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 : Exhaustively researched and almost flirtatiously opinionated, When Blanche Met Brando is everything a fan needs to know about the ground-breaking New York and London stage productions of Williams' "Streetcar" as well as the classic Brando/Leigh film. Sam Staggs' interviews with all the living cast members of each production will enhance what's known about the play and movie, and help make this book satisfying as both a pop culture read and as a deeper piece of thinking about a well-known story. Readers will come away from this book delighted with the juicy behind-the-scenes stories about cast, director, playwright and the various productions and will also renew their curiosity about the connection between the role of Blanche and Viven Leigh's insatiable sexual appetite and later descent into breakdown. They may also-for the first time-question whether the character of Blanche was actually "mad" or whether her anxiousness was symptomatic of another disorder. "A Streetcar Named Desire" is one of the most haunting and most-studied modern plays. Staggs' new book will fascinate fans and richen newcomers' understanding of its importance in American theater and movie history.
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 : Candice Bergen’s bestselling 1984 memoir: an “engaging, intelligent, and wittily self-deprecating autobiography” (The New York Times).
Description : One month after her novel Gone With the Wind was published, Margaret Mitchell sold the movie rights for fifty thousand dollars. Fearful of what the studio might do to her story—“I wouldn’t put it beyond Hollywood to have . . . Scarlett seduce General Sherman,” she joked—the author washed her hands of involvement with the film. However, driven by a maternal interest in her literary firstborn and compelled by her Southern manners to answer every fan letter she received, Mitchell was unable to stay aloof for long. In this collection of her letters about the 1939 motion picture classic, readers have a front-row seat as the author watches the Dream Factory at work, learning the ins and outs of filmmaking and discovering the peculiarities of a movie-crazed public. Her ability to weave a story, so evident in Gone With the Wind, makes for delightful reading in her correspondence with a who’s who of Hollywood, from producer David O. Selznick, director George Cukor, and screenwriter Sidney Howard, to cast members Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland and Hattie McDaniel. Mitchell also wrote to thousands of others—aspiring actresses eager to play Scarlett O’Hara; fellow Southerners hopeful of seeing their homes or their grandmother’s dress used in the film; rabid movie fans determined that their favorite star be cast; and creators of songs, dolls and Scarlett panties who were convinced the author was their ticket to fame and fortune. During the film’s production, she corrected erring journalists and the producer’s over-the-top publicist who fed the gossip mills, accuracy be damned. Once the movie finished, she struggled to deal with friends and strangers alike who “fought and trampled little children and connived and broke the ties of lifelong friendship” to get tickets to the premiere. But through it all, she retained her sense of humor. Recounting an acquaintance’s denial of the rumor that the author herself was going to play Scarlett, Mitchell noted he “ungallantly stated that I was something like fifty years too old for the part.” After receiving numerous letters and phone calls from the studio about Belle Watling’s accent, the author related her father was “convulsed at the idea of someone telephoning from New York to discover how the madam of a Confederate bordello talked.” And in a chatty letter to Gable after the premiere, Mitchell coyly admitted being “feminine enough to be quite charmed” by his statement to the press that she was “fascinating,” but added: “Even my best friends look at me in a speculative way—probably wondering what they overlooked that your sharp eyes saw!” As Gone With the Wind marks its seventy-fifth anniversary on the silver screen, these letters, edited by Mitchell historian John Wiley, Jr., offer a fresh look at the most popular motion picture of all time through the eyes of the woman who gave birth to Scarlett.
Description : "An actor, producer and director of works for stage, film and TV in Britain, this memoir proves Cotes to be most devoted To The living theater" -Publishers Weekly. Cotes trained at the prestigious Italia Conti Stage School, and later, if not acting i