Vivien Leigh

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Vivian Mary Hartley was born in Darjeeling, West Bengal, British India on November 5, 1913. She was six years old when her mother took her to England and left her in a boarding school. She made friends with Maureen O'Sullivan and a cat. Her mother returned to England, took Vivian to a play in London and an obsession with the stage and films begins.

Vivian was given a small role in an English film Things are Looking Up in 1935. She had a very brief role in The Green Sash and meets Laurence Olivier. In 1937 Vivian filmed Fire over England with Olivier and they fall in love both on and off the screen. In 1939 Vivian flew to California to see Olivier, have dinner with Myron Selznick and auditioned for Gone with the Wind. She played the part of Scarlett O'Hara and received an Oscar for her portrayal. In 1951 Vivian received another Oscar for her performance of Blanche DeBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

In 1940 Vivian acted in Waterloo Bridge and 21 Days Together. She also married Olivier and they appeared together in That Hamilton Woman (1941). Vivian's life did not stay a fairy tale, she filmed Caesar and Cleopatra (945) but her life began to come apart. She had two miscarriages, contracted tuberculosis and was diagnosed as manic depressive. She had no film appearances until 1955's The Deep Blue Sea. Vivian and Olivier divorced in 1960, but she had enough fortitude to act in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone opposite Warren Beatty. Her final movie was Ship of Fools in 1965. She died two years later after a bout with tuberculosis.

Vivian is best known for her cat-like smile and her ability to play women who go to great lengths to get what they want. Vivian briefly toyed with the idea of changing her name to April Morn and thank heavens she relented. Note of interest: Vivian used one of her two Oscars as a doorstop for her bathroom.

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