Saturday, November 5, 2016

Seven Things About Vivien Leigh

To celebrate Vivien Leigh's birthday today, I've put together this fun list of seven general things in regard to Vivien Leigh and her work.

Conrad Veidt and Vivien Leigh in Dark Journey
1. When it came to the lead female role in Dark Journey, Vivien Leigh wasn't the first choice to play Madeleine. Miriam Hopkins was originally scheduled to play the French spy opposite the sly role of Conrad Veidt. She dropped out due to differences with the film's director, Victor Saville. Instead, Miriam starred in, Men Are Not Gods, which Vivien was rumoured to have been the lead actress.

Ivor Novello and Vivien in The Happy Hypocrite
2. Vivien Leigh and Ivor Novello treaded the boards together, for the first time, in The Happy Hypocrite, in 1936. But they also appeared onstage together, for a second time, for a one week performance during the Annual Garden Theater Party.

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind
3. Vivien Leigh hated tea! Even though she was British and born in the tea capital of the world, Darjeeling, Vivien didn't enjoy the drink. She even remarked once that she thought the tea-time ritual was a waste of time!

A scene from Sidewalks of London showcasing the borrowed jewelry.
4. In Sidewalks of London, Vivien's character, Libby, gets to wear some awesome jewelry. The bracelet, earrings and ring were on loan from Boucheron of Bond Street. The cast and crew (including Vivien) all thought these pieces were costume jewelry. They didn't know they were the real thing until after the movie was finished. Producer Erich Pommer and Boucheron didn't want the jewelry to disappear during filming.


5. While Vivien was in Hollywood making Gone With the Wind, she learned how to play the accordion. According to Hugo Vickers' biography, she became proficient enough to play Swanee River and Banjo On My Knee.

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in That Hamilton Woman
6. Most Vivien Leigh fans already know that That Hamilton Woman was one of Winston Churchill's favorite movies. By the end of 1941, Churchill had purportedly watched it approximately half a dozen times. Coincidentally, it was also one of Joseph Stalin's favorite movies.

A studio portrait of Vivien Leigh
7. While Vivien Leigh was in Hollywood, she developed a fondness for college football, American-style. Her favorite team was UCLA. When they didn't make the Rose Bowl tournament that year, Vivien was very disappointed. One Hollywood magazine even called her a demon fan when it came to football!


Thanks for joining me today in celebration of Vivien's 103rd Birthday!



33 comments:

  1. An amazing woman, amazing talent, plagued with manic depression. Dying of TB, she had some sad times but we are so lucky she graced our lives

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    1. Thank you for noting the manic depression, and the cause of her death. I didn't know either fact and wondered why she died so young.

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  2. She sure was beautiful!

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  3. She was also very self-conscious of her large hands and tried to hide or disguise them whenever possible.

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  4. War War War Thats all you boys talk about!

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  5. Yes,she was beautiful and intelligent--and such a splendid actor. I cannot watch her films anymore without crying.

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  6. love love her, and love love love old movies

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  7. Gone With the Wind is my ALL TIME favorite movie!!! I have seen it at least 55 times. NEVER tire of watching!!!!!

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  8. I have viewed "Gone with the Wind" at least 55 times. I NEVER grow tired of watching this GREAT movie of the South!!!!!

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  9. Her final film, SHIP OF FOOLS, was probably not worthy of her talents but she was still beautiful and fragile in it. Too bad she made so few films in America.

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  10. She was in a Broadway musical called Tovarich.

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    1. Winning a Tony for her performance, too!

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  11. I was always amused, being that Bette Davis is my numero uno, but Vivien is my numer uno and a half, that upon being contacted to replace Crawford in HUSH HUSH SWEET CHAROTTE, Vivien dismissed it referencing she could perhaps tolerate seeing Joan Crawford's face during shooting first thing in the moring but now way for Davis. Anybody know of any conversations? I know Davis visited dinner(s) at the Oliviers in the early 1950 when filming another man's poison....anyway, STREETCAR that performance, i think is the finest on screen (with Davis's ALL ABOUT EVE next).

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  12. she was a wonderful actress that when gone with the wind was being filmed they had to wait to film scarlett o'hara's part because the still hadn't filled the part they were looking for an american woman, instead they made a great choice and that was vivian lee

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    1. They filmed the burning of Atlanta sequence before they had cast Scarlett. It was while filming this scene that Selznick first met Vivien. A short time later, on Christmas Day, 1938, Vivien had the part.

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  13. Some of her other movies that had me enjoying her craft were Waterloo Bridge and the Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. She was such a gifted craftsman and very likable from what I understand.

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    1. I play Auld Lang Syne with the Waterloo Bridge scene with her and Robert Taylor every New Years. It is haunting.

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  14. "Oh...fiddly-dee" ...Scarlett. She is now gone with the wind.

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  15. Love her, she's always been one of my favorites!

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  16. Was mesmerized as a child seeing her in Gone With the Wind. Still my favourite movie today. I had no clue she was born in India.

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  17. One of my very favorite actresses. Of course, "Go"ne With the Wind" is one of my favorite films.
    "

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  18. One of my favorite beauties of the screen with the acting talent to back it up. I would have loved to have known her, as people always stress her kindness & charm. Today her manic depression may have been controlled and her TB a thing of her past. I only wish she had made more films.

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  19. Such a beautiful actress and performer. Loved "Gone with the wind" both she and Clark Gable were matched perfectly. I understand they didnt get along but they sure acted as such My favorite film of all time Everything was so beautiful I wishe they had more pictures like that again instead of all of the horrible ones now

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  20. Her eyes were actually blue, not green as they said for her character Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. To make them appear green they put her in certain lighting and in certain colors.

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  21. STILL MY FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIMES GWTW ,DID U NO DAVID SELSNICK WAS # 6 OF THE
    PRODUCERS HE DID A GREAT JOB WHN HE FINALLY FINISHES IT.WHAT CAN U SAY ABT RHETT BUTLER,WOW ( HE LOVED HER SO.) IVE WATCHED IT AT LEAST 65 TIMES ,ALSO DID U NO RHETT B, PAID 1,000.00 TO CURSE AT THE END OF GWTW. FRANKLY SCARLET I DONT GIVE A DAMN !

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  22. Another thing worth mentioning,she never got over the role of Scarlet O'Hara! In Act even after the movie was finished shooting she wore the Scarlet costume;she believed she WAS Scarlet O'Hara,to the point it drove her "mad"! Not bashing,really great actress!

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    1. I don't know where you found this information, but it's not true. Also, Vivien wasn't driven "mad." She suffered from bipolar-disorder, which unfortunately ran in her family.

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  23. She is one of my favorite actresses even though I only ever saw her in two films.

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  24. My favorite actress ever. What a shame she had to die at such an early age of TB. I later read that both she and Clark Gable were chain smokers, smoking at least four packs a day. RIP, Vivien....absolutely stunning in everything you did.

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  25. Loved her acting. Beautiful brunette femme fatale...too follow was Elizabeth Taylor. Always will miss her...RIP

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    1. I had no idea they both chain smoked I just thought they were real movie stars ,not that ours are any less , different times u no

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