Joan Fontaine Dies, Oscar-Winning Actress Mourned

Joan Fontaine who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca," died over the weekend at age 96.

The actress' role in "Rebecca" earned her a Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards in 1941, and just one year later, the star won the award for her role in another Hitchcock film- "Suspicion."

According to several reports, Fontaine died at her home in Northern California's Carmel-by-the-Sea of natural causes on Dec. 15th.

Fontaine had allegedly been fading in recent days leading up to her death, which occurred "peacefully" in her sleep, according to the actress' longtime friend Noel Beutel, reported Bloomberg.

From the 1940's to the 1990's, Fontaine continued her career both on the stage and in radio, television and film. In 1980, the actress earned an Emmy nod for her performance in the Broadway show "Ryan's Hope." Other notable roles included "The Constant Nymph," "Jane Eyre," "Ivy," and "Letter From an Unknown Woman."

In 1978, Fontaine released her autobiography "No Bed of Roses." The actress was married and divorced three times.

On Twitter, Fontaine's fans are mourning her death on Monday, including Matthew who wrote, "Thank you to all who have commemorated the passing of #JoanFontaine today. One of the last of the Hollywood greats."

Twitter user Anne added, "Oh, sadness. RIP, Joan Fontaine, so precisely insecure in Rebecca. (Also RIP the best Hollywood sibling rivalry)."

The actress' last on-screen appearance was in 1994 in a TV movie.

Fontaine and her sister, Olivia de Havilland, remain the only siblings to ever have won leading acting Academy Awards.

However, the sister actresses were reportedly estranged from one another for most of their lives.

"You can divorce your sister as well as your husbands," Fontaine once told People magazine. "I don't see her at all and I don't intend to."

De Havilland is 16 months older than Fontaine and still living at 97-years-old. De Havilland won Oscars for "To Each His Own" and "The Heiress," and was nominated for three others, including supporting actress in "Gone With the Wind."

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