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Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine appeared in such films as Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), Jane Eyre (1944) and Othello (1952).
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By the '60s, the once-busy Fontaine's career had begun to slow down. She made only a handful of films in her later years,
though she played a number of television roles. She made guest appearances on such shows as Wagon Train, Hotel and The Love Boat, and had a recurring role on the daytime soap opera Ryan's Hope in the early '80s.
Fontaine was married and divorced four times throughout her lifetime: In 1939, she married actor Brian Aherne. The couple divorced in 1945. The following year, she wed producer and actor William Dozier. Dozier and Fontaine had one child together, a daughter named Deborah, before going their separate ways in 1951. Following her marriage to Dozier, Fontaine reportedly stated, "I think it's virtually impossible for the right kind of man to be married to a movie star. Something happens when he steps off a train and someone says, 'Step right this way, Mr. Fontaine.' That hurts. Any man with self-respect can't take it, and I wouldn't want to marry the other kind." In 1952, Fontaine married Collier Young, a writer, and their union lasted until 1961. Her final marriage, to journalist Alfred Wright Jr., lasted from 1964 to 1969.
Fontaine released an autobiography, No Bed of Roses, in 1978. In it, she wrote about her long, troubled relationship with sister Olivia, much to Olivia's dismay. The final straw between the two siblings had reportedly come with their mother's death a few years earlier, in 1975. Fontaine stated that she was initially not invited to the funeral, and that she threatened to talk to the press about being omitted from the service. The date of the funeral was eventually changed so that Fontaine and her daughter could attend, but the events leading up to the funeral would mark the last time that Joan and Olivia would speak to each other.
Joan Fontaine died in her sleep on December 16, 2013, in Carmel, California. She was 96 years old. She was survived by her sister, daughter Deborah and adopted daughter Martita. Prior to her death, Fontaine admitted to having a falling out with both Deborah and Martita. It is uncertain whether the family had reconciled before her death.
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