Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo (22 July 1932 – 20 October 2014), known professionally as Oscar de la Renta, was a Dominican fashion designer. Born in Santo Domingo, he was trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo. De la Renta became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers who dressed Jacqueline Kennedy. He worked for Lanvin and Balmain. His eponymous fashion house has boutiques around the world including in Harrods of London and Madison Avenue in New York.
Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo, the youngest of seven children and the only boy in his family, was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to a Dominican mother, Carmen María Antonia Fiallo, and a Puerto Rican father, Óscar Avelino De La Renta, owner of an insurance company. His mother's family were so embedded in Dominican society that they could count poets, scholars, and businessmen, as well as top army brass among their members. One maternal received every degree the University of Santo Domingo could offer, and another maternal uncle was a diplomat and poet.
On his father's side, De la Renta's great-great grandfather José Ortíz de la Renta was the first mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico, elected by popular vote and who had the distinction of serving as mayor eight times, the most ever for the city.
De la Renta was raised Catholic in a protective family. His mother died from complications of multiple sclerosis when he was 18.
At the age of 18, he went to study painting in Spain at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. For extra money, he drew clothes for newspapers and fashion houses. After Francesca Lodge, the wife of John Davis Lodge, the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, saw some of his dress sketches, she commissioned de la Renta to design a gown for her daughter. The dress appeared on the cover of Life magazine that fall. He quickly became interested in the world of fashion design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain's most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. He considered Cristóbal Balenciaga his mentor.
In 1961, de la Renta left Spain to join Antonio del Castillo as a couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris.
In 1963, de la Renta turned to Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, for advice, saying that what he really wanted was to "get into ready to wear, because that's where the money is". Vreeland replied, "Then go to Arden because you will make your reputation faster. She is not a designer, so she will promote you. At the other place, you will always be eclipsed by the name of Dior." De la Renta proceeded to work for Arden for two years in New York City before he went to work for Jane Derby, an American fashion house. When Derby died in August 1965, de la Renta took over the label.
In 1966, de la Renta became the third husband of Françoise de Langlade (1921–1983), an editor-in-chief of French Vogue who once worked for the fashion house of Elsa Schiaparelli. They were married until she died of cancer in 1983. After her death, de la Renta adopted a boy from the Dominican Republic and named him Moisés.
In 1967 and 1968, de la Renta won the Coty Award (the U.S. fashion industry "Oscars") and in 1973 was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame.
From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, he served as President of the CFDA. He is also a two-time winner of the American Fashion Critic's Award.
In 1977, de la Renta launched his fragrance, OSCAR, followed by an accessories line in 2001 and a homewares line in 2002. The new business venture included 100 home furnishings for Century Furniture featuring dining tables, upholstered chairs, and couches.
In February 1990, he was honored with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year, the designer married Annette Engelhard (born 1939).
From 1993 to 2002, de la Renta designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain, becoming the first Dominican to design for a French couture house.
In 2004, he added a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar. De la Renta said he wanted to attract new customers whom he could not reach before. In 2006, the Oscar de la Renta label diversified into bridal wear.
De la Renta's designs have been worn by a diverse group of distinguished women and celebrities. De la Renta's brand saw international wholesale growth beginning in 2003, under the direction of CEO Alex Bolen, from five to seventy-five locations. De la Renta's ready-to-wear designs are available in his retail stores, online, and with select wholesale partners worldwide.
De la Renta was regarded as an unofficial ambassador of the Dominican Republic, his home country, and held a diplomatic passport. He had homes there in Casa de Campo and Punta Cana, in addition to his residence in Kent, Connecticut.
In 2006, de la Renta designed Tortuga Bay, a boutique hotel at Puntacana Resort and Club. The hotel is part of the luxury hotel collection, The Leading Hotels of the World.
That same year De la Renta was diagnosed with cancer. A year later at the CFDA "Fashion Talks" event, Executive Director Fern Mallis called him "The Sultan of Suave". At that event, he spoke of his cancer, saying:
Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.
De la Renta's talents received continual international recognition. Among them, he received the Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Award in 2000 and in 2007 (tied with Proenza Schouler). King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed de la Renta with two awards, the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes and the La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil. He was recognized by the French government with the Légion d'honneur as a Commandeur.
In 2014, the George W. Bush Presidential Center hosted an exhibit entitled "Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style" which shared the designer's creations for Mrs. Bush and America's First Ladies.
De la Renta died of complications from cancer on October 20, 2014, at his home in Kent, Connecticut, at the age of 82.
De la Renta had stepchildren from both marriages. His son-in-law Alex Bolen currently operates as Chief Executive Officer, and stepdaughter Eliza Bolen serves as Vice President of Licensing at Oscar de la Renta, LLC.
Omar Sharif (born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub, 10 April 1932 – 10 July 2015) was an Egyptian film and television actor. He began his career in his native country in the 1950s, but is best known for his appearances in British, American, French, and Italian productions. His films include Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Funny Girl (1968). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Lawrence of Arabia. He won three Golden Globe Awards and a César Award.
Sharif, who spoke Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Greek, and Italian fluently, was often cast in British and American films as a foreigner of some sort. He was a lifelong horse racing enthusiast, and at one time ranked among the world's top contract bridge players.
Omar Sharif was born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub in Alexandria, Kingdom of Egypt (now Arab Republic of Egypt) in a well-to-do family.
His father, Joseph Chalhoub, was a successful precious woods merchant, and his mother Claire Saada, was an elegant and charming society hostess who counted the Egypt's King Farouk as a regular visitor and friend prior to his deposition in 1952. And after the political change of Egypt, Sharif's father lumber business suffered a lot.
In his youth, Sharif studied at Victoria College, Alexandria, where he showed a talent for languages. He later graduated from Cairo University with a degree in mathematics and physics. He worked for a while in his father's precious wood business before beginning his acting career in Egypt. In 1955, he changed his name to Omar Sharif (Sharif means "noble" or "nobleman") and converted from Antiochian Greek Christians to Islam in order to marry fellow Egyptian actress Faten Hamama.
In 1954, Sharif began his acting career in Egypt with a role in Sira’ Fi al-Wadi (1954) ("Struggle in the Valley"), in which he played with Faten Hamama, an Eyptian film star, who gave him her first screen kiss.
The two actors fell in love and were married in 1955. Their son Tarek Sharif was born in 1957 in Egypt.
Sharif quickly rose to stardom, appearing in many Egyptian films in the next few years, with a few of them starring him and his wife.
Sharif's first English-language role was that of the fictitious Sherif Ali in David Lean's historical epic Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O'toole in 1962.
To secure the role, Sharif had to sign a seven-film contract with Columbia at $50,000 a film. He took his son to live in Hollywood.
Casting Sharif in what is now considered one of the "most demanding supporting roles in Hollywood history" was both complex and risky as he was virtually unknown at the time outside Egypt. But David Lean insisted on using ethnic actors when possible to make the film authentic.
Lawrence of Arabia was a box office and critical sensation. Sharif's performance earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in Motion Picture, as well as a shared Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year in Actor category.
Sharif went on to star in another Hollywood blockbuster, Anthony Mann's The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) where he played the support role of Sohaemus of Armenia, which was a commercial disappointment
Sharif had his first lead role in a Hollywood movie when he was cast in the title part of Genghis Khan (1965). Produced by Irving Allen and directed by Henry Levin for Columbia, the $4.5 million epic was a box office disappointment.
While making Genghis Khan Sharif heard that David Lean was making an epic love story Doctor Zhivago (1965), an adaptation of Boris Pasternak's 1957 novel. Sharif was a fan of the novel and pitched himself for one of the supporting roles; Lean decided to cast him in the lead, as Yuri Zhivago, a poet and physician. Sharif's son Tarek Sharif also appeared in the film as Yuri at the age of eight.
David Lean intended the film to be a poetic portrayal of the period, with large vistas of landscapes combined with a powerful score by Maurice Jarre.
The film was a huge hit. For his performance, Sharif won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Doctor Zhivago remains one of the top ten highest-grossing films of all time after adjusting for inflation.
Starting from the 60s, as Sharif's film career became more international, he traveled and lived abroad more, stayed less in his country Egypt. He first lived in the United States and then Europe.
After The Nasser government in Egypt imposed travel restrictions in the form of "exit visas", which made it difficult for Sharif to take part in international films, Sharif decided to remain in Europe between his film shoots, which means self exile of his country for the next 10 years.
In 1966, he separated from his wife Faten Hamama.
It was a major crossroad in Sharif's life and changed him from an established family man to a committed bachelor living in European hotels. Sharif and his wife Faten Hamama divorced in 1974. He never married again.
Sharif is a polyglot who spoke Arabic, French, Greek, Italian, Spanish and English, and his accent enabled him to "play the role of a foreigner without anyone knowing exactly where I came from", which he stated proved highly successful throughout his career.
Although Sharif worked in film industry and later in television for almost 60 years except a several years break, his true passion are playing bridge and racing horses. In fact, he has spent and lost huge amounts of money on his passions that he had to make movies to pay for them, as he himself admited" I would call my agent and tell him to accept any part, just to bail myself out."
Sharif said bridge was his personal passion and at one time he was ranked among the world's top 50 contract bridge players. At the 1964 World Bridge Olympiad he represented the United Arab Republic bridge squad and in 1968 he was playing captain of the Egyptian team in the Olympiad.
In 1967 he formed the Omar Sharif Bridge Circus to showcase bridge to the world and invited professional players including members of the Italian Blue team, which won 16 World championship titles, to tour and promote the game via exhibition matches including one watched by the Shah of Iran. Touring through Europe, the Circus attracted thousands of spectators who watched the matches via Bridge-O-Rama, a new technology that displayed bidding and cardplay on television monitors.
The Omar Sharif World Individual Championship held in 1990 offered the largest total purse ($200,000) in the history of bridge.
With Charles Goren and later Tannah Hirsch, Sharif contributed to a syndicated newspaper bridge column for the Chicago Tribune. He was also both author and co-author of several books on bridge.
By 2000 Sharif had stopped playing bridge entirely. Having once proudly declared the game his passion, he now considered it an addiction: "I didn't want to be a slave to any passion anymore. I gave up card playing altogether, even bridge and gambling." But he co-authored a book with bridge writer David Bird, Omar Sharif Talks Bridge. Written in 2004, it includes some of his most famous deals and bridge stories.
Sharif also loved horses and horse racing. For him, horse is the most noble animal with the most beautiful and harmonious lines in the animal world. He was often seen at French racecourses, with Deauville-La Touques Racecourse being his favourite. Sharif's horses won a number of important races and he had his best successes with his horse Don Bosco, who won the Prix Gontaut-Biron, Prix Perth and Prix du Muguet. He also wrote for a French horse racing magazine.
Omar Sharif was a smoker and smoked about 25 cigarettes a day but quite smoking after a triple heart bypass operation in 1992. Two years later he suffered a mild heart attack in 1994.
On 10 July 2015, Sharif died after suffering a heart attack at a hospital in Cairo, age 83.
On 17 January 2015, less than six months earlier, Omar Shariff's ex-wife also Faten Hamama died in Cairo, age 83.
After his divorce in 1974 from Faten Hamama, Sharif has been romantically involved with many women, including Ingrid Bergman, Catherine Deneuve, Julie Chrisite, his co-star in Doctor Zhivago(1965)who has proposed to him; and Barbra Streisand, his co-star in Funny Girl (1968), with whom he had fallen madly in love during the filming. The very publicized love affair almost cost him his Eyptian citizenship.
But he never married again. According to his own words, no other woman ever won his heart and he never lived with another woman other than Faten Hamama, who was the love of his life.
Two months prior to his death, his son said Tarek Sharif his father was also suffering from Alzheimer's disease, becoming confused when remembering some of the biggest films of his career; he would mix up the names of his best-known films, Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, often forgetting where they were filmed.
On 12 July 2015, Sharif's funeral was held at the Grand Mosque of Mushir Tantawi in eastern Cairo. The funeral was attended by a group of Sharif's relatives, friends and Egyptian actors, his coffin draped in the Egyptian flag and a black shroud. His coffin was later taken to the El-Sayeda Nafisa cemetery in southern Cairo, where he was buried.
Profile of Olivia de Havilland
Dame Olivia Mary de Havilland DBE (July 1, 1916 – July 26, 2020) was a British-American actress. The major works of her cinematic career spanned from 1935 to 1988. She appeared in 49 feature films and was one of the leading actresses of her time. She was the oldest living and earliest surviving Academy Award winner until her death in July 2020. Her younger sister was the actress Joan Fontaine.
De Havilland first came to prominence with Errol Flynn as a screen couple in adventure films such as Captain Blood (1935) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). One of her best-known roles is that of Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind (1939), for which she received her first of five Oscar nominations.
De Havilland departed from ingénue roles in the 1940s and later distinguished herself for performances in Hold Back the Dawn (1941), To Each His Own (1946), The Snake Pit (1948), and The Heiress (1949), receiving nominations for Best Actress for each and winning for To Each His Own and The Heiress. During her film career, de Havilland also collected two New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress, and the Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup.
In addition to her film career, de Havilland continued her work in the theatre, appearing three times on Broadway, in Romeo and Juliet (1951), Candida (1952), and A Gift of Time (1962). She also worked in television, appearing in the successful miniseries Roots: The Next Generations (1979) and Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986), for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Movie or Series.
De Havilland lived in Paris from the 1955 and received honours such as the National Medal of the Arts, the Légion d'honneur, and the appointment to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
For her contributions to the motion picture industry, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She and her sister Joan Fontaine remain the only siblings to have won major acting Academy Awards.
Biography of Olivia de Havilland
Olivia Mary de Havilland was born in Tokyo, Japan on 1 July 1916. By birth, Olivia was member of De Havilland family which belonged to landed gentry that originated from mainland Normandy.
Her mother, Lilian Fontaine (née Ruse; 1886–1975) is a stage actress, and her father, Walter de Havilland (1872–1968), served as an English professor at the Imperial University in Tokyo City then a patent attorney.
Olivia's younger sister Joan (Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland)—later known as actress Joan Fontaine—was born on 22 October 1917. Both sisters became British subjects automatically by birthright.
In February 1919, Lilian persuaded her husband to take the family back to England for a climate better suited to their ailing daughters. They sailed aboard the SS Siberia Maru to San Francisco, where the family stopped to treat Olivia's tonsillitis. After Joan developed pneumonia, Lilian decided to remain with her daughters in California, where they eventually settled in the village of Saratoga, 50 miles (80 km) south of San Francisco. Her father abandoned the family and returned to his Japanese housekeeper, who eventually became his second wife.
Olivia was raised to appreciate the arts, beginning with ballet lessons at the age of four and piano lessons a year later. She did well in her studies in schoool, and enjoyed reading, writing poetry, and drawing.
In April 1925, after her divorce was finalised, 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.
In 1933, a teenage de Havilland made her debut in amateur theatre in Alice in Wonderland, a production of the Saratoga Community Players based on the novel by Lewis Carroll.
The next year, she was discovered by Max Reinhardt who persuaded her to sign a five-year contract with Warner Bros. On November 12, 1934, Olivia de Havilland signed the contract with a starting salary of $200 a week, marking the beginning of a professional acting career which would span more than 50 years.
De Havilland made her screen debut in Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was filmed at Warner Brothers studios. The film generated little enthusiasm with audiences, but her performance has been praised by the critics.
That same year, De Havilland was cast in Captain Blood along with a then little-known contract bit-part actor and former extra, Errol Flynn. This film gave de Havilland the opportunity to appear in her first costumed historical romance and adventure epic, a genre to which she was well suited, given her beauty and elegance, and the on-screen chemistry between de Havilland and Flynn was evident from their first scenes together.
Captain Blood was released on December 28, 1935, and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The popular success of the film, as well as the critical response to the on-screen couple, led to seven additional collaborations between Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn.
One of them, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), not only was an immediate critical and commercial success, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, but also went on to become one of the most popular adventure films of the Classical Hollywood era; and another Western adventure Santa Fe Trail directed by Michael Curtiz became one of the top-grossing films of 1940.
And their last film together, Raoul Walsh's epic They Died with Their Boots On, went on to earn $2,550,000, becomimg Warner Bros' second-biggest money-maker of 1941.
The year when she bid farewell to her on screen lover Errol Flynn, she became a naturalized citizen of the United States, 10 days before the United States entered World War II militarily, alongside the Allied Forces.
In a letter to a colleague dated November 18, 1938, film producer David O. Selznick wrote, "I would give anything if we had Olivia de Havilland under contract to us so that we could cast her as Melanie."The film he was preparing to shoot was Gone with the Wind, and Jack L. Warner was unwilling to lend her out for the project, but was Olivia de Havilland persuaded him smartly. She was signed to the project a few weeks before the start of principal photography on January 26, 1939.
Gone with the Wind had its world premiere in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 15, 1939, and it won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and de Havilland received her first nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Her work on Selznick's prestige picture, did not lead to the first-rate roles at Warner Bros. Olivia de Havilland she wished, however. "He would give me roles that really had no character or quality in them." as she put it.
And she wanted out. But after fulfilling her seven-year Warner Bros. contract in 1943, she was informed that six months had been added to her contract for the times that she had been suspended. She decided to sue Warner Bros. and won the lawsuit.
The decision was one of the most significant and far-reaching legal rulings in Hollywood, reducing the power of the studios and extending greater creative freedom to performers.California's resulting "seven-year rule", is still known today as the De Havilland Law. Her legal victory, which cost her $13,000 in legal fees, won de Havilland the respect and admiration of her peers, but boycotts from all Hollywood studios. As a consequence, de Havilland did not work at a film studio for nearly two years.
Havilland earned the Academy Award for Best Actress for 1946 for her performance in To each his own—her first Oscar. Four years earlier, her sister Joan Fontaine earned her first Oscar for her performance in Suspicion(1941). And they remained the only sisters in Hollywood who have been awarded Oscar.
And de Havilland got married, too. On August 26, 1946, she married Marcus Goodrich, a U.S. Navy veteran, journalist, and author of the novel Delilah (1941).
On September 27, 1949, deHavilland gave birth to her first child, Benjamin.
was released. Based on the 1880 novel Washington Square by Henry James, the film is about a young naïve woman who falls in love with a young man, over the objections of her cruel and emotionally abusive father, who suspects the young man of being a fortune seeker. Directed by William Wyler, Olivia de Havillnd won the Academy Award for Best Actress—her second Oscar.
After the birth of his son, deHavilland decided to take time off from making films to be with him. Her family moved to New York in 1950 where de Havilland dedicated herself to theatre and played the leading roles in classic plays like Romeo and Juliet of Shakespeare and Candida by George Bernard Shaw.
The marriage did not work due to her husband Goodrich’ unstable temperament. In August 1952, Olivia de Havilland filed for divorce, which became final the following year, when she was ready to embark on her new life in Europe.
In April 1953, at the invitation of the French government, Olivia de Havilland travelled to the Cannes Film Festival, where she met Pierre Galante, an executive editor for the French journal Paris Match. Following a long-distance courtship and the requisite nine-month residency requirement, de Havilland and Galante married on April 12, 1955, and settled together in a three-storey house near the Bois de Boulogne park in Paris' 16th Arrondissement.
Her second child, Gisèle Galante, was born on July 18, 1956.
For the next few years, Olivia de Havilland was busy raising her children, working in films on both continents as well as in theatre in The United States, and writing.
In 1962, she published herfirst book, Every Frenchman Has One, a lighthearted account of her often amusing attempts to understand and adapt to French life, manners, and customs.
The book sold out its first printing prior to the publication date and went on to become a bestseller.
Of course the thing that staggers you when you first come to France is the fact that all the French speak French—even the children. Many Americans and Britishers who visit the country never quite adjust to this, and the idea persists that the natives speak the language just to show off or be difficult.
That same year, she also separated from her second husband Galante, but they continued to live in the same house for another six years to raise their daughter together, and they remained close to each other for the rest of their life: Galante lived just across the street from her when he moved out, and during his final bout with lung cancer prior to his death in 1998, it was Olivia de Havilland who took care of him. It seems Melanie still continued living in her after almost 60 years of Gone with the Wind.
Throughout the 1970s, de Havilland's film work was limited to smaller supporting roles and cameo appearances, as film roles became more difficult to find, a common problem shared by many Hollywood veterans from her era. She began working in television dramas,
Olivia de Havilland’s performance in the television film Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986), as Dowager Empress Maria, earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
In 1988, de Havilland appeared in the HTV romantic television drama The Woman He Loved; it was her final screen performance.
In retirement, deHavilland remained active in the film community.
On November 17, 2008, at the age of 92, de Havilland received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honour conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people of the United States. The medal was presented to her by President George W. Bush.
On September 9, 2010, de Havilland was appointed a Chevalier (knight) of the Légion d'honneur, the highest decoration in France, awarded by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who told the actress, "You honour France for having chosen us."
In June 2017, two weeks before her 101st birthday, de Havilland was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to drama by Queen Elizabeth II. She is the oldest woman ever to receive the honour.
De Havilland died of natural causes in her sleep at her home in Paris, France on July 26, 2020, at the age of 104.
Every Frenchman Has One is a book written by American actress Olivia de Havilland. First published in 1962 by Random House, the memoir is a lighthearted account of the author's often amusing attempts to understand and adapt to French life, manners, and customs. In the book, de Havilland writes about French traffic, French maids, French salesladies, French holidays, French law, French doctors, and the French language—all with good humor and affection. After being out of print for decades, the Crown Publishing Group under its Crown Archetype imprint released a new printing on June 28, 2016, to coincide with the author's one-hundredth birthday.