"Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm," Margaret Mitchell opened Gone with the Wind with this description of Scarlett O'Hara, but her words can hardly be applied to Vivien Leigh, the British actress who gave an unforgettable performance as the Southern belle. Leigh possessed a beauty that men seldom failed to recognize and a charm that caught many, but her life was far from being all beauty and charm.
This biography of the beautiful and tortured actress, from her birth and childhood in exotic India to her premature death in 1967, gives special attention to her development and career as a stage and film actress (which culminated in one Tony award and two Oscars). Her ambitious personality and her manic-depressive illness, including the sexual compulsion that haunted her life, her romantic and tragic marriage to Laurence Olivier, and her performances in, for instance, Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, are all detailed.
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