Hollywood on the Potomac

Olivia de Havilland

July 27, 2020

“Olivia de Havilland, the delicate beauty and last remaining star of Gone With the Wind who received her two acting Oscars after helping to take down Hollywood’s studio system with a landmark legal victory in the 1940s, died Sunday. She was 104.” Hollywood Reporter


Happy 102nd to Olivia de Havilland who celebrated another birthday yesterday.  The below article was first printed last year.


Legendary actress Olivia de Havilland celebrated her 101st birthday today. Considered the last star of the Golden Age of Hollywood, she is best known for her role as Melanie in Gone with the Wind and her Oscar winning performance in The Heiress, directed by three time Oscar winner William Wyler.  Less known, but no less important, is the De Havilland Law, a gutsy challenge to the grip of the studios.


“The De Havilland Law is the informal name of California Labor Code Section 2855. Hollywood industry lawyers in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s took the position that an exclusive personal services contract should be treated as suspended during the periods when the artist was not actually working. Since no artist could be working every single day (that is, including holidays and weekends), this interpretation meant that two, or later seven, years of actual service would be spread over a much longer calendar period, thus extending the time during which the studio system had complete control of a young artist’s career. In response, actress Olivia de Havilland filed a lawsuit on August 23, 1943 against Warner Bros. which was backed by the Screen Actors Guild. The lawsuit resulted in a landmark decision of the California Court of Appeal for the Second District in De Havilland’s favor on December 8, 1944. De Havilland’s legal victory reduced the power of the studios and extended greater creative freedom to performers. The decision was one of the most significant and far-reaching legal rulings in Hollywood. The decision came to be informally known, and is still known to this day, as the De Havilland Law.”   Wikipedia

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July 23, 2020

“We intended to actually host a party for her in our home and in person, but obviously that was not a good idea so we feel like this is the next best thing. We have our cocktails ready and we’re prepared to have a great conversation with Capricia tonight and toast this great achievement,” said Lee Satterfield zoomoing in from ‘a very hot and humid South Carolina’ with her husband Patrick Steele.


The occasion was the virtual launch of Capricia Penavic Marshall’s just released book Protocol: Diplomacy and How to Make It Work for You co-hosted by Diana and Michael Allen, Robyn and Jeremy Bash, Evan Ryan and Tony Blinken, Rachel and Phil Gordon, Alexis Herman, Gwen & Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Philippe Reines, Andrews Shapiro, Ann & Stuart Stock.

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An Unlikely Alliance

July 19, 2020

“Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress. John Lewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation – from the determination with which he met discrimination at lunch counters and on Freedom Rides, to the courage he showed as a young man facing down violence and death on Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the moral leadership he brought to the Congress for more than 30 years.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi


The Edmund Pettus bridge became a symbol of changes taking place in Alabama and the South. It was there that voting rights marchers were violently confronted by law enforcement personnel on March 7, 1965. The day became known as Bloody Sunday.  Some five months later, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


“In 2009, I walked across the Edmund Pettus bridge with (now Rep.D-GA) John Lewis and realized that love and reconciliation can heal the human heart. That’s what I wanted to build my legacy on for my children to know that their mother had found her own voice and that she was building a legacy for them to be proud of; that I was going to speak up and speak out on racial harmony and racial equality and that we can all find our voice and believe in ourselves and love ourselves. We need to, because all of our lives count for something and we should always respect each other for each other’s humanity. That’s the legacy that I wanted to leave for my sons.” Peggy Wallace Kennedy


From the daughter of one of America’s most virulent segregationists, a memoir that reckons with her father George Wallace’s legacy of hate–and illuminates her journey towards redemption.


Peggy Wallace Kennedy has been widely hailed as the “symbol of racial reconciliation” (Washington Post). In the summer of 1963, though, she was just a young girl watching her father stand in a schoolhouse door as he tried to block two African-American students from entering the University of Alabama. This man, former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate George Wallace, was notorious for his hateful rhetoric and his political stunts. But he was also a larger-than-life father to young Peggy, who was taught to smile, sit straight, and not speak up as her father took to the political stage. At the end of his life, Wallace came to renounce his views, although he could never attempt to fully repair the damage he caused. But Peggy, after her own political awakening, dedicated her life to spreading the new Wallace message―one of peace and compassion. In this powerful new memoir, Peggy looks back on the politics of her youth and attempts to reconcile her adored father with the man who coined the phrase “Segregation now. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever.” Timely and timeless, The Broken Road speaks to change, atonement, activism, and racial reconciliation.


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