Vivien: The Life of Vivien Leigh

Alexander Walker, Author Random House Value Publishing $18.95 (342p) ISBN 978-1-55584-080-8
Leigh, the actress who embodied roles she made famousScarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desireis presented from many perspectives in this rendering by London film critic Walker. With access to unpublished materials and conversations with family members and professional colleagues, he arranges a composite of a willful, talented and, finally, self-destructive woman. At age six, Leigh was sent from her home in India to convent school in England, where she remained. Extraordinary looks and an agreeable husband who remained her friend throughout her later turbulent marriages, were ingredients in her theatrical success. It was as the wife of Sir Laurence Olivier, however, that she triumphed. The 15 years of their tempestuous union are empathetically treated by Walker, as are her final yearsshe died in 1967of struggle with manic-depression. Walker offers a measured appraisal of a haunted woman. Photos not seen by PW. (September 30)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Paperback - 342 pages - 978-0-8021-3259-8
Paperback - 978-1-55584-296-3
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