Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vivien Leigh turns 100

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vivien Leigh. To celebrate her birthday, I decided to share some of my favorite photos of her.

Vivien preferred performing before an audience, on stage, as opposed to making movies. Therefore, she only made nineteen films, in her 32 year career as an actress.

Here she is as Titania, from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, in a 1937 theater production.

In the movie, Dark Journey, she plays the very fashionable spy, Madeleine Goddard.

Vivien also posed for many fashion magazines and famous photographers. Angus McBean, Cecil Beaton, Lazslo Willinger, Vivienne and Bassano are just a few of the photographers who attempted to capture her beauty.

I first saw Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind when the movie debuted on television. My mom was so excited about this movie, that my sisters and I caught her enthusiasm for GWTW before we ever saw it. It aired over two nights and we were allowed to stay up past our bedtime, which was a really big deal, to finish watching it each night.

No matter how many times I watch this movie, I still love it. The barbecue scene is one of my favorites. Below, Scarlett and Rhett embrace. This image is from a lobby card.

While filming Gone With The Wind, Vivien was involved (& had been for a couple of years) in a real-life, love affair with Laurence Olivier. Since both were still married to other people, the studio kept it hush-hush. This photo is one of my absolute favorites of the two of them.

This candid of  Vivien was snapped in a parking lot, near Lux Radio Theater, circa 1940, in Los Angeles.

Here, Vivien tries her hand as the Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. This movie was based on George Bernard Shaw's play, Caesar and Cleopatra. A few years later, Olivier and her would bring the play to the stage.

Simply a lovely portrait.

Laurence Olivier in make-up for his stage role in Titus Andronicus, along with a bewigged Vivien Leigh. This pic was taken in Paris, opening night, 1957. In the 1950s, it was fashionable for "older" women to wear their hair short. This was a trend that Vivien followed. When I see her in wigs, such as this one, I can't help but think that longer hair made her look years younger.

As the beautiful Karen Stone in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, costarring Warren Beatty. Vivien played an aging actress preyed upon by a young gigolo.

In the garden of her home, Tickerage Mills, with her friend Godfrey Winn.

I hope you've enjoyed this photographic journey in the life of Vivien Leigh.

Thanks for your visit today!


Karen said...

Hi Michelle,
Vivien is indeed a beautiful woman and 100 years young now! Amazing! Life goes too fast but at least she has left us a legacy of her successful life with her movies! Thank you for visiting me. Have a wonderful week. Karen

Ruthie Miller said...

I so enjoyed this little Vivien Leigh tribute. What a breathtaking beauty she was. Makes me want to go put her movies in my queue.
Thank you for having us think about her.
Best, Ruthie from Lady B's Time for Tea