To Joan Fontaine

“You know, I’ve had a helluva life. Not just the acting part. I’ve flown in an international balloon race. I’ve piloted my own plane. I’ve ridden to the hounds. I’ve done a lot of exciting things.” – Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland

Etherial, beautiful, strong…

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And a wonderful voice…

LUX RADIO THEATER presentation of “SUSPICION” – May 4, 1942

Old Gold Comedy Theater presentation of “The Major And The Minor” – April 1, 1945

General Electric Theater presentation of “The Enchanted Cottage” – September 24, 1953


“Rebecca” stands or falls on the ability of the book’s “I” to escape caricature. She was humiliatingly, embarrassingly, mortifyingly shy, a bit on the dowdy side, socially unaccomplished, a little dull; sweet, of course, and very much in love with—and in awe of—the lord of the manor who took her for his second lady. Miss du Maurier never really convinced me any one could behave quite as the second Mrs. de Winter behaved and still be sweet, modest, attractive and alive. But Miss Fontaine does it—and does it not simply with her eyes, her mouth, her hands and her words, but with her spine. Possibly it’s unethical to criticize performance anatomically. Still we insist Miss Fontaine has the most expressive spine—and shoulders!—we’ve bothered to notice this season. – Frank S. Nugent, March 29, 1940, New York Times

(On Suspicion) Much of Hitchcock’s purpose is accomplished through the performance of Joan Fontaine, it must be said, and she, as well as Mr. Hitchcock, deserves unstinted praise. This young lady has unquestionably become one of the finest actresses on the screen, and one of the most beautiful, too; and her development in this picture of a fear-tortured character is fluid and compelling all the way. – Bosley Crowther, November 21, 1941, New York Times
(On The Constant Nymph) For Joan Fontaine the role of Tessa is another superb achievement. As the delicate little girl, severed from Dodd by the years between them, she wrings from the part all its humor and its pathos. – July 24, 1943, New York Times

To Joan Fontaine – we will miss knowing you’re there.

6 thoughts

  1. Lovely post. It’s been such a hard year for Hollywood with so many lost to time, so posts like this should get some readers tracking down more of Joan’s excellent work. I do wish it were under cheerier circumstances, though…

  2. Wonderful actress – you’ve put together a lovely tribute here. I’m planning to explore more OTR in 2014 and will look forward to hearing her radio performances.

    1. Thanks, Judy. I love OTR, as you can probably guess, and share them as often as possible. Joan had a wonderful voice for radio! As you move along through broadcasts, share what you think. 🙂


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