|Tribute sketch of Joan as The Constant Nymph by my husband David Hardy.|
Over the years, I've seen numerous films starring Joan Fontaine and read her autobiography, No Bed of Roses. One film that Ms. Fontaine mentioned in her autobiography fondly was The Constant Nymph. Unfortunately, public showings were limited due the author's deal with Warner Brothers and some other legal issues. When I met David, he mentioned that he was lucky enough to see the film during a showing at his library. It was the one film starring Joan Fontaine which I just had to see. Finally, TCM resolved the various legal issues and obtained the rights to the film. I was thrilled and a bit scared when TCM announced the TV premiere of The Constant Nymph in September of 2011. Sometimes, a film does not live up to one's expectations. I was so happy that The Constant Nymph was even better than I hoped it would be. Without a doubt, Joan Fontaine was brilliant as Tessa Sanger. She had a tender, ethereal quality that a muse like Tessa should possess. I am so glad Ms. Fontaine lived to see audiences rediscover this wonderful film.
Joan Fontaine like her sister, Olivia DeHavilland, was a STAR. Fontaine was not a star, like we classify today's crop of movie actors. She had class and a timeless beauty. That is why she will be fondly remembered for years to come.