165th out of 338 books — 933 voters
Vivien Leigh: A Biography
by Anne Edwards
Here is an extraordinary complex woman brought vividly to life in this first complete biography. Given total access to Miss Leigh’s personal letters, and working with the cooperation of those who had been closest to her, Anne Edwards has produced a frank, open book that does not spare the truth, yet is as romantic a canvas, as turbulent and moving a story as any of the gre...more
Published June 3rd 1980 by Pocket
(first published 1978)
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I read this book many years ago and of all the biographies of Leigh I think it was good to get a female perspective on how the the actress who played the infamous Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind lived. I think it dwelt too much on the manic depression at times and not enough on the good things in Vivien's life so it made for a rather depressing read. Also as it was one of the first bios out it seemed a bit 'quick' and many of the 'facts' in it are inaccurate or exaggerated. However the bio...more
As a huge "Gone With the Wind" fan, I read this book many years ago. In addition to the book and the movie, I was captivated by the actress who played the primary female role so well. It's an excellent biography, and I especially remember being interested in her relationship with her husband, Laurence Olivier. Another tid-bit I remember from the book is Vivien reporting that she wasn't fond of kissing Clark Gable because he had bad breath.
One of the better bios of Leigh. We follow her from her birth in India to the theatre to film, and really get into her romance/marriage with Laurence Olivier. Leigh was unfortunately mentally ill after GWTW, and underwent electroshock therapy & divorce. Still, a good portrayal of one of my favorite actresses!
I read this book years ago. Vivien Leigh is one of my favorite actresses. It was heartbreaking to read about her mental illness and how it destroyed her life, her marriage. If she had been born 20 years later even, she would have had proper treatment. If you are a fan, you will want to read this.
This biography has made a lasting impression upon me. I feel so sad for this woman who struggled with her mental illness and eventually drove away the love of her life. I have mixed feeling now towards Laurence Olivier (due to the events that unfold in their latter years together). Their love for one another was wild and strong, but succumbed to Vivien's illness. I guess everyone has their threshold, it is still so sad. A great actress who was a great beauty and to me will always be Scarlett O'H...more
I went through a period where I watched all Vivien Leigh movies (probably after having seen Gone with the Wind as a teenager) and so read this biography with great interest. It was so sad to hear of her mental illness. I prefer to remember her as Scarlett O'Hara.
Vivien Leigh was one of the most beautiful women that has ever been on the silver screen. I was fascinated with her in high school and I found this great biography and it tells of the great love story between Vivien and Lauernce Olivier.
Apr 19, 2012 Louise rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
A really well written biography about a sophisticated and well liked actress troubled with a mental illness in her late years. Vivien Leigh led an interesting life from childhood to grave which makes for an equally compelling biography.
It's an interesting read, but the lack of sources, references, and a bibliography make me question the assertions and conclusions drawn in the book. When I get a chance, I want to read a different biography of Vivien, just for comparison.