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Vivien Leigh

8 of 22 portraits on display in Room 33 at the National Portrait Gallery

Vivien Leigh, by Angus McBean, 1938 - NPG x30432 - Angus McBean Photograph. © Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University.<br />

Angus McBean Photograph. © Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University.

Vivien Leigh

by Angus McBean
matte bromide print, 1938
15 7/8 in. x 12 7/8 in. (403 mm x 328 mm)
Given by the photographer, Angus McBean, 1985
Photographs Collection
NPG x30432


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Sitterback to top

  • Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), Actress. Sitter associated with 130 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Angus McBean (1904-1990), Photographer. Artist of 265 portraits, Sitter associated with 80 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Leigh had been determined to play Scarlett O'Hara from 1937 when Margaret Mitchell's American Civil War-era novel Gone With the Wind was first published in Britain. As part of her bid to gain the role, she commissioned leading theatre photographer McBean to take a series of photographs that depicted her as a vision of Scarlett, with the intention of sending them to the producer David O. Selznick in Hollywood. After delivering the photos to Leigh, McBean was given a copy of Gone With the Wind with the inscription: 'To darling Angus, with love from Scarlett O'Hara.'