Monday, April 14, 2014

L for Vivien Leigh



BORN: November 5, 1913

DIED: July 7, 1967

AGED: 53 yrs from tuberculosis

MARRIED: twice, 2nd to Laurence Olivier

LIVED WITH: John Merivale

AFFAIRS: Laurence Olivier when in her 1st marriage), Peter Finch

Extremely beautiful, intelligent actress, very cultured-knew her wines! Her greatest love was with Laurence Olivier and they starred in movies and the theatre. She suffered from severe bi-polar disorder and underwent electric shock therapy and was in and out of mental institutions throughout her life. She and Olivier owned Notley Abbey and would give dinner parties and when she was in her "manic" phase, she would not let anyone leave and sleeping was optional. David Niven spoke of her in his book but never named her out of respect.

OSCARS: Gone with the Wind, Streetcar Named Desire

FILMS: Waterloo Bridge, That Hamilton Woman, Anna Karenina, Ship of Fools


40 comments:

  1. Peter Finch - never knew that. This also makes me so thankful for my mental health.

    Anabel at Anabel's Travel Blog

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    1. Yes she did have a fling and could be quite the flirt but that was all part of her illness and yes to be healthy is to be lucky and oh so grateful

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  2. I had heard she was a nymphomaniac. Maybe that explains the not-sleeping.

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    1. She was bi-polar before anyone knew how to truly deal with this disease so a strong sex drive, not sleeping etc... is all part of it

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  3. Insomnia and nymphomania are both symptoms of the mania portion of bipolar. Shock treatments were used to treat depression. It must have been a terrifying existence.

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    1. It must have been and courageous too. She would go for electric shock and have the burn marks on her head and go to work in a Streetcar Named Desire and know all her lines. To think that she played someone who was unstable in this film and be unstable in real life took great strength to do this film I think

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  4. I didn't know she was bi-polar. Such a shame she died at such a relatively young age.

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    1. Yes it is a shame she died so young but she would constantly be on the go and not rest when she should have. I think , if it was present day, she would have the right treatment

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  5. Such a beautiful woman. I had no idea she was bi-polar! The medicines we have today would have possibly given her relief--it's a shame at that time all they had was electroshock therapy.

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    1. I think she was one of the most beautiful and intelligent. I think she would have been given the right treatment now and she could talk about it. Back then it was hidden.

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  6. Oh god, look at that picture - she was so beautiful! I had no idea she was bi-polar and struggled so much. That's truly awful.

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    1. It was awful and she was tragic in so many ways. I think a film could be done of her if they can find a great actress who is also as beautiful which would be hard since Vivien is a class act

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  7. One of the most beautiful and one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood history. It's kind of amusing that she won two Oscars, for playing two of the most iconic literary Southern women characters ever, while being British.

    Happy A to Z-ing. See ya 'round the web. All Things Kevyn.

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    1. I know! Just shows how great an actress she is despite her illness

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  8. Absolutely loved here in Gone with the Wind; can't say I saw her in any other movies. How interesting to have died so young of tuberculosis; I didn't know that about her.

    betty

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    1. She played an excellent Cleopatra and Anna Karenina. A Streetcar Named Desire is also amazing

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  9. Wasn't she just stunning. And such a strong female icon after Gone with the Wind.

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    1. She was great in GWTW and I loved her in That Hamilton Woman

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  10. I know her best from Gone With the wind. Thanks for telling us more about her. I had no idea that she had such struggles in life and died young. That is sad.
    Thanks again for dropping by my blog. Hugs, Lura

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    1. She had amazing struggles and I feel she needs to be known more

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  11. She was so good portraying Scarlett that for the longest time I could not separate the actress from the character. I hope she had a lot of calm happy moments in her life.

    The View from the Top of the Ladder

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    1. She loved gardening and spending time at Notley and her final years were good ones

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  12. I loved learning more about Vivian Leigh. She was a talented and beautiful actress.

    A-Z Challenging at Untethered Realms

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    1. She was very talented and many didn't see this because of her beauty

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  13. I never knew that she was bipolar. She was beautiful.

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  14. Eternal beauty. Somehow all these yester year beautiful and talented women had a troubled personal life.

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    1. Yes many did but many do now-very few had basic simple lives which is just like us regular folk too

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  15. Died of TB - something that just doesn't happen in this country now.

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    1. It is strange that she died of TB-seems even more tragic

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  16. I had no idea about the TB or that she was bi-polar. She had such a short life--very sad. Wasn't she fabulous in Gone With the Wind? We will always remember her.
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. She WAS and IS Scarlett and a fantastic actress

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  17. Sounds like a good actress. Makes me want to watch some black and white movies!
    : )

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    1. Oh my, you should! Give it a shot:)

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  18. O who can forget her! One classy lady she was, loved the way she played the fiesty Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. Didn't know anything about her life, so this was an informative post for me. Thank you :)

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

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    1. Thank you and she was very interesting

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  19. I'll always remember her as Scarlet O'Hara and Blanche DuBois. She was so beautiful...
    xxx Asha

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    1. Those 2 roles make her part of cinema history

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  20. I am yet to watch 'that hamilton woman' .. but she immortalized Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the wind. BTW she was Winston Churchill's favorite actress.

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    1. Yes she was and his favourite movie was Waterloo Bridge which was also her favourite

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