One of the last women stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood and 'Gone with the Wind' actress Olivia de Havilland is celebrating her 100th birthday by having drinks with "dear, dear friends".
The centenarian, who has lived in Paris for more than six decades, said she is content with the role that life has given her.
But the five-time Oscar nominee has played many roles over a century, starting in 1935 at the age of 19 with a "Midsummer Night’s Dream" alongside James Cagney and Mickey Rooney.
She starred opposite Bette Davis in "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" and with James Caan in "Lady In A Cage".
She is likely best known, however, for playing the sweet Melanie Wilkes in "Gone With The Wind", and has played many on-screen romances with Errol Flynn.
Yet in the industry she became known as anything but “sweet”.
Asked if she had any advice for her younger self, she told People Magazine: “Take a long leave of absence from the Warner contract and go to Mills College, where the scholarship I had won in 1934 is still waiting for me!”
The former contract system was one that had enchained many of the greats, from Marilyn Monroe to Tippy Hedren. Stars were told who to date, how to talk, what to wear and which films they had to play in.
Ms de Havilland had been suspended from her seven-year contract multiple times for refusing various roles - including “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” - and when her contract expired, Warner Brothers claimed she owed them another six months to make up for the time she was suspended.
The actresses fighting against sexism in Hollywood
The actresses fighting against sexism in Hollywood
1/12 Anne Hathaway
The 32-year-old actress said she has already experiences job rejections because of her age. “Now I'm in my early thirties and I'm like, 'Why did that 24-year-old get that part? I was that 24-year-old once. I can't be upset about it, it's the way things are,” she told Glamour.
2/12 Helen Mirren
On news that Maggie Gyllenhaal had been turned down for being ‘too old’, aged 37, to play a 55-year-old man’s partner: “It’s f***ing outrageous. It’s ridiculous. Honestly, it’s so annoying. And ’twas ever thus. We all watched James Bond as he got more and more geriatric, and his girlfriends got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.”
3/12 Maggie Gyllenhaal
Gyllenhaal revealed she was told by a Hollywood producer that she was too old, aged 37, to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man. “It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh,” she said at the time.
4/12 Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep has helped fund an all-female screenwriters group called The Writer’s Lab to encourage more women to pen Hollywood scripts. She previously told Vogue in 2011: “Once women pass childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level.”
5/12 Emma Thompson
The actress said she thought Hollywood is “still completely s***” when it comes to treating women equally to men. ““When I was younger, I really did think we were on our way to a better world. And when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women, and I find that very disturbing and sad.”
6/12 Elizabeth Banks
Banks said she was driven from acting to directing due to the lack of roles for older women in Hollywood. “"[Industry sexism] drove me to direct for sure. I definitely was feeling that I was unfulfilled and a little bit bored by the things that were coming across my desk. I mean look at Gwyneth Paltrow who has her Oscar [for Shakespeare in Love] and played fifth banana to Iron Man,” she told Deadline.
7/12 Viola Davis
“I had never seen a 49-year-old, dark-skinned woman who is not a size 2 be a sexualised role in TV or film. I'm a sexual woman, but nothing in my career has ever identified me as a sexualised woman. I was the prototype of the ‘mommified’ role,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
8/12 Liv Tyler
The Lord of the Rings actress said she only get cast in roles where she is treated as a “second class citizen” at the age of 38. “When you’re in your teens or twenties, there is an abundance of ingenue parts which are exciting to play. But at [my age], you’re usually the wife or the girlfriend - a sort of second-class citizen. There are more interesting roles for women when they get a bit older,” she told More magazine.
9/12 Cate Blanchett
The actress famously called out sexism on the red carpet at the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards. When a camera operator scanned her up and down, she said: “Do you do this to the guys?” In her Oscar acceptance speech for Blue Jasmine, she reminded the film industry that movies with leading women can still be successful. “And thank you to... those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women at the centre, are niche experiences. They are not -- audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people.”
10/12 Ellen Page
Asked if she had ever encountered sexism in Hollywood, Page told The Guardian: ‘Oh my God, yeah! It's constant! It's how you're treated, it's how you're looked at, how you're expected to look in a photoshoot, it's how you're expected to shut up and not have an opinion, it's how you... If you're a girl and you don't fit the very specific vision of what a girl should be, which is always from a man's perspective, then you're a little bit at a loss.”
11/12 Zoe Saldana
The actress says she refuses roles where she has to play the generic girlfriend, wife or sexy bombshell. "It's very hard being a woman in a man's world, and I recognised it was a man's world even when I was a kid. It's an inequality and injustice that drove me crazy, and which I always spoke out against — and I've always been outspoken,” she told Manhattan magazine.
12/12 Charlize Theron
The actress spoke to ELLE about negotiating equal pay for the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel: "This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn't mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you're doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way."
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
She challenged Warner Bros in court and won her case. It became known as the 1944 de Havilland Decision, and she became known as the rebel of Hollywood, continuing to win oscars and segueing into television work with her final appearance in the late 1980s.
The law - Labor Code Section 2855 - was used decades later by Jared Leto and his bandmates in 30 Seconds to Mars to exit from a recording contract, which sparked a lengthy correspondence between the pair.
“It's wonderful knowing that the Decision continues to be useful to artists and other professionals these many years later,” Ms de Havilland told People.
In 1953 she was invited to attend the Cannes Film Festival. On this journey she married the first Frenchman she met, had a daughter with him and bought the Parisian townhouse in which she still lives and occasionally has champagne garden parties. In 1965 she became first woman to be named President of the festival jury.
She continued to appear in public and travel back and forth to the US, picking up the National Medal of Arts in 2008 from former president George W Bush.
To celebrate her 100 years, publishers Crown Archetype and Random House are re-issuing her 1962 memoir, "Every Frenchman Has One".
Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy told the actress: “You honor France for having chosen us."