Vivien Leigh

Born Nov 5, 1913

Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier was an English actress. She is best known for her performances as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for both. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her as the sixteenth greatest movie star of all time. Lauded for her beauty, Leigh felt that it sometimes prevented her from being taken seriously as an actress.… Read More

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1913 Birth Leigh was born Vivian Mary Hartley on 5 November 1913 in British India on the campus of St. Paul's School, Darjeeling. … Read More
1917 3 Years Old In 1917, Ernest Hartley was transferred to Bangalore as an officer in the Indian Cavalry, while Gertrude and Vivian stayed in Ootacamund. … Read More


1931 17 Years Old Vivian met Herbert Leigh Holman, known as Leigh Holman, a barrister 13 years her senior, in 1931.
1932 18 Years Old Despite his disapproval of "theatrical people", they married on 20 December 1932, and she terminated her studies at RADA; her attendance and interest in acting having already waned after meeting Holman.
1933 19 Years Old On 12 October 1933 in London, she gave birth to a daughter, Suzanne, later Mrs. Robin Farrington. … Read More


1935 21 Years Old She was cast in the play The Mask of Virtue, directed by Sidney Carroll in 1935 and received excellent reviews, followed by interviews and newspaper articles. … Read More
1938 24 Years Old …  In February 1938, Leigh made a request to Myron Selznick that she be considered to play Scarlett O'Hara. … Read More
To the public at the time, Leigh was strongly identified with her second husband Laurence Olivier, to whom she was married from 1940 to 1960. … Read More
1943 29 Years Old The Oliviers returned to Britain, and in 1943, Leigh toured through North Africa as part of a revue for the armed forces stationed in the region. … Read More


1944 30 Years Old In 1944 she was diagnosed as having tuberculosis in her left lung and spent several weeks in hospital before appearing to have recovered. … Read More
1946 32 Years Old With her doctor's approval, Leigh was well enough to resume acting in 1946, starring in a successful London production of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth; but her films of this period, Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) and Anna Karenina (1948), were not great commercial successes. … Read More
1947 33 Years Old In 1947 Olivier was knighted and Leigh accompanied him to Buckingham Palace for the investiture. … Read More
1948 34 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1948 Olivier was on the board of directors for the Old Vic Theatre, and he and Leigh embarked on a six-month tour of Australia and New Zealand to raise funds for the theatre. … Read More
1949 35 Years Old When the West End production of Streetcar opened in October 1949, J. B. Priestley denounced the play and Leigh's performance; and the critic Kenneth Tynan, who was to make a habit of dismissing her stage performances, commented that Leigh was badly miscast because British actors were "too well-bred to emote effectively on stage". … Read More
1951 37 Years Old In 1951 Leigh and Laurence Olivier performed two plays about Cleopatra, William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra and George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra, alternating the play each night and winning good reviews. … Read More
1953 39 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 1953, Leigh travelled to Ceylon to film Elephant Walk with Peter Finch.


1955 - 1959 4 More Events
1960 46 Years Old In 1960 she and Olivier divorced and Olivier soon married actress Joan Plowright. … Read More
1961 47 Years Old Merivale joined her for a tour of Australia, New Zealand and Latin America that lasted from July 1961 until May 1962, and Leigh enjoyed positive reviews without sharing the spotlight with Olivier.
1963 49 Years Old Though she was still beset by bouts of depression, she continued to work in the theatre and, in 1963, won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Tovarich. … Read More


In May 1967 Leigh was rehearsing to appear with Michael Redgrave in Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance when her tuberculosis recurred. … Read More
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