“Thanks to Miss Fontaine's planning and compassionate legacy, animals rescued by the SPCA will receive love, healing, and placement in the lifelong homes they deserve,” says SPCA Executive Director Gary Tiscornia. “This generous donation and the publicity it generates will help thousands of animals and inspire others to donate, adopt, volunteer, and learn more about the SPCA. We are truly grateful for Miss Fontaine’s kindness to the animals of Monterey County and for compassionately sharing the mission of the SPCA.”
Joan Fontaine ascended to the ranks of aspiring RKO starlets to an Academy Award winning legend, a favorite of directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and the inspiration for countless young women seeking to make it big on the silver screen. At 18 years old, Ms. Fontaine signed a contract with RKO Pictures, and debuted opposite Joan Crawford in the 1935 picture No More Ladies. Ms. Fontaine’s screen presence increased throughout the 1930s and received her first leading role in the 1940 film Rebecca, an adaptation of the bestselling Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name. Rebecca earned Ms. Fontaine her first Academy Award nomination.
In 1941, Ms. Fontaine appeared opposite Cary Grant as the beleaguered wife in another Hitchcock film, Suspicion. The performance earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress, making Ms. Fontaine the youngest winner in the category at that time and the only performer to ever receive an Oscar for a Hitchcock film.
Ms. Fontaine was a loyal advocate of the SPCA for Monterey County, where she adopted the dogs she lovingly referred to as, “my dear, dear babies.”