Vivien Leigh

A Biography


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About the Book

“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm” Margaret Mitchell opened Gone with the Wind with this description of Scarlett O’Hara, but her words can hardly be applied to Vivien Leigh, the British actress who gave an unforgettable performance as the Southern belle. Leigh possessed a beauty that men seldom failed to recognize and a charm that caught many, but her life was far from being all beauty and charm. This biography of the beautiful and tortured actress, from her birth and childhood in exotic India to her premature death in 1967, gives special attention to her development and career as a stage and film actress (which culminated in one Tony award and two Oscars). Her ambitious personality and her manic-depressive illness, including the sexual compulsion that haunted her life, her romantic and tragic marriage to Laurence Olivier, and her performances in, for instance, Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, are all detailed.

About the Author(s)

Michelangelo Capua is the author of several McFarland biographies of Hollywood film stars. He lives in London.

Bibliographic Details

Michelangelo Capua

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1497-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8034-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Introduction      1

1 Scent of India      3
2 Inside a Convent      7
3 Wedding Interlude      12
4 A Star Is Born      18
5 Larry, Larry, Larry      30
6 Gone with the Wind      48
7 Romeo and Juliet      68
8 Times of War, Times of Love      77
9 Cleopatra      85
10 Lady Olivier      94
11 Blanche DuBois      107
12 Fire and Air      117
13 Peter Finch      123
14 Stage Door      130
15 Madness, Madness, Madness      137
16 Jack Merivale      151
17 Breathless      173

Appendix: Film, Stage and Radio
Appearances      181
Notes      193
Bibliography      203
Index      211

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommend[ed]…writing is agreeable and affectionate…photos are terrific”—Classic Images.