Born in Tokyo to British parents who later moved to California, Fontaine and her sister, actress Olivia de Havilland, were both pushed into acting by their mother. Fontaine later returned to Tokyo to attend school, but moved back to San Jose at age 17, and later to Los Angeles.
When her acting career started to take off, she changed her last name to Fontaine after her stepfather in order to avoid confusion with her sister (and bitter rival). Fontaine won an Oscar for her role in Suspicion, beating de Havilland. She's the only actor to win an Oscar for a Hitchcock film.
She also appeared on Broadway and had several TV appearances in the 1950s and '60s.In the early 1960s, she was a panelist on the game show To Tell the Truth and received an Emmy nomination in 1980 for guest-starring on Ryan's Hope.
Her last film appearance was in 1966's The Witches, and her autobiography No Bed of Roses was published in 1978.
Fontaine was married four times, most recently to journalist Alfred Wright Jr. from 1964 to 1969.
De Havilland is 97 and living in Paris, though she and her sister stopped speaking in the 1970s, THR reports. Other details about Fontaine's death were not immediately available.