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Dark Star : A Biography of Vivien Leigh



9781788312080 1 206x300

Author: Alan Strachan

Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

Publish Date: 28 Feb 2019

ISBN-13: 9781788312080

Pages: 304

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Preface

Vivien Leigh was perhaps the most iconic actress of the twentieth century. As Scarlett O’Hara and Blanche Du Bois she took on some of the most pivotal roles in cinema history. Yet she was also a talented theatre actress with West End and Broadway plaudits to her name. In this ground-breaking new biography, Alan Strachan provides a completely new full-life portrait of Leigh, covering both her professional and personal life. Using previously unseen
sources from her archive, recently acquired by the V&A, he sheds new light on her fractious relationship with Laurence Olivier, based on their letters and diaries, as well as on the bipolar disorder which so affected her later life and work. Revealing new aspects of her early life as well as providing glimpses behind-the-scenes of the filming of Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, this book provides the essential and comprehensive life-story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest actresses.
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About the Author

Alan Strachan is a theatre director. In London’s West End he has directed over thirty productions, and has also worked in regional theatre as well as in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin and New York often with leading actors and on plays ranging from Shakespeare, Shaw and Tennessee Williams to Alan Ayckbourn and Tom Stoppard. He is the author of Secret Dreams: A Biography of Michael Redgrave and Putting It On: The West End Theatre of Michael Codron.
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Table of Contents

List of Plates
Acknowledgements
Prologue
1. A Child of the Raj
2. Hours Nearer Death
3. Young Wife and Mother
4. Enter Olivier
5. Altered States
6. Printing a Legend
7. Star-Crossed
8. Wartime Dramas
9. From Sabina to Anna
10. Down Under
11. The Kindness of Strangers
12. Two on the Nile
13. Crack-Up
14. Avonside
15. At Court
16. Ending A Legend
17. Worlds Elsewhere
18. Last Acts
Epilogue
Appendix Facts/”False Facts”
Notes on Sources
Select Bibliography
Index
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