Silver screen icon OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND sobbed privately after missing out on a Best Actress OSCAR for Gone With The Wind, because she feared too much emotion would make her seem racist.

De Havilland lost out to Gone With The Wind co-star Hattie McDaniel, who became the first black actress to win an ACADEMY AWARD.

De Havilland recalls, "I decided, o fcourse, there was no God. I was only 22. At the table, I was able to keep my composure until it was all over and then one tear started down my cheek.

"(The producer's wife) IRENE SELZNICK saw that and said, 'Come with me,' and we went into the kitchen and then I really began to cry.

"Two weeks later, still brooding about the fact that there was no God, I woke up one morning and thought, 'That's absolutely wonderful that Hattie got the award!' Hattie deserved it and she got it.

"I thought I'd much rather live in a world where a black actress, who gave a marvellous performance, got the award instead of me."

02/12/2004 09:42