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Oscar winning actress Joan Fontaine dead at 96

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Actress Joan Fontaine, who starred as the femme fatale in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion,” died Dec. 15, 2013, according to KABC 7. She was 96.

She won an Oscar for her portrayal in Hitchcock’s 1941 film and was cast by the iconic director the year before in the role of Mrs. de Winter in “Rebecca,” playing the new wife of Laurence Olivier.

A longtime friend of Fontaine’s, Noel Beutel, said she died in her sleep of natural causes at her home in Carmel, Calif., according to KABC.

According to THR, Fontaine was nominated for an Oscar in 1943 for “The Constant Nymph,” and won acclaim for her role as Charlotte Bronte in 1944’s “Jane Eyre.”

Fontaine was also praised for her portrayal of a woman in love with a politician played by Harry Belafonte in 1957’s “Island in the Sun.”

IMDB reports that Fontaine was born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland and was the sister of renowned two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland, 97, who The Hollywood Reporter notes is living in Paris.

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