to her. The landmark judgment changed her life and those of other actors as well. It also paved the way for her taking on a role that would lead her to an Oscar. "From then on I could choose my own material and play roles that really interested me. Very soon after my victory, To Each His Own came along (1946) and brought me not only my third nomination for the Academy Award but also my first Oscar," she said.
49 films, 2 Oscars for best actress and a famous court are probably just a few highlights in her century-long life. In a couple of months, she will turn 103-years-old. Her powerful attitude and positivity have given her a whole lifetime of unique experiences to look back upon. And it's inspiring several generations.