July 5, 2019 — The Hollywood Museum wished Dame Olivia de Havilland a happy 103rd birthday this past Sunday, June 30 as part of a special evening that also unveiled a new lobby exhibit that pays tribute to iconic actress and pioneering filmmaker and director Ida Lupino. The exhibit includes a selection of personal correspondence shared between the two screen legends, photographs, one of the teddy bears that Lupino gifted to de Havilland, plus a movie poster for Road House, the 1948 classic starring Lupino, Richard Widmark, Cornel Wilde, and Celeste Holm.
Author and film historian Mary Anderson, Lupino’s personal assistant and confidante for the last eleven years of her life and the author of three books on Lupino’s life and career, was the guest of honor Sunday evening. In the course of her years with Lupino, Anderson met and became friends with not only de Havilland, but many other film and TV legends, including Joan Fontaine, Barbara Hale, Marie Windsor, and Jeanne Cooper. In addition, she later worked with de Havilland and Fontaine after Lupino’s death in 1995.
After working together on screen in Devotion, the 1946 biopic in which they played Emily and Charlotte Bronte, respectively, Lupino and de Havilland “became very close friends [especially in the last ten years of Ida’s life],” Anderson said in a brief speech at Sunday’s unveiling. “Ida knew that Olivia liked teddy bears. She would arrange to have me send Olivia bears on special occasions, as well as plants, flowers and cards.”
Anderson shared a few other memories of the long friendship between the two actresses, including a poignant story of one of the times when de Havilland visited Lupino in the hospital after Lupino suffered a stroke.
The evening ended with a champagne toast to de Havilland on the occasion of her 103rd birthday, plus the serving of Dame Olivia’s favorite birthday cake: white cake with custard mousse filling and blue frosted roses and flowers. As Museum president Donelle Dadigan noted, cake and champagne were served at approximately 6:30pm PT on Sunday. That meant that they were served at approximately 3:30am Paris time, on Monday, July 1, de Havilland’s actual birthday.
Other guests in attendance on Sunday included Lee Purcell, who portrayed de Havilland in the CBS-TV Errol Flynn biopic My Wicked, Wicked Ways; Kathleen Hughes, who also appeared with Lupino in Road House; screen legend Terry Moore; actors Darby Hinton (Daniel Boone), Kate Linder (The Young and the Restless), and Rico Anderson (The Orville); and Susan Olsen and Frank Sheftel of KABC radio. In addition, Dadigan read a handwritten note from Daniel O. Selznick, son of Gone with the Wind director David O. Selznick, that praised de Havilland as “a shining example of how we should all try to remain happy and healthy indefinitely.”
One of the only female directors during the era of the Hollywood studio system, Ida Lupino appeared in nearly sixty motion pictures and countless TV series as an actress, plus she directed hundreds of television productions and well-known motion pictures.
About The Hollywood Museum
The Hollywood Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that houses over 10,000 Authentic Show Business Treasures spotlighting more than 100 years of Hollywood history – from the Silents to Talkies, to Hollywood’s Golden Era, Film Noir, Television and its Pioneer Years, through the rebellious 60s, special effects 70s, evolving 80s, involved 90s, technological 2000s, and beyond to current day heartthrobs! The Hollywood Museum’s exhibits showcase the best in film, network and cable television, and new digital platforms featuring iconic and fan favorites! Located in the heart of Hollywood, at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave – The Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building is the Official Museum of Hollywood and offers visitors the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world featuring the glamour of Hollywood legends and stars – past, present and in the making. The museum offers one-of-a-kind costumes, props, photographs, scripts, stars’ car collections, personal artifacts, posters, and memorabilia from favorite stars, films and TV shows. Just a few steps from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Museum has been named the #1 top tourist attraction in Hollywood by LA Weekly, and one of the Top 10 Museums in LA by the LA Tourism and Convention Board and Trip Advisor.
REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
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ADDRESS: 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90028
MUSEUM INFO: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com or Tel: (323) 464-7776