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Vivien Leigh A Biography Hardcover – June 2, 1977

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (June 2, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671224964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671224967
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,327,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on July 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Scarlett O'Hara will live as long as women dream romantic dreams. And Vivien Leigh, the young woman who won that part in the 1939 movie,"Gone With The Wind,"after a long and brilliant campaign,thereby coming to embody the dream for as long as celluloid lasts, must be considered one of the world's great beauties.

Yet, as this excellent biography by Anne Edwards makes clear, Leigh's life eventually took on a darker tinge. Anyone simply enjoying her high-spirited flirtatiousness at Scarlett's Tara, or her highly-charged scenes with Clark Gable's Rhett Butler,

could never imagine the ultimate sadness of her life.

Like almost any other beautiful woman who's ever been queried on the subject, Leigh did not think herself beautiful. She thought her hands too big, her neck too long, her legs too fat. And though she gave the world superlative performances on stage as Ophelia and Cleopatra, and onscreen in "That Hamilton Woman," and "A Streetcar Named Desire," as well as "Gone With The Wind," she never felt herself to be a good actress.

She also never thought herself worthy of Laurence Olivier, the Prince of English Players, whom she won, as lover and husband, after another long and brilliant campaign and a notorious love affair.

Leigh once spent six hours in a dress-fitting session, insisting the designer hide her "too-long" neck: clearly, she thought she had to be perfect.

She loved Olivier with a passionate, tremulous intensity, and felt their life together must also be perfect. If he was the Prince, then the King of Players,she must be the Queen. So she deprived herself --and us--of numerous film parts, making movies only when she needed the money.
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I have read both the Alexander Walker bio of Vivien Leigh, and this bio of Vivien Leigh by Anne Edwards. This book is much more sympathetic in tone toward Miss Leigh. One feels great sadness that such a beautiful and talented star had the misfortune of having manic-depressive illness during a time when very limited treatment options were available. The book also hints at the role her unsatisfactory marriage to Olivier (in their later years together) played in fueling her manic-depressive illness.

She always felt that as a stage actress, she was an inferior talent to her husband Laurence Olivier. However it is generally accepted that Vivien was the far better actress in film than was Olivier. Too bad she never fully appreciated that fact during her lifetime.
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I was very surprised at the detailed script of this book. It really made me feel as though I got to know a side of Vivien Leigh's life I would never have got to experience if not for reading this book. She was a beautiful, troubled soul. I have experience of this as my daughter has the same illness as Vivien Leigh had. I am glad that this book spoke of how courageous Vivien was through all of her life in everything and in everyway.It is truly one of the best autobiographies I have read.
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I have read several books on Vivien Leigh and this was a very good book. I do not like salacious gossip and this book highlighted her wonderful career.
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Format: Hardcover
A thoughtful and sensitive biography of a very complex and troubled woman. Anne Edwards did not let the book fall victim to the more notorious aspects of Vivien Leigh's life, in other words she treated her with respect.
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I found this book difficult to put down and was sad when I was done reading it! Lots of information about Vivien I had never heard before.
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