Fire Over England
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1 item from 2010


Philip French's screen legends

13 February 2010 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

No 83 Vivien Leigh 1913-67

She was an army officer's daughter, born Vivian Hartley in Darjeeling, one of several daughters of the Raj to become actresses (others were Googie Withers, Merle Oberon, Julie Christie), and educated at convents in England and on the continent. At the age of six she confided to her school friend Maureen O'Sullivan (later her co-star in the 1938 movie A Yank at Oxford) that she was going to be a great actress, and entered Rada aged 18. Her dramatic education, however, was interrupted by marriage and motherhood. She was green-eyed, dark-haired, 5ft 3in, one of the most beautiful women in the world, and it was not long before she made an impression in minor plays and films and attracted the attention of Laurence Olivier, with whom she appeared in the costume movie Fire Over England (1937). Vivien accompanied him to Hollywood the following year, embarking on a love affair, »

- Philip French

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