Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 theaters 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 ...
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Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait

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Overview


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 theaters 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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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
12/01/2013
Coinciding with Vivien Leigh's 100th birthday anniversary, film historian Bean's well-researched look at the beloved actress contains new documents from former husband Laurence Olivier's archives and also many interviews from people who knew her, such as Olivier's son, Tarquin. The photos alone are stunningly beautiful, and many have not been published before. Leigh's iconic roles in Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire are discussed at length, as is her incredible stage career. The actress's 25-year marriage to Olivier and her sad battle with bipolar disorder are also chronicled in this hard-to-put-down biography. Bean offers a fascinating look at one of the most talented and beautiful actresses in Hollywood history. Tragically, Leigh died too young, but she left an indelible legacy. VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of Leigh and/or Olivier, students of film and theater, and those who enjoy entertainment biographies.—Sally Bryant, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., Malibu, CA
From the Publisher

"A worthy tribute to an eternally fascinating star."
--Kirkus Reviews

“More than an organized compilation of facts, Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait takes its reader wholly into the past and showcases Vivien’s life in an explosion of colorful detail. There’s a quality to the book that could be described as atmospheric, raising the bar not only for how illustrated biographies are presented, but also for how they make us feel. In the case of An Intimate Portrait, a gorgeous and thoughtfully-rendered letter of admiration and affection, the reader can expect to find themselves fully immersed in Vivien’s stratosphere, a passenger in the life of a tremendous woman who left an unprecedented mark on theater, cinema, and the world at large.”
--LiteraryInklings.com

“a stunning and thoroughly researched tribute.”
--Rage Monthly

“Classic movie-lovers will be thrilled by Kendra Bean's lavishly illustrated and sympathetic biography.”
--Bay Area Reporter

Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
Sumptuously illustrated life of one of stage and screen's greatest tragic figures, published in time for the centennial of her birth. Vivien Leigh (1913–1967) will forever be associated with two milestone, Oscar-winning roles in film: Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind and Blanche DuBois in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire. Both happen to be larger-than-life Southern belles, but Leigh was, of course, British (born and raised in India during the Raj period) and fervently patriotic about it. A woman of strong ambition and will, once she decided, as the young wife of a magistrate, that it was the actor's life for her, her ascent to stardom was rapid. The catalyst for her rise was a passionate love affair with another ambitious young actor, Laurence Olivier, who would become her husband within a year of her triumph as Scarlett and whom she regarded as both mentor and the love of her life. Leigh began with limited talents (a weak, high voice and little experience and training), but she was determined to keep pace with her husband, whether playing opposite him or in roles of her own choosing. Most critics thought she succeeded admirably in the theater and on film, but she let the cruel dismissals of Olivier-worshipping critic Kenneth Tynan get under her skin. Though hardworking by nature, she was prone to both physical and mental illnesses, from manic depression, which ultimately alienated her from Olivier, to tuberculosis, which killed her prematurely at age 53. First-time author Bean tells Leigh's story affectingly, aided by access to personal letters from the principals and the memories of some of her closest friends. A worthy tribute to an eternally fascinating star.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762451036
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 149,460
  • File size: 23 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author


Kendra Bean has an MA in Film Studies from King’s College London. Her writing on Vivien Leigh and cinema has been published in numerous film publications and she has participated in the production of numerous festivals, exhibits, and documentaries relating to classic film. She is the designer and editor of vivandlarry, an online historical archive and blog dedicated to Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, classic Hollywood, and world cinema. Kendra resides in London, England.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    I was completely enthralled with this biography. A beautiful wom

    I was completely enthralled with this biography. A beautiful woman with a thought for everyone else. Nothing like Scarlet. Her realism in all her roles left the viewer wanting more. She was a beautiful human being as well as a great actress. This biography gave great ldetai in all aspects of her life. I shall reread it often.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    As elegant as its subject, this book is a treasure for long time

    As elegant as its subject, this book is a treasure for long time Vivien Leigh admirers, film and theatre fans and those just being introduced to the brilliant actress.

    The author's knowledge through extensive research of Leigh's life and career comes across great. The research done by Ms. Bean is impressive and unbiased, and it certainly allows for a greater understanding of Leigh. This is especially so when reading about Leigh's bipolar disorder and how it affected those around her. The photographs are amazing and include somed beautiful rare shots. Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait is a great read, and it will be a pleasure to pick it up again and again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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