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Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh

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Tennessee Williams Film Collection... The Passion And The Power Of An American Original.A Streetcar Named Desire: 2... more info $68.98was $68.98 Buy Now

Anna Karenina (1948) DVD Vivien Leigh stars in this 1948 remake of Tolstoy's classic "Anna Karenina". The... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Studio Classics: Set 1 DVD Celebrate 75 years of great filmmaking with the timeless films collected on the... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

That Hamilton Woman: The Criterion... One of cinema's most dashing duos, real-life spouses Vivien Leigh and Laurence... more info $39.98was $39.98 Buy Now

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)... A Streetcar Named Desire: The Original Director's Version is the Elia Kazan/... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Marlon Brando... This TCM Greatest Classic Films Set includes these four great films:A Streetcar... more info $19.99was $27.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Vivian Mary Hartley Died: July 8, 1967
Born: November 5, 1913 Cause of Death: tuberculosis
Birth Place: India Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A lovely, petite, fragile stage-trained player whose delicate beauty first graced the screen in 1935, Leigh was born to a British military family stationed in India. Despite her heritage, she remains best-known for her two most successful screen roles as American Southern belles.

A lovely, petite, fragile stage-trained player whose delicate beauty first graced the screen in 1935, Leigh was born to a British military family stationed in India. Despite her heritage, she remains best-known for her two most successful screen roles as American Southern belles.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Ship of Fools (1965) Mary Treadwell
2.
 The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) Karen Stone
3.
 The Deep Blue Sea (1955) Hester Collyer [also known as Hester Page]
4.
 A Streetcar Named Desire (1952) Blanche [DuBois]
5.
 Anna Karenina (1948) Anna Karenina
6.
 Caesar And Cleopatra (1945) Cleopatra
7.
 That Hamilton Woman (1941) Emma Hart, Lady Hamilton
8.
 21 Days Together (1940) Wanda
9.
 Waterloo Bridge (1940) Myra [Lester]
10.
 Gone With the Wind (1939) Scarlett [O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler]
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1920:
Moved to England
1926:
Traveled with parents for several years throughout Europe
1934:
Screen debut in "Things Are Looking Up"
1935:
Professional stage debut in "The Green Sash" (as Vivian Leigh)
1935:
Signed to five-year contract with Alexander Korda
1935:
Met Laurence Olivier
1937:
Played Ophelia to Olivier's "Hamlet" on stage
1937:
First screen appearance opposite Olivier, "Fire Over England"
1939:
US screen debut, in "Gone with the Wind"
1940:
US stage debut (with Olivier) in "Romeo and Juliet", directed by Olivier
1945:
First began suffering from tuberculosis
1948:
Toured Australia and New Zealand with Olivier in "Richard III", "The School for Scandal" and "The Skin of OUr Teeth"
1949:
Played Blanche Dubois in London staging of "A Streetcar Named Desire"
1951:
Recreated Blanche onscreen in Elia Kazan's screen version of "A Streetcar Named Desire"
1951:
Played Cleopatra in repertory stagings of Shakespeare's "Anthony and Cleopatra" and Shaw's "Caesar and Cleopatra"
1957:
Last stage appearance in London opposite Olivier in Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus" (after touring Europe)
1963:
Made stage musical debut on Broadway in "Tovarich"
1965:
Last film, "Ship of Fools"
1966:
Last stage appearance, "Ivanov"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art: -
Convent of the Sacred Heart: -

Notes

Her 1939 Oscar was sold at auction in 1993 for $563,500.

"Even if she had not played Scarlett O'Hara, the most coveted role in movie history, it is probable that Vivien Leigh's striking Dresden Shepherdess beauty would have won her a place among the great stars. She was recognized, even by unbelievers, as one of the beauties of her era: what with that and Scarlett, and for being much of her life Lady Olivier, fame and acclaim rather obscured her actual ability."--David Shipman, in "The Great Movie Stars."

"Behind fragile beauty and sophisticated charm, Miss Leigh harbored a feverish dedication to acting and a tough business sense that drove her to develop constantly an originally modest talent until she became one of the century's great stars ... Away from work Miss Leigh was, according to some who knew her socially, excellent company, sparkling with anecdotes that she told well, and a good listener. She was a woman of poise and education. Her heart-shaped face, green-gray eyes and mobile lovely face were captivating, even after years of illness." --From The New York Times, July 9, 1967.

"She made life hell for everybody near her, unless they did everything she wished, as she wished, and when she wished. Despite which she was surrounded by people who worshipped her and were ready to carry out her whims." --Wolfe Kaufman, quoted in "The Great Movie Stars," by David Shipman.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Herbert Leigh Holman. Solicitor. Married in 1932; divorced in 1940.
husband:
Laurence Olivier. Actor. Born in Surrey, England on May 22, 1907; married on August 30, 1940; divorced in 1960; died on July 11, 1989.
companion:
Peter Finch. Actor. Had affair during 1948 tour of Australia and New Zealand.
companion:
Jack Merivale. Actor. Together from 1960 until Leigh's death.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ernest Richard Hartley. British cavalry officer and stockbroker. Married Leigh's mother in 1911.
mother:
Gertrude Robinson Yackje. Of Irish descent; married Leigh's father in 1911.
daughter:
Suzanne Farrington. Born on October 12, 1933; married insurance broker Robin Farrington in 1957; first child, a son Neville, was born December 1958; had two other sons, Jonathan and Rupert.

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