Vivien Leigh: Award-winning actress best remembered for 'Gone with the Wind,' 'Streetcar Named Desire'

Vivien Leigh would have celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday. Vivien Leigh was an Academy Award- and Tony-winning actress.

New Line Cinema/AP
Vivien Leigh (center right) starred in the 1939 film 'Gone with the Wind.'

Academy Award-winning actress Vivien Leigh of “Gone with the Wind” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” was born on Nov. 5, 1913 and so would have celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday. 

Leigh was born in India with the name Vivian Hartley and made her film debut in 1935 when she starred in “Things Are Looking Up,” “Look Up and Laugh,” and “The Village Squire.” 

The actress was cast as heroine Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 film version of “Gone with the Wind” after a long search by the production company behind the film. Leigh was one of two British actors to portray the four Southern main characters, with actor Leslie Howard, who portrayed Ashley Wilkes, also hailing from England. Leigh won a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film.

Leigh is also often remembered for her role as Blanche DuBois in the 1951 film adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” She secured a second Best Actress Oscar for this part. The actress also starred as the title character in a 1948 film version of “Anna Karenina” and as Cleopatra in the 1945 film “Caesar and Cleopatra.” 

She also starred in stage productions in London and on Broadway, with appearances including starring opposite her future husband Laurence Olivier in a British production of “Hamlet” performed in Denmark and playing Juliet in a 1940 Broadway production of "Romeo and Juliet." She appeared again as Cleopatra on Broadway in two plays which played in repertory in 1951, a production of “Caesar and Cleopatra” and a production of “Antony and Cleopatra,” respectively. Olivier starred as Caesar in the first and Mark Antony in the second.

Leigh won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1963 for her role in “Tovarich.”

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” actress Julia Ormond portrayed Leigh in the 2011 film “My Week with Marilyn,” which centered on the production of the 1957 film “The Prince and the Showgirl.” Actress Michelle Williams played Marilyn Monroe, while actor Kenneth Branagh portrayed “Prince” director and star Laurence Olivier.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Vivien Leigh: Award-winning actress best remembered for 'Gone with the Wind,' 'Streetcar Named Desire'
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Culture-Cafe/2013/1106/Vivien-Leigh-Award-winning-actress-best-remembered-for-Gone-with-the-Wind-Streetcar-Named-Desire
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe