Lilian Augusta Fontaine (née Ruse; 11 June 1886 – 20 February 1975) was a British actress and mother of the actresses Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine.
Lilian Ruse received a scholarship from the Reading College at age 13 for her musical talent and studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After a stage career she married the British patent attorney Walter Augustus de Havilland (1872–1968). Her first daughter Olivia de Havilland was born in July 1916, followed by her second daughter Joan Fontaine in 1917. Lilian decided to end the marriage in 1919 after discovering that her husband used the sexual services of geisha girls; the divorce was not finalized, however, until February 1925. In April 1925, she married the department store manager George M. Fontaine. They were married until George's death in 1956.
Lilian lived with her two daughters in Saratoga, California and encouraged them to pursue acting careers. After both daughters reached stardom, she returned to acting with a notable role in Billy Wilder's drama ''The Lost Weekend'' (1945) where she portrayed the mother of Jane Wyman's character. Fontaine also played supporting roles in two films with her daughter Joan, ''Ivy'' (1947) and ''The Bigamist'' (1953). She also made a few television appearances during the 1950s. Lilian Fontaine died in 1975 from cancer, aged 88.
== Filmography ==
* ''The Lost Weekend'' (1945)
* ''The Locket'' (1946)
* ''Suddenly, It's Spring'' (1947)
* ''Time Out of Mind'' (1947)
* ''The Imperfect Lady'' (1947)
* ''Ivy'' (1947)
* ''The Bigamist'' (1953)
* ''Waterfront'' (1954; TV)
* ''Studio 57'' (1955; TV)
* ''Schlitz Playhouse of Stars'' (1955; TV)
* ''Passport to Danger'' (1956; TV)
* ''Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans'' (1957; TV)
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