Nov 05

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November 5, 1913: Vivien Leigh Born

Vivien LeighOn this day in 1913, Vivien Hartley was born in Darjeeling, British India (now India). Under her stage name, Vivien Leigh, she gave 20 movie performances, two of which earned her Academy Awards.

Leigh acted very little during her career in part because she suffered from bipolar disorder and contracted tuberculosis in the mid-1940s. The latter would claim her life in 1967.  She had actually won the Tony Award just four years earlier for Best Actress in a Musical in “Tovarich.”

Her work helped create some of the greatest movies of all time. Here are a few essentials.

Gone with the Wind (1939): There are many reasons to watch one of the greatest movies ever made. Leigh’s Oscar-winning performance is one of them.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951): Marlon Brando actually wrote in his autobiography that Leigh was so great in her role as Blanche because, sadly, she actually was Blanche. Regardless, the performance garnered her second Academy Award.

Ship of Fools (1965): In her last film, Leigh plays a divorcee traveling on a cruise ship from Mexico to Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Onboard, she has a flirtation with Lee Marvin, which is funny, sad and bit a creepy.

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