Description : “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.
Description : "My birth sign is Scorpio and they eat themselves up and burn themselves out. I swing between happiness and misery. I am part prude and part non-conformist. I say what I think and I don't pretend and I am prepared to accept the consequences of my actions."--Vivien Leigh When Vivien Leigh died in 1967, headlines around the world proclaimed, "Scarlett O'Hara is Dead!" Perhaps more than any of her contemporaries, Vivien Leigh became the very embodiment of the roles she made famous, from Gone With the Wind's immortal heroine to her harrowing portrayal of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Vivien's beauty, determination, and enormous charisma were her triumph, whether it was a matter of charming George Bernard Shaw in order to become his personal choice for the part of Scarlett--or winning the then-married Laurence Olivier as her husband. Her twenty-years' partnership with Olivier, both onstage and off, made them the "royal couple" of the theater, and garnered unparalleled critical and popular acclaim. But the achievement had its darker side, for Vivien became so immersed in her roles that she began to take on their characteristics in real life--often at enormous cost: playing Blanche DuBois actually "tipped her into madness"; and while filming Ship of Fools, she found herself hammering co-star Lee Marvin's face with very real--and painful--blows of her spiked heel. The public glamour of her fairy tale marriage to Olivier--so desperately important to them both--hid a private nightmare of violence and frequent infidelity. She was consumed by devastating battles against tuberculosis, to which she finally succumbed, and manic-depression, which she sought to keep at bay through a voracious sexual appetite, having affair after affair--sometimes serious, as with Peter Finch, sometimes with whichever taxi driver happened to bring her home. Based on previously unpublished interviews with her friends, family, and colleagues, as well as with Vivien Leigh herself, Vivien is an extraordinary picture of a unique and complex woman, as willful as she was beautiful, who knew what she wanted--whether the coveted role of Scarlett or that, equally coveted, of Lady Olivier--and got it. With its telling anecdotes, fascinating insights, and unforgettable glimpses into Hollywood's heyday, it is sure to stand as the definitive portrait of one of the most talented and tormented actresses of all time.
Description : Remarkably moving and candid account of coping with childhood stardom in post-war London and the vicissitudes of later life in the USA, tragedy and loss.
Description : Broughton J. "Bruff" Brannon, IV has no experience as a private investigator when his namesake uncle dies and leaves him the Fan Detective Agency in Richmond, Virginia. The offers he receives to sell the business tempt him to cash in his inheritance and join the business of his friend, Hobie Pickett. But curiosity gets the better of Brannon and he speaks to the Mizelles, an elderly couple his uncle was enroute to visit when a truck rammed the car, killing him. Betty Ann Mizelle, the couple's daughter, also died in a car wreck. Twenty years in the past, she drowned in Chesapeake Bay while a passenger in Virginia Senator Mike Fitzhugh's car. The Mizelles want Brannon to pursue new information from their neighbor, Hank Sauer. Despite doubting his abilities, Brannon reopens the notorious case.