Real name: Vivian Mary Hartley.
Born 5 November 1913 in Darjeeling (India).
The daughter of an English officer, she was educated at several private pensions across Europe, and then in 1932 he entered the Royal Academy of dramatic art. Debut movie — 1934, on the stage 1935.
Right after high school, Vivian married lawyer Lee Holman, who was older than her 14 years. After a year they have a daughter, but Vivian did not leave the dream of the screen and stage. My husband was against these plans, and yet Vivian was able to play tiny roles in commercials, scenes in movies, in the theater. The first success came to her when Vivien Leigh (that was her artistic name) played in the play “Mask of virtue”. In theatrical circles of London, the aspiring actress took seriously.
A turning point in life, Lee became acquainted with actor Lawrence Olivier. Young people fall in love with each other. After six years they will be able to seek a divorce from their half and to get married (1940). By the time Vivien was already famous all over the world. The epic “gone with the wind” won the hearts of millions. Vivien at the age of 26 gets his first “Oscar”.
After “Gone with the wind” appear “Waterloo Bridge” and “Lady Hamilton”, where she played together with Olivier.
Vivien was unable to have a child in marriage to Olivier. In 1944 while filming “Caesar and Cleopatra” after the second pregnancy she went into a deep depression which developed into hysteria.
In 1945, Vivien Leigh was diagnosed with TB of the lungs. The disease has an effect on the psyche of the actress, started a fit of madness. She was treated and from tuberculosis, and mental illness came to shock treatments, but it’s getting worse. In rare gaps Vivien had been performing in film and on stage.
Returning from America to Britain after the Second world war, the actress began to play in theatre, she shone in the plays of the classical repertoire. In the early 1950-ies Laurence Olivier went to Hollywood to shoot the movie “Sister Carrie” (based on the novel by Theodore Dreiser). Vivien Leigh went behind him and starred as Blanche Dubois in “a Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams. This role brought the actress a second Oscar.
Relationship with Olivier, marred by the absence of common children, and progressive disease Vivien Leigh, gradually deteriorated.
He started an affair with another woman, actress Joan Plowright. On the day of the 45th anniversary Vivien and Olivier presented her with a gorgeous rolls-Royce and announced he wanted a divorce. It was Vivien Leigh a heavy blow. And even when he left her, deep down she had always hoped for his return.
The actress continued to play performances, starred in two films, received the Tony for Broadway role in the musical “Comrade”.
She was trying to prove to everyone and herself that is still young, beautiful and full of energy. “I will play to 90 years,” she said. But the forces have changed. After performances on Broadway, where the actress acted in the musical Comedy, often had to call the doctor. With the tour it was brought to London on a stretcher.
Her last film was the Stanley Kramer’s “Ship of fools”.
In may 1967, Lee began new attacks of TB. 7 July of the same year in London, during the next attack, the actress died.
8 Jul 1967 in all the London theaters for a minute, the lights go out ramps. The actors and the audience observed a mourning silence for the memory of the deceased Vivien Leigh. Bequest of the actress, her body was cremated and the ashes scattered over the lake near the small village in which she lived in the County of East Sussex.
1939 – Best actress (“gone with the wind”)
1951 – Best actress (“a Streetcar named Desire)
Nominated for a Golden globe (1951):
Best actress, drama (“the Tram “Desire”)
Prize “BAFTA” (1952):
Best British actress (“a Streetcar named Desire)
The Tony Award (1963):
Best actress in a musical (“Companion”)
Venice film festival (1951):
The Volpi Cup for best actress (“a Streetcar named Desire)
Vivien Leigh Filmography
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