Wednesday, November 5, 2008

VIVIEN LEIGH (November ~5~ 1913 ~ July~8~ 1967.

Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier (5 November 1913 – 8 July 1967), was an English actress. She won two Academy Awards for playing "southern belles": Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Blanche DuBois in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a role she had also played on stage in London's West End.
She was a prolific stage performer, frequently in collaboration with her husband, Laurence Olivier, who directed her in several of her roles. During her thirty-year stage career, she played parts that ranged from the heroines of Noël Coward and George Bernard Shaw comedies to classic Shakespearean characters such as Ophelia, Cleopatra, Juliet and Lady Macbeth.
Lauded for her beauty, Leigh felt that it sometimes prevented her from being taken seriously as an actress, but ill health proved to be her greatest obstacle. Affected by bipolar disorder for most of her adult life, she gained a reputation for being a difficult person to work with, and her career went through periods of decline. She was further weakened by recurrent bouts of chronic tuberculosis, with which she was first diagnosed in the mid-1940s. She and Olivier divorced in 1960, and Leigh worked sporadically in film and theatre until her death from tuberculosis, in 1967.

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