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Vivien: Life of Vivien Leigh

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Vivien: Life of Vivien Leigh Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“My birth sign is Scorpio and they eat themselves up and burn themselves out. I swing between happiness and misery. I am part prude and part non-conformist. I say what I think and I dont pretend and I am prepared to accept the consequences of my actions.”—Vivien Leigh

When Vivien Leigh died in 1967, headlines around the world proclaimed, “Scarlett OHara is Dead!” Perhaps more than any of her contemporaries, Vivien Leigh became the very embodiment of the roles she made famous, from Gone With the Winds immortal heroine to her harrowing portrayal of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Viviens beauty, determination, and enormous charisma were her triumph, whether it was a matter of charming George Bernard Shaw in order to become his personal choice for the part of Scarlett—or winning the then-married Laurence Olivier as her husband. Her twenty-years partnership with Olivier, both onstage and off, made them the “royal couple” of the theater, and garnered unparalleled critical and popular acclaim.

But the achievement had its darker side, for Vivien became so immersed in her roles that she began to take on their characteristics in real life—often at enormous cost: playing Blanche DuBois actually “tipped her into madness”; and while filming Ship of Fools, she found herself hammering co-star Lee Marvins face with very real—and painful—blows of her spiked heel. The public glamour of her fairy tale marriage to Olivier—so desperately important to them both—hid a private nightmare of violence and frequent infidelity. She was consumed by devastating battles against tuberculosis, to which she finally succumbed, and manic-depression, which she sought to keep at bay through a voracious sexual appetite, having affair after affair—sometimes serious, as with Peter Finch, sometimes with whichever taxi driver happened to bring her home.

Based on previously unpublished interviews with her friends, family, and colleagues, as well as with Vivien Leigh herself, Vivien is an extraordinary picture of a unique and complex woman, as willful as she was beautiful, who knew what she wanted—whether the coveted role of Scarlett or that, equally coveted, of Lady Olivier—and got it. With its telling anecdotes, fascinating insights, and unforgettable glimpses into Hollywoods heyday, it is sure to stand as the definitive portrait of one of the most talented and tormented actresses of all time.

Synopsis:

'This is the best book we have had on Vivien Leigh, the most thoroughly and shrewdly researched, the most acute in its realization that Leigh was an actress who had to find herself in her parts if she was to do well, but who invariably began to destroy herself in the process.'--The Boston Sunday Globe

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802132598
Author:
Walker, Alexander
Publisher:
Grove Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Performing arts
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Subject:
Stage and screen
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Actors & Actresses
Subject:
Actors
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Theatre
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Actors -- Great Britain.
Subject:
Leigh, Vivien
Subject:
Biography-Entertainment and Performing Arts
Edition Number:
1st Evergreen ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
88-285
Publication Date:
19940131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
342
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 20 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Actors » Biographies
Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts

Vivien: Life of Vivien Leigh New Trade Paper
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$17.00 In Stock
Product details 342 pages Grove Press - English 9780802132598 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 'This is the best book we have had on Vivien Leigh, the most thoroughly and shrewdly researched, the most acute in its realization that Leigh was an actress who had to find herself in her parts if she was to do well, but who invariably began to destroy herself in the process.'--The Boston Sunday Globe
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