Photo Flash: Remembering Joan Fontaine

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Joan Fontaine, perhaps best known for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" and who received an Academy Award for her performance in Hitchcock's "Suspicion," died at her home in Carmel, Calif., on Sunday, December 15th at the age of 96. BroadwayWorld remembers the legendary actress below.

Fontaine made her stage debut in the West Coast production of Call It a Day (1935) and was soon signed to an RKO contract. Her film debut was a small role in No More Ladies (also 1935) in which she was credited as Joan Burfield. Although Fontaine, on contract with RKO, had already made her screen appearance in No More Ladies, a series of other minor roles followed, in A Million to One and Quality Street (both 1937), opposite Katharine Hepburn. The studio considered her a rising star, and touted The Man Who Found Himself (also 1937) as her first starring role, placing a special screen introduction, billed as the "new RKO screen personality" after the end credit.

She next appeared in a major role alongside Fred Astaire in his first RKO film without Ginger Rogers: A Damsel in Distress (1937) but audiences were disappointed and the film flopped. She continued appearing in small parts in about a dozen films, including The Women (1939) but failed to make a strong impression and her contract was not renewed when it expired in 1939.

Her film successes slowed a little during the 1950s and she also began appearing in television and on the stage. She won good reviews for her role on Broadway in 1954 as Laura in Tea and Sympathy, opposite Anthony Perkins. She also appeared in numerous radio shows during the 1940s for the Lux Radio Theater.

During the 1960s, Fontaine appeared in several stage productions, including Private Lives, Cactus Flower and an Austrian production of The Lion in Winter. Her last theatrical film was The Witches (1966), which she also co-produced. She continued appearing in film and television roles throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for the soap opera, Ryan's Hope in 1980.

Photo CRedit: Walter McBride

high res photos

Photo Flash: Remembering Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine in New York City. September 1979

Photo Flash: Remembering Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine in New York City. November 1979

Photo Flash: Remembering Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine in New York City. November 1979

Photo Flash: Remembering Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine in New York City. November 1979

Photo Flash: Remembering Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine in New York City. November 1979

Photo Flash: Remembering Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine and guest in New York City on October 2nd, 1981.

Photo Flash: Remembering Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine in New York City on October 2, 1981.

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Walter McBride As a 14 year old youth, Walter was transfixed by his first Broadway Show, the original production of 'GREASE'. His Journey to celebrity photojournalism began that fateful night. Meeting, photographing and getting to know the cast inspired him to spend his professional life doing what he loved. Walter moved to Manhattan and for a leading role as a Photographer & Photo Researcher. Currently headlining in New Jersey with his partner Richard and family members Dali (Jack Russell) & Gala (Schnoodle). Recently he made his Broadway debut sharing the stage with Hugh Jackman in 'Hugh Jackman on Broadway' as well as receiving the Actors' Equity Association Gypsy Spirit Award. Walter McBride Photography is syndicated worldwide by Corbis/AP.


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