Friday, 20 June 2008

Vivien Leigh

Vivian Mary Hartley was born on November 5, 1913.Her parents wanted to go home to England but because of World War I they opted to stay in India. At the end of the war the Hartleys headed back to their home country, where Vivien's mother wanted her daughter to have a convent education. She was one of the youngest in attendance, and it was not a happy experience for her. One of the few consolations was her friendship with a classmate who also became a successful actress, Maureen O'Sullivan While there her mother came for a visit and took her to a play on London's legendary West Side.It was there that Vivien decided to become an actress. At the end of her education, she met and married Herbert Leigh in 1932 and together had a child named Suzanne in 1933. Though she enjoyed motherhood, it did not squelch her ambition to be an actress. Her first role in British motion pictures was as Rose Venables in 1935's The Village Squire (1935). That same year Vivien appeared in Things Are Looking Up (1935), Look Up and Laugh (1935) and Gentlemen's Agreement (1935). In 1938, Vivien went to the US to see her lover, Laurence Olivier, who was filming Wuthering Heights (1939) (she had left Herbert Leigh in 1937). While visiting Olivier, Vivien had the good luck to happen upon the Selznick brothers, who were filming the burning of Atlanta for the film, Gone with the Wind (1939), based on Margaret Mitchell's novel. The role of Scarlett O'Hara had yet to be cast and she was invited to take part in a screen test for the role. There had already been much talk in Hollywood about who was to be cast as Scarlett. Some big names had tried out for the part, such as Norma Shearer, Katharine Hepburn and Paulette Goddard. In fact, most in the film industry felt that Goddard was a sure bet for the part. However, four days after the screen test, Vivien was informed that she had landed the coveted slot. Although few remember it now, at the time her casting was controversial, as she was British and many fans of the novel it was based on felt the role should be played by an American. In addition, the shoot wasn't a pleasant one, as she didn't get along with her co-star, Clark Gable. The rest, as they say, is history. The film became one of the most celebrated in the annals of cinema. Not only did it win Best Picture during the Academy Awards, but Vivien won for Best Actress. Already she was a household name. In 1940, she made two films, Waterloo Bridge (1940) and 21 Days (1940), though neither approached the magnetism of GWTW. That same year saw Vivien marry Olivier and the next year they appeared together in That Hamilton Woman (1941).


R said...

Hey ali me palie long time no hear i just loved vivien in gone with the wind and clark gable,quite frankly my dear i dont a damn,great post i must of watched this film 20 times or more.
more power to you allison
your amazing xoxoxo.:)

bluedreamer27 said...

weve watched gone with the wind and so far its one of the greatest movie ive ever seen
vivien is something look alike with one of our actresses here in the Philippines hehe
have a great day allison

bluedreamer27 said...

hi ali just dropping by here to see your wonderful blog once again
have a great day my friend
more power

bluedreamer27 said...

hi ali just checking you out here
have a great day my friend

bluedreamer27 said...

hello allison
how are you now
just dropping to say hi and have a great day

Allison said...

Blue thank you for all your comments & support so sorry I haven't been able to get back to you been really busy,but I'm back now!:-)