Vivien Leigh

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Vivien Leigh Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

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I never saw Gone with the Wind until I was twenty one years of age. This was no conscious decision on my part, but in the pre-video era (and I’m talking about 1980), films did the initial round of the theatrical circuit, were occasionally reissued on the big screen years later for a limited run and, budgetary constraints permitting, eventually purchased by television companies for an agreed number of broadcasts. The most famous Hollywood film of them all had received no such UK transmission, and therefore I felt an unexpected ‘one night only’ showing at my local cinema a too important opportunity to ignore. That’s when I first saw her, the overnight sensation on London’s West End stage who went on to conquer Hollywood when she beat 1,400 other actresses to snare the most coveted screen role of the century as Scarlett O’Hara.

The following year (1940) when she married Laurence Olivier, she would become one half of the world’s most glamorous showbusiness couple, feted like royalty and drawing huge crowds as they played Shakespeare on tour.

But the beautiful, brilliant star could be a spoilt, demanding diva, and behind the scenes she wrestled with physical and mental illnesses that would destroy her marriage and send her to an early grave. Today, we would recognise her problem as a form of bi-polar disorder, but for her husband, it was a question of dealing with life’s day to day problems.

In his autobiography, Olivier described her illness, saying: ‘Throughout her possession by that uncanny evil monster, manic depression, with its 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.

Recommended viewing

A Streetcar named desire (1951)

Marlon Brando may have made his first indelible mark on audiences in this powerful adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, but it is the sheer subtlety of Vivien Leigh’s performance as the neurotic belle Blanche du Bois, that elevates this steamy, subversive film into the stellar immortals.

Naturally, when I first saw the film, I was able to identify with Brando’s performance as her brutish brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski, a man she describes as “a little bit on the, uh, primitive side, I should think.” He might have been uncouth and uneducated, yet there was something about that knowing look of his that suggested a man who could see right through his sister-in-law. My problem, as a thirteen year old, was that I couldn’t see through her at all.

Blanche DuBois is anything but a ‘centred person,’ floating between scenes dressed in white, the very symbol of purity and innocence. Delicate, refined, and sensitive, she loathes vulgarity whilst impressing everyone with her cultured manners and intelligence. Running from a world she cannot face up to, even in her own mind, she eschews realism in favour of magic. Most tellingly, she avoids the truth in favour of “what ought to be truth,” essentially her own personal flight from a degenerate past.



Photographic galleries, historical articles from four decades (1930’s-60’s,) and retrospective writings make this a sound starting point for those interested in Leigh’s life and career.

N.B. Simply click on the Home Page monochrome picture to gain instant access.

Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier

The following link contains some interesting essays and photographic pictorials.

Kendra Bean is the author of “Vivien leigh,” (2013), as well as being the designer and editor of vivandlarry, an online historical archive and blog dedicated to Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, classic Hollywood, and world cinema. The following link contains an interesting interview with the author.