Joan was born in Japan to British parents. She moved to California with
her older sister Olivia de Havilland in 1919. Fontaine began a career on
the stage in 1935 and signed a contract with RKO Pictures that same
year. In 1941, she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best
Actress for her role in Rebecca, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The
following year, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for
Hitchcock’s Suspicion (1941) making Fontaine the only actress to
ever win an Academy Award in a film directed by Hitchcock.
After a career spanning over 50 years, Fontaine made her last on-
screen appearance in 1994. She currently lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea,
California where she owns a home, Villa Fontana.