Sibling Rivalry: The Story of Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine

April 10, 2015 12:00 PM

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For three quarters of a century, the supposed feud between sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine was the stuff of tabloid dreams. Only 15 months apart, the sisters pursued the same career, competed for the same Oscars and even cozied up to some of the same men. As LIFE put it in a 1942 profile titled “Sister Act”: “There is no danger that sisterly affection, breaking suddenly upon them, will dampen their rivalry and the girls’ careers.”

It’s no surprise, then, that when Bob Landry photographed them for that LIFE story, they appeared in only seven photographs together out of the more than hundred he shot of them. In a story that was about their relationship. They might as well have been posing for two separate articles.

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