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Oscar-Winning Hitchcock Star Joan Fontaine Dead at 96

Paramount/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Joan Fontaine, an Oscar-winning actress who became a star in the 1940s thanks to her roles in a couple of Alfred Hitchcock films, has died. She passed away at her home in Carmel, Calif., on Sunday, according to The New York Times.  She was 96.

Fontaine earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a bride haunted by the memory of her husband's late first wife in Hitchcock's 1940 film Rebecca, also starring Laurence Olivier.

Fontaine subsequently won an Oscar for her role in another Hitchcock movie, 1941's Suspicion.  She played an English woman who suspects her new husband of trying to kill her.  Suspicion also starred Cary Grant.

Incidentally, one of the actresses who lost out to Fontaine for that Oscar was her sister, Olivia de Havilland. The two had a strained relationship, becoming estranged later in life. De Havilland, 97, has won two Oscars in her career.

Fontaine earned a third Oscar nomination for 1943's The Constant Nymph.  Her other credits include The Women, Jane Eyre and Born to Be Bad.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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