Vivien Leigh

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Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier
Vivian Mary Hartley
BirthplaceDarjeeling, Bengal Presidency, British India
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leigh, Vivien


(stage name of Vivian Mary Hartley). Born Nov. 5, 1913, in Darjeeling, India; died July 8, 1967, in London. English stage and motion-picture actress.

Leigh was educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She began her screen career in 1934 and in 1935 made her stage debut in London’s “Q” Theater. She also performed in other London theaters, including the Old Vic.

Leigh’s best roles included Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare), Jennifer Dubedat (The Doctor’s Dilemma by Shaw), Sabina (The Skin of Our Teeth by Wilder), Antigone (Antigone by Anouilh), Blanche (A Streetcar Named Desire by Williams; she also played Blanche in the film version, 1951), and Paola (Duel of Angels by Fry). In 1955 at Stratfordupon-Avon she played Viola, Lady Macbeth, and Lavinia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Macbeth, and Titus Andronicus.

Leigh’s most important film roles were Scarlett O’Hara (Gone With the Wind, 1939), Myra (Waterloo Bridge, 1940), Lady Hamilton (Lady Hamilton, 1941), Anna (Anna Karenina, 1948), and Mary Treadwell (Ship of Fools, 1964). She played complex, contradictory characters, who revealed themselves in dramatic clashes with harsh reality.


Utilov, V. Viv’en Li. Moscow, 1963.
Barker, F. The Oliviers: A Biography. London, 1953.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The scraggly felonious bird hero of Autumn of My Springtime robs a bank, flies into a movie screen to be with Vivian Leigh, and cavorts in drunken orgies.
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A much loved tale from the deep South of America starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh as lovers amid a backdrop of the American Civil War.
All the vaunted "Gone With the Wind" iconography is present and correct: The guys argue over the slap, the stupid last line, the desirability of "damn." Selznick fends off calls from Vivian Leigh, who wants to go home ("Tell Mr.
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I saw all the greats at the Court, including Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh in Antony and Cleopatra and plays starring Rex Harrison and John Gielgud ." Meanwhile, Friday nights featured variety shows at the Pavilion Theatre, Lodge Lane.
Their PA, Vivian Leigh, also threw the phone down on me (I thought Christians were supposed to turn the other cheek, not give it), yet when I finally spoke to Wendy, she told me that "we are not bigoted..." In that case, Wendy, why is your station transmitting hour after hour of hate-filled, rabble-rousing ranting?