Friday, November 18, 2011

Vivien Leigh

Many little girls want to be Scarlett O'hara, but I always wanted to be Vivien Leigh.  I believed, and still believe, that she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in pictures and movies.  She seems almost unreal.  I am sure I saw her in Gone With the Wind first, and she is wonderful in that role, but it isn't my favorite.  Waterloo Bridge is fantastic, as is That Hamilton Woman.  I must say that I don't believe she is a great actress--when I say great I mean legendary--she worked very hard and it shows, it shouldn't show.  Next to Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire it is obvious that Brando overshadows her, yet she was far superior to so many in terms of her intellect (Brando included).  She was a cerebral actress, not an intuitive one.  This is possibly because she was classically trained as a stage actress, and many (including Laurence Olivier) had to learn to adapt from stage to film.  Vivian Hartley (her given name) was born in Darjeeling, British India.  Her father was an officer in the British Cavalry, so little "Vivling" went to the best schools and received a top-notch education at Roehampton (now Woldingham School) where she excelled at cello, piano, ballet and language studies.  She spoke French and Italian fluently, and her knowledge of language made it easy for her to adopt a Southern dialect in the role of Scarlett O'Hara. 

Vivien Leigh is not a fashion icon; she is remembered by many only as Scarlett O'Hara.  I believe she is a wonderful example of an intelligent, beautiful woman who wanted to do the best she could with the abilities she had. She looked delicate but, by all accounts, was tough and tenacious. She was always the consumate  lady, even when she played a prostitute in Waterloo Bridge there was always something about her that was proper.  She may not have been a legendary actress, but she was a good actress.  More than that, she was an amazingly intelligent and determined woman, whose beauty is legendary.

Studying at school.

Gorgeous publicity shot for Waterloo Bridge.

The beautiful couple at the Oscars.

Vivien Leigh as Blanch in A Streetcar Named Desire.


  1. I always thought she was SO beautiful. I don't think there is another woman who can compare to her!


    Fashion and Beauty Finds

  2. Ava Gardner could compare with her in beauty. For me she is the best

  3. I agree, she was one of the most beautiful women of her time and even today! Her beauty is timeless!!!



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