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Vivien Leigh: A Biography

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Here is an extraordinary complex woman brought vividly to life in this first complete biography. Given total access to Miss Leigh’s personal letters, and working with the cooperation of those who had been closest to her, Anne Edwards has produced a frank, open book that does not spare the truth, yet is as romantic a canvas, as turbulent and moving a story as any of the gre Here is an extraordinary complex woman brought vividly to life in this first complete biography. Given total access to Miss Leigh’s personal letters, and working with the cooperation of those who had been closest to her, Anne Edwards has produced a frank, open book that does not spare the truth, yet is as romantic a canvas, as turbulent and moving a story as any of the great films in which Vivien ever starred.


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Here is an extraordinary complex woman brought vividly to life in this first complete biography. Given total access to Miss Leigh’s personal letters, and working with the cooperation of those who had been closest to her, Anne Edwards has produced a frank, open book that does not spare the truth, yet is as romantic a canvas, as turbulent and moving a story as any of the gre Here is an extraordinary complex woman brought vividly to life in this first complete biography. Given total access to Miss Leigh’s personal letters, and working with the cooperation of those who had been closest to her, Anne Edwards has produced a frank, open book that does not spare the truth, yet is as romantic a canvas, as turbulent and moving a story as any of the great films in which Vivien ever starred.

30 review for Vivien Leigh: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily Wiersma

    I loved learning about Vivien Leigh. Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite classic movies and this beautiful actress has always fascinated me. Vivien Leigh to an outsider would look like she had it all, fame, money and true love however that wasn't the case. She was manic depressive and fought TB throughout her adult life which eventually killed her. But she never seemed to let it get her down she was a fighter all her life and fought for everything she had. She was truly one of the greatest I loved learning about Vivien Leigh. Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite classic movies and this beautiful actress has always fascinated me. Vivien Leigh to an outsider would look like she had it all, fame, money and true love however that wasn't the case. She was manic depressive and fought TB throughout her adult life which eventually killed her. But she never seemed to let it get her down she was a fighter all her life and fought for everything she had. She was truly one of the greatest actresses who could be completely depressed and than go on stage and act like nothing is wrong and she put everything she had into her performances. The book was well written and easy to follow without leaving me disinterested.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Clara Lamarca

    This biography about Vivien Leigh is one of the best I read in my life. I cried at the end. I never thought it was possible, to cry in a non-fiction work, but when a life is as interesting as in a novel, I guess it is. Vivien Leigh really had the kind of life that only exists in novels, filled with adventures, travels, great loves and great love affairs, madness, illnesses, great parties with the most famous artists and politicians of her time. Her story was enchanting and at times heartbreaking This biography about Vivien Leigh is one of the best I read in my life. I cried at the end. I never thought it was possible, to cry in a non-fiction work, but when a life is as interesting as in a novel, I guess it is. Vivien Leigh really had the kind of life that only exists in novels, filled with adventures, travels, great loves and great love affairs, madness, illnesses, great parties with the most famous artists and politicians of her time. Her story was enchanting and at times heartbreaking. Of course, you have to like the actress in order to take an interest in her life, but since she's my favorite actress, it was really enchanting for me. And her love story with Larry Olivier is one of the most beautiful love story I've heard in all my life. It's also very well written and some passages were as beautiful as some great romances I like. I only regret that the author didn't mention her numerous love affairs (she had many and Olivier too) but maybe she didn't know about them when the book was written (in the 70's). Anyway, this was a very enjoyable read indeed, even more because I had to read it for my studies !

  3. 4 out of 5

    Graceann

    Anne Edwards helped me to understand Vivien Leigh a bit better, no mean feat for a lady who was so complex. She had to be difficult to love, but her talent was amazing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mike Mills

    I have always considered Vivien Leigh's portrayal of Blanche Dubois one of the top three film performances of all times. I will never watch (and I've said this many many years ago) another production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" on film or on stage again, because she owns that character. She IS the definitive Blanche Dubois. And as for Scarlett O'Hara, what else can be said that hasn't already been said. There was a reason why it took so long to cast her. Vivien knew it would be hers. She just I have always considered Vivien Leigh's portrayal of Blanche Dubois one of the top three film performances of all times. I will never watch (and I've said this many many years ago) another production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" on film or on stage again, because she owns that character. She IS the definitive Blanche Dubois. And as for Scarlett O'Hara, what else can be said that hasn't already been said. There was a reason why it took so long to cast her. Vivien knew it would be hers. She just wanted them to sweat a little before she showed up a trump the others. This was a fascinating and at the same time heartbreaking read. Vivien portrayed such a strong, unbreakable presence on stage and screen. But in real life she was such a fragile and lonely individual. In a crowded room, she would feel the most loneliest. Maybe there was a reason that she always enjoyed having guests around and big gatherings, it was a way to temporarily distract her and give her some sort of escape. But no matter, she was always in doubt of herself, and she would always be thinking of how she can better herself. Vivien was a very competitive person, even with Laurence Olivier. Even when she won the converted role of Scarlett O'Hara, and eventually winning the Oscar for it, it was good enough. She felt that Laurence was still a bigger star. She lived with feelings like that the rest of her life. Her sickness with severe manic depression and tuberculosis was something that she would constantly tried to ignore because there was always something to prove in her work and she would be damned if the sickness would get in her way. But eventually it beat her in the end. And along with that, she lost the greatest love of her life because of it. My breaks a little every time I see a Vivien Leigh movie. She was one if a kind. She IS Scarlett O'Hara. She is Blanche Dubois. I don't mean to end on a cliche, but she had always depended on the kindness of strangers. Or anyone that was willing to talk and be around her. To give her that distraction and escape that she yearned for... constantly. "4/5"

  5. 5 out of 5

    John P

    Biographies present a small dilemma for the reviewer: review the biographer's effort or review the subject? Or both? I say both. First, the 4 stars are for the subject. I find Leigh an interesting, if faulted, person. She was singled out even as a youngster as having something special about her. I would argue that what was special was her ability to create an alternate reality for herself which, in the long run, proved to be disastrously detrimental to her mental health. One can attribute reasons Biographies present a small dilemma for the reviewer: review the biographer's effort or review the subject? Or both? I say both. First, the 4 stars are for the subject. I find Leigh an interesting, if faulted, person. She was singled out even as a youngster as having something special about her. I would argue that what was special was her ability to create an alternate reality for herself which, in the long run, proved to be disastrously detrimental to her mental health. One can attribute reasons for this construction, I believe, to the decisions made by her parents during her childhood; Vivien coped in a remarkable way. Others were raised with similar circumstances, no doubt, and perhaps some used the same strategy to survive but in Leigh's case, it ended up not being a sustainable life choice. Perhaps it is a mistake to assign her tragically manic/depressive illness to a childhood coping mechanism, but I can't help but wonder... Second, Anne Edwards does a pretty good job assembling Leigh's life story - the amount of research would put me off of ever starting such a task. There were a few times the chronology became cloudy for me, and there were also a handful of editing / typographical errors. I would give 3 to 3.5 stars. The pictures are wonderful; I would only ask for more.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nienor

    I was very disappointed with A. Edwards' style of writing. The book was more like the spine of a book, the notes she has collected, just the raw material for a future project. It was very messy at times, hard to make the connection between some facts and also, there was a significant lack of dates. There were some, but in my opinion, not in the right places. One can simply lose track of how old exactly Vivien is, in some moments. I was planning on giving it a three-star-rating, but decided other I was very disappointed with A. Edwards' style of writing. The book was more like the spine of a book, the notes she has collected, just the raw material for a future project. It was very messy at times, hard to make the connection between some facts and also, there was a significant lack of dates. There were some, but in my opinion, not in the right places. One can simply lose track of how old exactly Vivien is, in some moments. I was planning on giving it a three-star-rating, but decided otherwise, because the information was simply staggering - such details, so thorough! As far as the prologue says, Edwards took a very long journey, in order to collect all this, very impressive. There is nothing to say about Vivien herself, though. What can one say? The book says it all. I do not think that there will ever be a person like her. The grace, the class, the kindness, the friendliness, everything. Astonishing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Maskus

    This book is a wonderfully written story about an extremely interesting actress. Vivien Leigh surpassed many obstacles to become a leading actress, whose first love was the theater, and only did films for the financial benefit. I was amazed to learn of her life and the separation from her parents of a very young age. But, according to Anne Edwards, Vivien remained friendly and loyal to everyone she met. I felt that Laurence Olivier contributed to her many bouts of depression, and I really thorou This book is a wonderfully written story about an extremely interesting actress. Vivien Leigh surpassed many obstacles to become a leading actress, whose first love was the theater, and only did films for the financial benefit. I was amazed to learn of her life and the separation from her parents of a very young age. But, according to Anne Edwards, Vivien remained friendly and loyal to everyone she met. I felt that Laurence Olivier contributed to her many bouts of depression, and I really thoroughly disliked him, I felt that Edwards presented the story very convincingly and truly showed the ravages of tuberculosis and depression that Vivien suffered. My only concern was that a few of the photographs in the fist section were incorrectly labeled. I greatly enjoyed the first chapter and the search for Scarlett O'Hara. After reading this biography, I am interested in viewing Gone With the Wind again, and possibly reading Anne Edwards biography on Judy Garland.

  8. 5 out of 5

    M-L

    This is the first real biography I've ever read. I've always had this terribly ignorant view of biographies as being dry and stuffy. How wrong was I? Vivien Leigh stole my heart a long time ago when I first watched 'Gone With The Wind' this biography of her life truly captured those feelings all over again, Leigh is magical. Her life although exciting and beautiful was followed by this dark shadow of tragedy and sadness. I didn't know so much of the information about Leigh, how her name came to This is the first real biography I've ever read. I've always had this terribly ignorant view of biographies as being dry and stuffy. How wrong was I? Vivien Leigh stole my heart a long time ago when I first watched 'Gone With The Wind' this biography of her life truly captured those feelings all over again, Leigh is magical. Her life although exciting and beautiful was followed by this dark shadow of tragedy and sadness. I didn't know so much of the information about Leigh, how her name came to be, the hunt for Scarlett o' Hara, her obsession with Olivier, her determination to become a great actress (which she truly was). I was fascinated and engaged with this terrific book from the word go and was totally moved by Leigh. I think fondly of her Cheshire Cat smile and hope she rests in peace. x

  9. 4 out of 5

    David

    "One night in Stratford there was a mix-up after the show and they missed their last train home. Vivien and George and Mercia Relph who were also in the company, finally managed to get a lift from a farmer who was going their way. It turned out he had been to the play and he began, on being asked how he had enjoyed himself, to tell his passengers what a miserable time he had had, giving them several solid minutes on how lousy it was in every possible way, vehemently adding, 'And as for that knoc "One night in Stratford there was a mix-up after the show and they missed their last train home. Vivien and George and Mercia Relph who were also in the company, finally managed to get a lift from a farmer who was going their way. It turned out he had been to the play and he began, on being asked how he had enjoyed himself, to tell his passengers what a miserable time he had had, giving them several solid minutes on how lousy it was in every possible way, vehemently adding, 'And as for that knock-knee'd bugger in the second act-' at which George Relph swiftly inserted, 'That was me,' and the man, without any hesitation said, 'Marvellous!'" Think about it ... she was Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche DuBois! Pretty cool, huh? But the poor old, mad old thing was never ever happy and worked and worked and worked. She's "raging like a tiger" in dressing-rooms and everyone's having an absolute nightmare ... physically wrestling with her ... and then they're wheeling her out again six months later for another bite at the cherry. Depressing. This is an adequate biography. Strange stuff happens from time to time (one chapter seems to have all of the exclamation marks! And then we start seeing lots of personal correspondence ... where previously we had none) but it does the job.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa James

    A beautifully researched & presented bio of one of the world's most beautiful women. Iconic film actress, stage star, haunted by tuberculosis & mental illness, Vivien Leigh has long been one of my favorite stars of the "old" Hollywood silver screen. A beautifully researched & presented bio of one of the world's most beautiful women. Iconic film actress, stage star, haunted by tuberculosis & mental illness, Vivien Leigh has long been one of my favorite stars of the "old" Hollywood silver screen.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Celine Godfrey

    I'm an "Old Hollywood" fan and as such have read other bios about Leigh but none quite as revealing as this one regards her manic depression / bipolar disorder as it is called now. It really captures how quickly her mood could change and how vile and violent she could become when gripped by it. It's amazing, however, that she managed to control it whilst actually acting, maybe because she was so good at taking herself out of herself and actually becoming her character instead. From childhood, Vi I'm an "Old Hollywood" fan and as such have read other bios about Leigh but none quite as revealing as this one regards her manic depression / bipolar disorder as it is called now. It really captures how quickly her mood could change and how vile and violent she could become when gripped by it. It's amazing, however, that she managed to control it whilst actually acting, maybe because she was so good at taking herself out of herself and actually becoming her character instead. From childhood, Vivien appears to always have been beautiful, clever, charming and captivated everyone she encountered - even Olivier's first wife whilst he was still married to her but conducting an affair with Leigh. And she seems to have been completely oblivious to these traits, showing no vanity whatsoever but always well groomed, with exquisite manners and etiquette and a seemingly immensely surprising knowledge of just about everything! I didn't realise she was also a very talented linguist being fluent in French, German and Italian and even dubbed her own voice in these languages for overseas versions. It also captures hers and Olivier's devotion to each other and her constant opinion that she could never quite match up to him. With her frail physical health (suffered with bouts of TB throughout her life), she never let that stand in the way of her doing things. She really was a fighter and put her work above her health. And Olivier too, even to the point of acquiescing to his divorce request though obvious she did not want to. She remained in love with him for the rest of her life, despite finding "love" or at least companionship and living with Jack Merrivale until her death. She seems also to have treasured friendships. She remained steadfast friends with her ex husband even holidaying with him and their daughter whom she had an oddly distant relationship with until she was grown up and married and had presented her with grandchildren. She managed to continue to impress even after the Olivier divorce with stage awards (she was also acutely adept at both stage and movie acting techniques) and seemed to eventually find happiness and peace (outside of the manic episodes) by the end of her life which came during a bout of illness but quite unexpectedly as she was recovering. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to Old Hollywood and/or Leigh fans. It's made me now move on to reading the most recent bio of Olivier and both as matching up very well so far. Has also made me seek out and watch her other movies (GWTW is my favourite all time movie). She was fantastic in it and you can't imagine anyone else as Scarlet. But I also loved her in Waterloo Bridge (another favourite of mine) Anna Karenina and Streetcar (which was very personal for her and often very difficult for her state of mind). I have seen her Cleopatra, Lady Hamilton and even Fire Over England and now want to see the lesser known movies, although I'm sure that, although lesser known in titles, Vivien's appearance in them is still as beautiful and her portrayal just as captivating as the lady herself.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Fascinating read if you are interested in Vivein Leigh. I loved her best in “Gone With the Wind”. She had an interesting life, but suffered severe mental illness. She didn’t let it destroy her though.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Gone With The Wind is one of my all time favorite movies so when I spotted this book at my Aunt's house, I knew I wanted to read it. I sometimes Google a celebrity to learn more about them and I honestly don't know why I had never done that to learn more about the person that was Vivien Leigh. I do prefer to read books about them because the authors have often spoken to people close to the subject or even the subject themselves. After reading this book I am even more in awe of this fascinating w Gone With The Wind is one of my all time favorite movies so when I spotted this book at my Aunt's house, I knew I wanted to read it. I sometimes Google a celebrity to learn more about them and I honestly don't know why I had never done that to learn more about the person that was Vivien Leigh. I do prefer to read books about them because the authors have often spoken to people close to the subject or even the subject themselves. After reading this book I am even more in awe of this fascinating woman. Her loyalty to others was unparalleled and they seemed to have returned the sentiment to her. She endured quite a lot in an era when, compared with today's medicines and technology, her options were limited, and down-right primitive. I had to wonder how differently things might have been if she had not had to struggle through illness. Because of it or in spite of it, she comes across as a very likable, even lovable person. I really enjoyed reading this book. I kept finding myself feeling like I was there as this woman lived out her life and felt emotion for her as if I knew her. Perhaps the only negative thing was that some parts of the book were written almost in a breathless, run-on way that sometimes jumped from one moment to something completely different without a break to separate them. It led to a moment of two of confusion. Overall I really liked it and feel like I was given some insight into a woman that has intrigued me for many, many years.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Selina

    I read this book many years ago and of all the biographies of Leigh I think it was good to get a female perspective on how the the actress who played the infamous Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind lived. I think it dwelt too much on the manic depression at times and not enough on the good things in Vivien's life so it made for a rather depressing read. Also as it was one of the first bios out it seemed a bit 'quick' and many of the 'facts' in it are inaccurate or exaggerated. However the bio I read this book many years ago and of all the biographies of Leigh I think it was good to get a female perspective on how the the actress who played the infamous Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind lived. I think it dwelt too much on the manic depression at times and not enough on the good things in Vivien's life so it made for a rather depressing read. Also as it was one of the first bios out it seemed a bit 'quick' and many of the 'facts' in it are inaccurate or exaggerated. However the bio has good pics..did Vivien ever take a bad photo? Good candid shots and an easy reading (sort of like reading a rather racy novel..is that good or bad?) I think Vivien would have laughed had she read this account of her life by someone who can't be said to have really known her that well, however kudos to Anne for doing the ground research, especially coming after her excellent bio on Margaret Mitchell, "Road to Tara" who could not resist writing a book on Vivien Leigh?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    This biography has made a lasting impression upon me. I feel so sad for this woman who struggled with her mental illness and eventually drove away the love of her life. I have mixed feeling now towards Laurence Olivier (due to the events that unfold in their latter years together). Their love for one another was wild and strong, but succumbed to Vivien's illness. I guess everyone has their threshold, it is still so sad. A great actress who was a great beauty and to me will always be Scarlett O'H This biography has made a lasting impression upon me. I feel so sad for this woman who struggled with her mental illness and eventually drove away the love of her life. I have mixed feeling now towards Laurence Olivier (due to the events that unfold in their latter years together). Their love for one another was wild and strong, but succumbed to Vivien's illness. I guess everyone has their threshold, it is still so sad. A great actress who was a great beauty and to me will always be Scarlett O'Hara embodied. I say this because Gone With The Wind was made when Vivien was in her prime, madly in love with Olivier, as he was with she, and becoming a world reknown star. Props to Edwards for re-telling the tale of an english woman who became the southern belle immortal!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Something I read recently recommended this biography. I decided to try it since I've always been intrigued by her as such a tragic figure. Her life was definitely tragic. Her great love and 2nd husband Lawrence Olivier divorced her when he could no longer cope with her mood swings, which got worse as she got older. The book gets a little tiresome when talking about her great beauty, impeccable manners and perfect hostess skills over and over and over again. Obviously well researched though, and Something I read recently recommended this biography. I decided to try it since I've always been intrigued by her as such a tragic figure. Her life was definitely tragic. Her great love and 2nd husband Lawrence Olivier divorced her when he could no longer cope with her mood swings, which got worse as she got older. The book gets a little tiresome when talking about her great beauty, impeccable manners and perfect hostess skills over and over and over again. Obviously well researched though, and written with insight and compassion for both the fairytale and nightmare parts of Leigh's life.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Growing up I only knew Vivien as 'Scarlett O'Hara'. This insightful biography brings to light the strength of character this beautiful woman had throughout her life. It must have been horrific for her to deal with bipolar/schizophrenia back then before or modern meds were available. And then to had TB as well. Many would just curl up and die. This biography depicts the ups and downs giving the readers a powerful insight to an icon-both the person as well as the entertainer. I'd recommend it with Growing up I only knew Vivien as 'Scarlett O'Hara'. This insightful biography brings to light the strength of character this beautiful woman had throughout her life. It must have been horrific for her to deal with bipolar/schizophrenia back then before or modern meds were available. And then to had TB as well. Many would just curl up and die. This biography depicts the ups and downs giving the readers a powerful insight to an icon-both the person as well as the entertainer. I'd recommend it without hesitation!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I really did not know much about Vivien Leigh before this except she had been in Gone with the Wind, I didn't even know she was british!! This biography does a good job of sucking you into her life and problems. Her maniac depressive order is extenstively covered but the author ofter referred to her maniac phases as "bad behaviour" and not actually tell you what that bad behaviour was. Which did become irritating after a while, however, this is the major flaw of the book. It was an enjoyable rea I really did not know much about Vivien Leigh before this except she had been in Gone with the Wind, I didn't even know she was british!! This biography does a good job of sucking you into her life and problems. Her maniac depressive order is extenstively covered but the author ofter referred to her maniac phases as "bad behaviour" and not actually tell you what that bad behaviour was. Which did become irritating after a while, however, this is the major flaw of the book. It was an enjoyable read. If you enjoyable biographies, this is an enjoyable one and an easy read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jo-dee

    This was a very good biography of Miss Leigh (considering Miss Edwards was her biographer). I have read the Alexander Walker bio and they really are up to par with eachother, but Miss Edwards wrote about things that Mr. Edwards didn't even mention in his bio version. Also she gave a more "in depth" perception of Vivien Leigh's "Manic Depression" or "Bi Polar Disorder" as it's known today. It is a very sad biography because we all know what happens at the end (the ending almost made me cry a bit This was a very good biography of Miss Leigh (considering Miss Edwards was her biographer). I have read the Alexander Walker bio and they really are up to par with eachother, but Miss Edwards wrote about things that Mr. Edwards didn't even mention in his bio version. Also she gave a more "in depth" perception of Vivien Leigh's "Manic Depression" or "Bi Polar Disorder" as it's known today. It is a very sad biography because we all know what happens at the end (the ending almost made me cry a bit more than AW's ending), but it is a must read and a wonderful dedication to Miss Leigh's memory.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ella rose marion

    i am right now at the part in this book where vivien and olivier just finished gone with the wind. it was a very had time for vivien because she had changed directors three times, got yelled at, and her fellow actors weren't the most cooperative either. she talked of how clark gable had "terrible hygiene" and, he director would scream at her and make her cry during rehearsals. but still she got through it and became one of the worlds greatest actresses because of it! that is why i love vivien le i am right now at the part in this book where vivien and olivier just finished gone with the wind. it was a very had time for vivien because she had changed directors three times, got yelled at, and her fellow actors weren't the most cooperative either. she talked of how clark gable had "terrible hygiene" and, he director would scream at her and make her cry during rehearsals. but still she got through it and became one of the worlds greatest actresses because of it! that is why i love vivien leigh.

  21. 4 out of 5

    pianogal

    I learned quite a bit in this one. I knew Viv was Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche DuBois, but pretty much everything else was new. I feel like I might've known that she was with Sir Laurence Olivier, but for some reason I thought she died young. My main complaint about this book is that the author did a lot of copying and pasting of letters. Especially towards the end, big sections of the book, were just letter after letter from Viv to people - never any to her. Definitely interesting, but not exact I learned quite a bit in this one. I knew Viv was Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche DuBois, but pretty much everything else was new. I feel like I might've known that she was with Sir Laurence Olivier, but for some reason I thought she died young. My main complaint about this book is that the author did a lot of copying and pasting of letters. Especially towards the end, big sections of the book, were just letter after letter from Viv to people - never any to her. Definitely interesting, but not exactly a page turner.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    As a huge "Gone With the Wind" fan, I read this book many years ago. In addition to the book and the movie, I was captivated by the actress who played the primary female role so well. It's an excellent biography, and I especially remember being interested in her relationship with her husband, Laurence Olivier. Another tid-bit I remember from the book is Vivien reporting that she wasn't fond of kissing Clark Gable because he had bad breath.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ruth M. Hebert

    Excellent biography of one of the greatest film and stage actresses who ever lived. Despite severe mental illness at a time when there was little effective treatment, Vivien Leigh, who battled remittances of tuberculosis as well, refused to capitulate. She continued on to achieve her best performances in the occupation she had been gifted with...even after her beloved Oliver abandoned her due to her bipolar disorder for a younger woman. Inspiring!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alicia K. Crowder

    Interesting bio left me wanting more This biography of Vivien Leigh provided facts, details, and an overall view of this beautiful woman and actress. There is much discussion of her struggle with manic depression which was so at odds with her real personality. The book left me wanting more insight, though, about Ms Leigh herself. Some analysis of the bare facts would have been interesting.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy Wolf

    One of the better bios of Leigh. We follow her from her birth in India to the theatre to film, and really get into her romance/marriage with Laurence Olivier. Leigh was unfortunately mentally ill after GWTW, and underwent electroshock therapy & divorce. Still, a good portrayal of one of my favorite actresses! One of the better bios of Leigh. We follow her from her birth in India to the theatre to film, and really get into her romance/marriage with Laurence Olivier. Leigh was unfortunately mentally ill after GWTW, and underwent electroshock therapy & divorce. Still, a good portrayal of one of my favorite actresses!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    My interest in Leigh comes straight out of my interest in Gone With the Wind. Of course, later on, I became a Tennessee Williams fan, so there's that too. My interest in Leigh comes straight out of my interest in Gone With the Wind. Of course, later on, I became a Tennessee Williams fan, so there's that too.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nick Davies

    A very interesting biography of the actress and star of 'Gone With The Wind', but fairly hard going. As true and complete a record of Leigh's life as this was, the author erred more on the side of factual content, and less on the side of crafting a biography that captured the reader and kept them rapt.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathy B

    Outstanding biography of Vivien Leigh. Her mental illness suffering and consequently the suffering of those who loved her was heartbreaking. She will always be the epitome of Scarlet and Blanche to me. Very charming and intelligent, it is a shame she was robbed of these qualities through mental illness. 4.7/5 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lavinia

    Vivien Leigh was one of the most beautiful women that has ever been on the silver screen. I was fascinated with her in high school and I found this great biography and it tells of the great love story between Vivien and Lauernce Olivier.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    It's an interesting read, but the lack of sources, references, and a bibliography make me question the assertions and conclusions drawn in the book. When I get a chance, I want to read a different biography of Vivien, just for comparison.

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