Сreativity Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh as the famous British actress and winner of the award "Oscar". A brief sketch of her life, the stages of creative development. Coming to the film industry and its leading role. Films that played a great actress, her creative heritage.
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1. Childhood and early career
actress creative role
If a film were made of the life of Vivien Leigh, it would open in India just before World War I, where a successful British businessman could live like a prince. In the mountains above Calcutta, a little princess is born. Because of the outbreak of World War I, she is six years old the first time her parents take her to England. Her mother thinks she should have a proper English upbringing and insists on leaving her in a convent school - even though Vivien is two years younger than any of the other girls at the school. The only comfort for the lonely child is a cat that was in the courtyard of the school that the nuns let her take up to her dormitory. Her first and best friend at the school is an eight-year-old girl, Maureen O'Sullivan who has been transplanted from Ireland. In the bleakness of a convent school, the two girls can recreate in their imaginations the places they have left and places where they would some day like to travel.
After Vivien has been at the school for 18 months, her mother comes again from India and takes her to a play in London. In the next six months Vivien will insist on seeing the same play 16 times. In India the British community entertained themselves at amateur theatricals and Vivien's father was a leading man. Pupils at the English convent school are eager to perform in school plays. It's an all-girls school, so some of the girls have to play the male roles. The male roles are so much more adventurous. Vivien's favorite actor is Leslie Howard, and at 19 she marries an English barrister who looks very much like him. The year is 1932. Vivien's best friend from that convent school has gone to California, where she's making movies. Vivien has an opportunity to play a small role in an English film, Things Are Looking Up (1935). She has only one line but the camera keeps returning to her face. The London stage is more exciting than the movies being filmed in England, and the most thrilling actor on that stage is Laurence Olivier. At a party Vivien finds out about a stage role, «The Green Sash», where the only requirement is that the leading lady be beautiful. The play has a very brief run, but now she is a real actress. An English film is going to be made about Elizabeth I. Laurence gets the role of a young favorite of the queen who is sent to Spain. Vivien gets a much smaller role as a lady-in-waiting of the queen who is in love with Laurence's character. In real life, both fall in love while making this film, Fire Over England (1937).
In 1938, Hollywood wants Laurence to play Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (1939). Vivien, who has just recently read Gone with the Wind (1939), thinks that the role of Scarlett O'Hara is the first role for an actress that would be really exciting to bring to the screen. She sails to America for a brief vacation. In New York she gets on a plane for the first time to rush to California to see Laurence. They have dinner with Myron Selznick the night that his brother, David O. Selznick, is burning Atlanta on a backlot of MGM (actually they are burning old sets that go back to the early days of silent films to make room to recreate an Atlanta of the 1860s). Vivien is 26 when Gone with the Wind (1939) makes a sweep of the Oscars in 1939. So let's show 26-year-old Vivien walking up to the stage to accept her Oscar and then as the Oscar is presented the camera focuses on Vivien's face and through the magic of digitally altering images, the 26-year-old face merges into the face of Vivien at age 38 getting her second Best Actress Oscar for portraying Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).
She wouldn't have returned to America to make that film had not Laurence been going over there to do a film, Carrie (1952) based on Theodore Dreiser's novel «Sister Carrie». Laurence tells their friends that his motive for going to Hollywood to make films is to get enough money to produce his own plays for the London stage. He even has his own theater there, the St. James. Now Sir Laurence, with a seat in the British House of Lords, is accompanied by Vivien the day the Lords are debating about whether the St James should be torn down. Breaking protocol, Vivien speaks up and is escorted from the House of Lords. The publicity helps raise the funds to save the St. James. Throughout their two-decade marriage Laurence and Vivien were acting together on the stage in London and New York. Vivien was no longer Lady Olivier when she performed her last major film role, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone(1961).
2. Marriage and early joint projects
In February 1940, Jill Esmond agreed to divorce Olivier, and Leigh Holman agreed to divorce Leigh, although they maintained a strong friendship for the rest of Leigh's life. Esmond was granted custody of Tarquin, her son with Olivier. Holman was granted custody of Suzanne, his daughter with Leigh. On 31 August 1940, Olivier and Leigh were married at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, in a ceremony attended only by their witnesses, Katharine Hepburn and Garson Kanin. Leigh had hoped to co-star with Olivier and made a screen test for Rebecca, which was to be directed by Alfred Hitchcock with Olivier in the leading role. After viewing Leigh's screen test, Selznick noted that «she doesn't seem right as to sincerity or age or innocence», a view shared by Hitchcock and Leigh's mentor, George Cukor.
Selznick observed that she had shown no enthusiasm for the part until Olivier had been confirmed as the lead actor so he cast Joan Fontaine. He refused to allow her to join Olivier in Pride and Prejudice (1940), and Greer Garson played the role Leigh had wanted for herself. Waterloo Bridge (1940) was to have starred Olivier and Leigh; however, Selznick replaced Olivier with Robert Taylor, then at the peak of his success as one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's most popular male stars. Her top billing reflected her status in Hollywood, and the film was popular with audiences and critics.
She and Olivier mounted a stage production of Romeo and Juliet for Broadway. The New York press publicised the adulterous nature of the beginning of Olivier and Leigh's relationship and questioned their ethics in not returning to the UK to help with the war effort. Critics were hostile in their assessment of the production. Brooks Atkinson for The New York Times wrote: «Although Miss Leigh and Mr. Olivier are handsome young people they hardly act their parts at all.» While most of the blame was attributed to Olivier's acting and direction, Leigh was also criticised, with Bernard Grebanier commenting on the «thin, shopgirl quality of Miss Leigh's voice.» The couple had invested almost their entire savings into the project, and the failure was a financial disaster for them.
They filmed That Hamilton Woman (1941) with Olivier as Horatio Nelson and Leigh as Emma Hamilton. With the United States not yet having entered the war, it was one of several Hollywood films made with the aim of arousing a pro-British sentiment among American audiences. The film was popular in the United States and an outstanding success in the Soviet Union. Winston Churchill arranged a screening for a party that included Franklin D. Roosevelt and, on its conclusion, addressed the group, saying, «Gentlemen, I thought this film would interest you, showing great events similar to those in which you have just been taking part.» The Oliviers remained favourites of Churchill, attending dinners and occasions at his request for the rest of his life; and, of Leigh, he was quoted as saying, «By Jove, she's a clinker.»
The Oliviers returned to Britain, and Leigh toured through North Africa in 1943. Leigh performed for troops before falling ill with a persistent cough and fevers. In 1944, she was diagnosed as having tuberculosis in her left lung and spent several weeks in hospital before appearing to have recovered. Leigh was filming Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) when she discovered she was pregnant, but she suffered a miscarriage. She fell into a deep depression that hit the low point when she turned on Olivier, verbally and physically attacking him until she fell to the floor, sobbing. This was the first of many major breakdowns she suffered related to bipolar disorder. Olivier came to recognise the symptoms of an impending episode - several days of hyperactivity followed by a period of depression and an explosive breakdown, after which Leigh would have no memory of the event, but would be acutely embarrassed and remorseful.
Leigh was well enough to resume acting in 1946, 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 successes.
In 1947, Olivier was knighted; and Leigh accompanied him to Buckingham Palace for the investiture. She became Lady Olivier. (After their divorce, according to the style granted to the divorced wife of a knight, she became known socially as Vivien, Lady Olivier.
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 it. Olivier played the lead in Richard III (the third) and also performed with Leigh in The School for Scandal and The Skin of Our Teeth. The tour was an outstanding success and, although Leigh was plagued with insomnia and allowed her understudy to replace her for a week while she was ill, she generally withstood the demands placed upon her, with Olivier noting her ability to «charm the press.» Members of the company later recalled several quarrels between the couple, the most dramatic occurring in Christchurch when Leigh refused to go onstage. Olivier slapped her face, and Leigh slapped him in return and swore at him before she made her way to the stage. By the end of the tour, both were exhausted and ill; and Olivier told a journalist, «You may not know it, but you are talking to a couple of walking corpses.» Later, he would comment that he «lost Vivien» in Australia.
The success of the tour encouraged the Oliviers to make their first West End appearance together, performing the same works with one addition, Antigone, included at Leigh's insistence because she wished to play a role in a tragedy.
3. Struggle with illness
In 1951, Leigh and 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. They took the productions to New York, where they performed a season at the Ziegfeld Theatre into 1952. The reviews there were also mostly positive, but the critic Kenneth Tynan angered them when he suggested that Leigh's was a mediocre talent that forced Olivier to compromise his own. Tynan's diatribe almost precipitated another collapse; Leigh, terrified of failure and intent on achieving greatness, dwelt on his comments while ignoring the positive reviews of other critics.
In January 1953, Leigh travelled to Ceylon to film Elephant Walk with Peter Finch. Shortly after filming commenced, she suffered a breakdown; and Paramount Pictures replaced her with Elizabeth Taylor. Olivier returned her to their home in Britain, where, between periods of incoherence, Leigh told him that she was in love with Finch and had been having an affair with him. She gradually recovered over a period of several months. As a result of this episode, many of the Oliviers' friends learned of her problems. David Niven said she had been «quite, quite mad»; and in his diary Noel Coward expressed surprise that «things had been bad and getting worse since 1948 or thereabouts.» Leigh's romantic relationship with Finch began in 1948, and continued on and off for several years, ultimately falling apart due to her deteriorating mental condition.
In 1953, Leigh recovered sufficiently to play The Sleeping Prince with Olivier; and, in 1955, they performed a season at Stratford-upon-Avon in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Macbeth, and Titus Andronicus. They played to capacity houses and attracted generally good reviews, Leigh's health seemingly stable. John Gielgud directedTwelfth Night and wrote,»… perhaps I will still make a good thing of that divine play, especially if he will let me pull her little ladyship (who is brainier than he but not a born actress) out of her timidity and safeness. He dares too confidently… but she hardly dares at all and is terrified of overreaching her technique and doing anything that she has not killed the spontaneity of by overpractice.» In 1955, Leigh starred in Anatole Litvak's film The Deep Blue Sea, costarring Kenneth More who felt he had poor chemistry with Leigh during the filming.
In 1956, Leigh took the lead role in the Noel Coward play South Sea Bubble, but she became pregnant and withdrew from the production. Several weeks later, she miscarried and entered a period of depression that lasted for months. She joined Olivier for a European tour with Titus Andronicus, but the tour was marred by Leigh's frequent outbursts against Olivier and other members of the company. After their return to London, her former husband, Leigh Holman, who continued to exert a strong influence over her, stayed with the Oliviers and helped calm her.
In 1958, considering her marriage to be over, Leigh began a relationship with the actor Jack Merivale, who knew of Leigh's medical condition and assured Olivier he would care for her. In 1959, she achieved a success with the Noel Coward comedy Look After Lulu, with The Times critic describing her as «beautiful, delectably cool and matter of fact, she is mistress of every situation.»
In 1960, she and Olivier divorced and Olivier married actress Joan Plowright. In his autobiography, Olivier discussed the years of problems they had experienced because of Leigh's illness: «Throughout her possession by that uncannily evil monster, manic depression, with its deadly ever-tightening spirals, she retained her own individual canniness - an ability to disguise her true mental condition from almost all except me, for whom she could hardly be expected to take the trouble.»
4. Final years and death
Jake Merivale (her friend) proved to be a stabilising influence for Leigh, but despite her apparent contentment, she was quoted by Radie Harris as confiding that she «would rather have lived a short life with Larry [Olivier] than face a long one without him». Her first husband, Leigh Holman, also spent considerable time with her. 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. 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. She also appeared in the films The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) and Ship of Fools (1965). 
In May 1967, she was rehearsing to appear with Michael Redgrave in Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance when she suffered a recurrence of tuberculosis.  Following several weeks of rest, she seemed to recover. On the night of 7 July 1967, Merivale left her as usual, to perform in a play, and returned home around midnight to find her asleep. About thirty minutes later, he returned to the bedroom and discovered her body on the floor. She had been attempting to walk to the bathroom and, as her lungs filled with liquid, collapsed.  Merivale contacted Olivier, who was receiving treatment for prostate cancer in a nearby hospital. In his autobiography, Olivier described his «grievous anguish» as he immediately travelled to Leigh's residence, to find that Merivale had moved her body onto the bed. Olivier paid his respects, and «stood and prayed for forgiveness for all the evils that had sprung up between us»,  before helping Merivale make funeral arrangements.
Leigh's death certificate gave her date of death as 8 July, but some references give the date as 7 July.
She was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium and her ashes were scattered on the lake at her home, Tickerage Mill, near Blackboys, East Sussex, England. A memorial service was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields, with a final tribute read by John Gielgud. In the United States, she became the first actress honoured by «The Friends of the Libraries at the University of Southern California». The ceremony was conducted as a memorial service, with selections from her films shown and tributes provided by such associates as George Cukor.
Vivien Leigh was a brilliant actress, is an actress, because she did not like the word of a movie star. She was always a straight man, saying all she thought and was ready to accept all the consequences. Cinema has always played a very important role in her life, when her friend Maureen O'Sullivan asked, «Who do you become when you grow up?» she replied, «I will be a great actress.» Vivien Leigh for her acting career received 4 prestigious award. Of these, the Oscar for «Gone With the Wind» and f later another Oscar for «A Streetcar Named Desire Triple.»
But the most important was her second husband, Laurence Olivier. Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier lived together for 20 years. Even after the divorce, she always chrono pictures of him and always asked to call himself a lady Oliver. She says: «I will never forget the waltz from «Gone With the Wind» when I feel bad, I throw and put the plate with the waltz. But sometimes even that does not work, and I come to the aid of friends - only they can bring me out of the depression. I have a wonderful husband and friends. If something happens to Larry, I'm never getting married».
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