Cover image for Dark star : a biography of Vivien Leigh
Title:
Dark star : a biography of Vivien Leigh
ISBN:
9781788312080
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : I.B. Tauris, 2019.
Physical Description:
xxii, 354 pages31 plates (black and white) ; 24 cm
Summary:
Vivien Leigh was perhaps the most iconic actress of the twentieth-century. As Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche Du Bois she took on some of the most pivotal roles in cinema history. Yet she was also a talented theatre actress with West End and Broadway plaudits to her name. In this ground-breaking new biography, Alan Strachan provides a completely new full-life portrait of Leigh, covering both her professional and personal life. Using previously-unseen sources from her archive, recently acquired by the V&A, he sheds new light on her fractious relationship with Laurence Olivier, based on their letters and diaries, as well as on the bipolar disorder which so affected her later life and work. Revealing new aspects of her early life as well as providing glimpses behind-the-scenes of the filming of Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, this book provides the essential and comprehensive life-story of one of the twentieth century's greatest actresses.
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Book 927.914 Leigh
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Book 927.914 Leigh
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Book 927.914 Leigh
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Book 927.914 Leigh
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Summary

Summary

Vivien Leigh was perhaps the most iconic actress of the twentieth century. As Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche Du Bois she took on some of the most pivotal roles in cinema history. Yet she was also a talented theatre actress with West End and Broadway plaudits to her name. In this ground-breaking new biography, Alan Strachan provides a completely new full-life portrait of Leigh, covering both her professional and personal life. Using previously unseen
sources from her archive, recently acquired by the V&A, he sheds new light on her fractious relationship with Laurence Olivier, based on their letters and diaries, as well as on the bipolar disorder which so affected her later life and work. Revealing new aspects of her early life as well as providing glimpses behind-the-scenes of the filming of Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire , this book provides the essential and comprehensive life-story of one of the twentieth century's greatest actresses.


Author Notes

Alan Strachan is a theatre director. In London's West End he has directed over thirty productions, and has also worked in regional theatre as well as in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin and New York often with leading actors and on plays ranging from Shakespeare, Shaw and Tennessee Williams to Alan Ayckbourn and Tom Stoppard. He is the author of Secret Dreams: A Biography of Michael Redgrave and Putting It On: The West End Theatre of Michael Codron .


Table of Contents

List of Platesp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xii
Prologuep. xiv
1 A Child of the Rajp. 1
2 Hours Nearer Deathp. 9
3 Young Wife and Motherp. 22
4 Enter Olivierp. 41
5 Altered Statesp. 57
6 Printing a Legendp. 71
7 Star-Crossedp. 92
8 Wartime Dramasp. 103
9 From Sabina to Annap. 118
10 Down Underp. 133
11 The Kindness of Strangersp. 148
12 Two on the Nilep. 170
13 Crack-Upp. 187
14 Avonsidep. 210
15 At Courtp. 233
16 Ending a Legendp. 254
17 Worlds Elsewherep. 274
18 Last Actsp. 292
Epiloguep. 310
Appendix Facts/False Factsp. 316
Notes on Sourcesp. 325
Select Bibliographyp. 336
Indexp. 340