Home   >   Movie Stars   >   L   >   Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh photo
Vivien Leigh
  • Biography

Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh made her Hollywood debut with Gone With the Wind and won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Scarlett, a role she practically stumbled upon. After a search that included more than 1,000 auditions, David O. Selznick had started filming his picture without a heroine, when Miss Leigh visited the set. The producer was immediately struck by her resemblance to the Scarlett described by Margaret Mitchell, bringing to a close a two year controversy over a selection.

Following Gone With the Wind, Leigh was extremely selective about her screen roles, appearing in only eight more films. She won her second Oscar as Blanche du Bois in A Streetcar Named Desire, a part she had played on the London stage under Sir Laurence Olivier's direction. Other notable projects included the films Waterloo Bridge, That Hamilton Woman, Caesar and Cleopatra, and Ship of Fools, and stage appearances in The Skin of Our Teeth, Macbeth and the musical Tovarich, for which she won a Tony Award.

Leigh, who was born in Darjeeling, India, joined the Academy of Dramatic Arts in London at the age of 19. She began her acting career on stage performing in The Green Sash, The Mask of Virtue, The Happy Hypocrite, and Henry VIII.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Vivien Leigh Facts

Birth NameVivian Mary Hartley
BirthdayNovember 5, 1913
BirthplaceDarjeeling, India
Date of deathJuly 7, 1967 (age 53)
Height5' 3½" (1m61)  How tall is Vivien Leigh compared to you?
Awards1952 Academy Awards: Best Actress (for A Streetcar Named Desire)
1940 Academy Awards: Best Actress (for Gone with the Wind)

Selected Filmography

Not available.