Definitions for vivien leigh

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Leigh, Vivien Leigh(noun)

    English film actress (1913-1967)

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  1. Vivien Leigh

    Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier was a British stage and film actress. She won two Best Actress Academy Awards for her performances as "southern belles": Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind and Blanche DuBois in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire, a role she had also played on stage in London's West End. She won a Tony Award for her work in the Broadway version of Tovarich. After taking an education in drama school, Leigh appeared with small roles in four films in 1935, and progressed to the role of heroine in Fire Over England. Lauded for her beauty until 1950, Leigh felt that it sometimes prevented her from being taken seriously as an actress. Despite her fame as a screen actress, Leigh was primarily a stage performer. During her prolific 30-year stage career, she played roles ranging from the heroines of Noël Coward and George Bernard Shaw comedies to classic Shakespearean characters such as Ophelia, Cleopatra, Juliet and Lady Macbeth. Later in life, she played character roles in a few films. Leigh was greatly associated with her second husband, the well-known actor Laurence Olivier, to whom she was married from 1940 to 1960. Leigh and Olivier starred together in many films and stage productions, with Olivier often directing. For much of her adult life she suffered from bipolar disorder. She earned a reputation for being difficult to work with, and her career suffered periods of inactivity. She suffered recurrent bouts of chronic tuberculosis, first diagnosed in the mid-1940s, which ultimately claimed her life at the age of 53. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Leigh as the sixteenth greatest female movie star of all time.

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