Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait (Hardcover)

Accompanying the display 'Starring Vivien Leigh: A Centenary Celebration' at the National Portrait Gallery 30 November 2013 - 20 July 2014

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This title is timed for the 100th birthday of Vivien Leigh and the 75th anniversary of her landmark film Gone With the Wind. Featuring rare photos and informed by previously untapped documents from the Laurence Olivier Archives, Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait sheds new insight on the woman whose onscreen performances and dramatic life story can inspire women today. Vivien Leigh's mystique was a combination of staggering beauty, glamour, romance, and genuine talent displayed in her Oscar-winning performances in Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire. For more than thirty years, her name alone sold out theatres and cinemas the world over, and she inspired many of the greatest visionaries of her time: Laurence Olivier loved her; Winston Churchill praised her; Christian Dior dressed her. Through both an in-depth narrative and a stunning array of photos, Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait presents the personal story of one of the most celebrated women of the twentieth century, an engrossing tale of success, struggles, and triumphs. It chronicles Leigh's journey from her birth in India to prominence in British film, winning the most-coveted role in Hollywood history, her celebrated love affair with Laurence Olivier, through to her untimely death at age fifty-three in 1967. Author Kendra Bean is the first Vivien Leigh biographer to delve into the Laurence Olivier Archives, where an invaluable collection of personal letters and documents ranging from interview transcripts to film contracts to medical records shed new insight on Leigh's story. Illustrated by hundreds of rare and never-before-published images, including those by Leigh's "official" photographer, Angus McBean, Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait is the first illustrated biography to closely examine the fascinating, troubled, and often misunderstood life of Vivien Leigh: the woman, the actress, the legend.

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