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Feud

Ryan Murphy Absolutely Loved Olivia de Havilland's Delightfully Shady Email About Feud

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Tony Barson/Getty Images

Fans of Ryan Murphy‘s Feud: Bette and Joan have come to learn all about the tumultuous and tense relationship between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, including the infamous story behind the 1963 Oscars ceremony — in which non-nominee Crawford convinced eventual winner Anne Bancroft to allow her to accept the award on her behalf, leaving Crawford’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane co-star Davis (who was actually nominated) out and in the cold and bested by her longtime rival.

It was a juicy plot point in the FX’s series. But did it actually go down like that?

To find out the truth, The Hollywood Reporter reached out to someone who was there at the time — actress Olivia de Havilland (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the series).

In an email to the 100-year-old star and two-time Oscar winner, the outlet asked for her thoughts on the show, Davis and Crawford’s relationship, and the show as a whole.

Her response was delightful.

“Having not seen the show, I cannot make a valid comment about it,” de Havilland wrote. “However, in principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves.”

“As to the 1963 Oscar ceremony, which took place over half a century ago, I regret to say that I have no memory of it whatsoever and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy,” she added.

Olivia de Havilland and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Everett Collection; Kurt Iswarienko/FX

So did her words start a feud with the show’s creator? Not at all.

“I love Olivia De Havilland. She is forever a lady,” Murphy told E! News of the email. “My favorite part of the quote was she said that she couldn’t vouch for anything at the ‘63 Oscars because she couldn’t remember it. I love that it was such a little blip in her life!”

“She’s amazing and everything that she says and does should be treasured,” he added. “I loved what she said.”

RELATED VIDEO: Catherine Zeta-Jones Reveals What Kirk Douglas Really Thought of Joan Crawford

Born in Japan of English parentage, then naturalized and raised in California, de Havilland made her screen debut in 1935 in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She’s been slapped around by Bette Davis in Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte and starred in Lady in a Cage with James Caan and opposite Montgomery Clift in The Heiress.

Over the course of her eight-decade career, she was renowned for eight on-screen romances with Errol Flynn and for her role as sweet Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in Gone with the Wind.

The actress celebrated her life and career with “dear, dear” friends at her 100th birthday party last year.

The evening began at 5 p.m. with cocktails for 30+ guests in a Paris hotel. During before dinner toasts, congratulatory notes were read aloud from four presidents, including Obama, both Bushes as well as the Clintons. Afterwards, a raspberry-bordered cake, surrounded by rose petals, with candles and sparklers, was presented to her.

The surprised star blew out every candle on the cake, without any help.

De Havilland turns 101 on July 1.