"I would prefer to live forever in perfect health, but if I must at some time leave this life, I would like to do so ensconced on a chaise longue, perfumed, wearing a velvet robe and pearl earrings, with a flute of champagne beside me and having just discovered the answer to the last problem in a British cryptic crossword."
The radiantly magnificent Miss Olivia De Havilland reached her centenary today.
- On the set of Gone With The Wind, George Cukor pinched her toes hard when she needed to simulate childbirth.
- She secretly carried a torch for her long-term co-star Errol Flynn, and recently admitted to being jealous at the attention paid to a contingent of young women at a charity ball in 1957, the last time they met.
- That famous feud (with sister Joan Fontaine, which lasted for seven decades till Joan's death) began when Joan was first to win an Oscar, at which ceremony she allegedly snubbed Olivia - who got the last laugh when she went on to win two.
- She struck a blow for the rights of actors crippled by the "studio system", winning a landmark court case after WW2 that set a precedent for stars of the future to decide their own destiny.
Read a rather lovely tribute to the lady in the Financial Times.