Olivia Foxworth, (Formally Winfield), was the antagonist of Flowers in the Attic. Her backstory was revealed in Garden of Shadows.
|Birth Name: Olivia Winfield|
|Relatives: Mr. Winfield (Father, deceased); Mrs. Winfield (Mother, deceased); Malcolm Foxworth, Sr. (Husband, deceased); Malcolm Foxworth, Jr. (Son, deceased); Joel Foxworth (Son, deceased); Corrine Foxworth (Step-daughter, deceased); Christopher Foxworth, Sr. (Brother-in-Law, deceased); Christopher Dollanganger, Jr. (Step-Grandson, deceased); Catherine Dollanganger (Step-Granddaughter, deceased); Carrie Dollanganger (Step-Granddaughter, deceased); Cory Dollanganger (Step-Granddaughter, deceased); Jory Marquet (Step-Great Grandson); Bart Winslow, Jr. (Step-Great Grandson); Cindy Sheffield (adoptive Great Granddaughter); Darren Marquet (Step-Great-Great Grandson); Deidre Marquet (Step-Great-Great Granddaughter); John Amos Jackson (Cousin, deceased)|
|Occupation: Mistress of Foxworth Hall|
|Appearances: Garden of Shadows, Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, Flowers in the Attic (Film)|
|Portrayed By: Louise Fletcher|
Garden of ShadowsEdit
This prequel portrays Olivia in a more positive light and explains how she became the cruel grandmother that the Dollanganger kids were afraid of in the series.
The book starts with her being hopeful and happy to be finally married to handsome, wealthy and young Malcolm Foxworth. She is quite tall and plain looking, and nearly twenty-five.
Soon after their marriage, Olivia comes to Foxworth Hall, and finds out about Malcolm's obsessive love for his beautiful mother Corinne, who abandoned him as a child.
Olivia discovers that Malcolm is extremely distrustful of beautiful women, and he married Olivia because of her plain looks. She discovers Malcolm's obsession for his mother in the Swan Room, Corinne's former room, kept as shrine to her by Malcolm, Olivia is caught and raped by Malcolm on the Swan Bed.
Nine months later, Olivia gives birth to a son, Malcolm Jr. called "Mal" by the family. In spite of how Malcolm treats her, Olivia is hopeful that she will still have a happy family.
Several years later, Olivia gives birth to another son, Joel after a difficult pregnancy and is unable to have any other children. This upsets Malcolm as he wanted a daughter and blames Olivia for being unable to bear him one, and he neglects both his sons and his marriage.
Several years later, Malcolm's father, Garland, returns with his young wife, Alicia and the story takes a darker turn. Alicia makes friendly overtures towards Olivia, but Olivia keeps her distance. Alicia later gives birth to a son, Christopher, however Malcolm is attracted to her and tries to seduce her which she rebuffs. Olivia witnesses Malcolm attempting to seduce Alicia and is hurt. Olivia knows Malcolm is to blame, but resents Alicia for making herself beautiful.
Garland later catches Malcolm attempting to rape Alicia, leading to a fight between Malcolm and Garland, resulting in Garland having a heart attack and dying. However, Malcolm later resumes pursuit of Alicia shortly after Garland's death. Soon afterwards Alicia becomes pregnant by Malcolm.
Alicia tells Olivia that Malcolm has been forcing himself upon her, warning that she will be thrown out penniless if she refuses. Olivia decides to hide her up in the same attic Chris, Cathy, Cory, and Carrie would be later locked in. She plans to keep Alicia up there until she gives birth while pretending to be pregnant and then pass the resulting child off as hers.
She fires all the servants to prevent any suspicions. During Alicia's isolation, Olivia cuts off her hair and puts it on Malcolm's desk so that he can see that she is one with all the power (this mirrors Cathy's eventual threat of getting hers cut off).
While Alicia is kept in the attic, Olivia cares for Christopher and comes to love him like another son. Malcolm makes visits to the attic, and takes advantage of Alicia's loneliness. After Alicia gives birth to Corrine, she quietly leaves Foxworth Hall with Christopher.
The years pass by, Olivia loves Corrine, but Corrine was very spoiled by both her brothers and especially by Malcolm, as she is very beautiful. Mal grows up and attends college, but one summer, he is killed in a motorcycle accident. Joel, a talented musician, joins an orchestra and travels through Europe.
Unfortunately, he dies in an avalanche, devastating Olivia. Olivia later receives a letter from Alicia stating that she has breast cancer and asks if Christopher can stay at Foxworth Hall after she dies, as he has much promise to become a physician. Only because of how well Olivia treated Christopher does Alicia want him to stay at Foxworth Hall. When he arrives, Christopher and Corrine are immediately attracted to each other, but keep it a secret.
Christopher's arrival breathes life into Foxworth Hall, and the family is once again happy since the deaths of Mal and Joel. Corrine graduates high school, and Christopher is accepted into medical school, it is this time that Malcolm and Olivia find out about Christopher and Corrine. Olivia discovers the two making love on the Swan Bed.
They are kicked out (as they are really half brother and half sister, and not half uncle-niece as everyone believes) and disinherited. Olivia and Malcolm turn to religion to get them through the difficult time, with the help of John Amos, Olivia's cousin.
The book ends with a letter from Corrine, informing Olivia of Christopher's death, and asking to return to Foxworth Hall with her children. Corrine and her children arrive, and Olivia locks them in the attic, hardening her heart against them.
Flowers in the AtticEdit
Olivia is the main antagonist in this story.
After her husband's death, Corrine writes a letter to her from her Gladstone, Pennsylvania home, asking her for a place to stay. Olivia agrees and Corrine brings her children with her to Foxworth Hall.
There, the children are locked in the same room Alicia was locked in and informed of the fact that Corrine and Christopher were niece and half-uncle, respectively. Olivia is quite cruel to the four, calling them "the devil's spawn" and tries to ensure that the children will be clean, even not permitting them to look at each other.
She physically whips Chris and Cathy and starves them in one incident after Chris refuses to cut Cathy's hair off. She later pours tar in Cathy's hair, resulting in it getting cut off. She also rejects a Christmas gift from the children as a peace offering.
She has (though rarely) shown a soft side to the children. The first time we see this is the time she gave the children a plant to take care of. It is also believed that Olivia starved them for a week only as an attempt to prevent the arsenic poisoning.
While attempting to steal valuables, Chris witnesses her in prayer, and she agrees with Cathy that Cory must go to a hospital (though he wasn't taken to one). Cathy also speculates that Olivia merely brought up the basket, having no actual role in the poisoning (but is still an accessory to the crime).
Petals on the WindEdit
Olivia plays a much smaller role in this story, but makes a cameo appearance albeit in very poor health, having suffered a stroke and mute. Cathy breaks into Foxworth Hall once to confront her grandmother and attacks her in retribution of what Olivia did to her and her siblings.
Olivia is present at the Christmas party where Cathy confronts Corrine about what she did to her children. Olivia dies in the fire that destroys Foxworth Hall. In a twist of fate, Olivia's will stated that Corrine was to receive her entire fortune (as well as Malcolm's fortune that reverted to her) including the ruins of Foxworth Hall.