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Olivia De Havilland

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Olivia was raised to appreciate the arts, beginning with ballet lessons at the age of four and piano lessons a year later. She learned to read before she was six, and her mother, who occasionally taught drama, music, and elocution, had her reciting passages from Shakespeare to strengthen her diction. [Note 2] During this period, her younger sister Joan first started calling her "Livvie", a nickname that would last throughout her life. De Havilland entered Saratoga Grammar School in 1922 and did well in her studies. She enjoyed reading, writing poetry, and drawing, and once represented her grammar school in a county spelling bee, coming in second place. In 1923, Lilian had a new Tudor-style house built, where the family resided until the early 1930s. In April 1925, after her divorce was finalized, Lilian married George Milan Fontaine, a department store manager for O.  A.  Hale & Co. in San Jose. Fontaine was a good provider and respectable businessman, but his strict parenting style generated animosity and later rebellion in both of his new stepdaughters. [Note 3]



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