Dark Star: A Biography of Vivien Leigh PDF ✓ A


Dark Star: A Biography of Vivien Leigh [Read] ➵ Dark Star: A Biography of Vivien Leigh By Alan Strachan – Thomashillier.co.uk 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 talente Vivien Leigh was perhaps the most A Biography Epub µ 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 VA, he sheds new Dark Star: ePUB ½ 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.


10 thoughts on “Dark Star: A Biography of Vivien Leigh

  1. Tara Tara says:

    Thanks to her unforgettable roles in Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, Vivien Leigh is an enduring icon of the twentieth century Nonetheless, her talent and achievements have often been overshadowed by her extraordinary beauty and charm, and her rather turbulent private life She also died quite suddenly, and missed out on the honours afforded to other great English actors This is what the title, Dark Star , refers to and attempts to uncover After Leigh s personal archive was Thanks to her unforgettable roles in Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, Vivien Leigh is an enduring icon of the twentieth century Nonetheless, her talent and achievements have often been overshadowed by her extraordinary beauty and charm, and her rather turbulent private life She also died quite suddenly, and missed out on the honours afforded to other great English actors This is what the title, Dark Star , refers to and attempts to uncover After Leigh s personal archive was donated to the VA in 2013, Strachan is the first biographer to have full access to these materials, including her diaries from 1930 67 He is also one of the lucky few to have seen her onstage A director himself, he places equal emphasis on her distinguished career in the theatre as to her movies While not glossing over the tribulations of her marriage to Sir Laurence Olivier, and her heartbreaking struggle with manic depression, he also corrects errors made by previous authors and some of theoutlandish rumours that have surfaced in recent years Not being an expert on the subject, I can t say how much of this book will be new to fans But for me, the latter part was especially gripping, and gave me a new respect for how Leigh survived the loss of her great love and emotional breakdowns, and managed to get her life and career back on track against daunting odds


  2. Saturday& Saturday& says:

    This one was well worth spending my reading time with.


  3. Kendra Bean Kendra Bean says:

    I reviewed the book at vivandlarry.com I reviewed the book at vivandlarry.com


  4. Irene Xandra Irene Xandra says:

    It is a biography that takes advantage of numerous previously published sources and of the research in the Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier archives It covers both the professional activity and the personal life, the latter with an emphasis on her manic depression and her relationship to Laurence Olivier, extendedly explained.The author tries to give a larger context of her work, analysing aspects that are normally overlooked like technical details of the films and plays, cinematography, costu It is a biography that takes advantage of numerous previously published sources and of the research in the Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier archives It covers both the professional activity and the personal life, the latter with an emphasis on her manic depression and her relationship to Laurence Olivier, extendedly explained.The author tries to give a larger context of her work, analysing aspects that are normally overlooked like technical details of the films and plays, cinematography, costumes, decors, etc.Probably as the author is deeply involved in the theatrical world he produced views and opinions of the old plays like a direct witness For me, it s difficult to assess his comments and the quality of the plays that no one living today has ever had a chance to see But sometimes the story is overcrowded with many names of people and their personal history that are marginal to the main story and make it hard to follow These are also moments when the writing style, otherwise agreeable, gets lost among too many parentheses On the other hand there are many things that are missing, like Vivien s views, on her characters, her favourite roles, her ambivalent attitude towards Scarlett, her defending of Blanche, her understanding of Anna Karenina, her approach to acting, etc, opinions of her co stars, directors, etc.Sometimes the outside view on her career should have givenspace to the inside one, voiced by the people directly involved, instead of the objective film reviewer perspective Because of this, some films get less space of development and are treatedsuperficially, as the author lets it be known that they are not his favourites, for example Roman Spring and Ship of Fools.On the personal life side, the author tried to explain the relationships from their different points of view of the characters involved and their personal history heritage.There are little things that I ve read for the first time, a bit of Gertrude and her take on Vivien s illness, a bit of Suzanne and her care and concern for her mother s life Also reproducing statements from her doctor give acomplete view, as do the fragments from previous drafts of Larry s Confessions.In my opinion, the research didn t exhaust all possible sources and it fails to produce Vivien s personal point of view Not much of Vivien s voice is heard, since the information from her diaries is of a telegraphic nature got married had a baby left with Larry lost a baby Probably ain depth view in other people s archives and other sources would have produced better results, like when the author did quote from letters Vivien addressed to Noel Coward and Tarquin Olivier for example, that do state her thoughts and feelings in a less laconic style of writing.And finally, the book shows an odd choice of photographs, as if the author remembered at the last minute before publication that he should include some Especially intriguing is the fact that among so few photos one of Kenneth Tynan found its place Otherwise, Tynan s place and his negative role in Vivien s life and career is well proven in the text of the book I didn t feel the need to put a face on one of Vivien s demons and waste that space on the page On the whole, it is a good enough book, a serious biography, that incorporates many of the good sources from previously published books, with a few extra things from the new sources available.On the career side, the voice of the film theatre reviewer is too obvious and overshadows the voice of the people directly involved.On the personal side, the author tries to givespace to the characters, their thoughts, enveloped in pertinent explanations from an outside point of view


  5. Isabelle Isabelle says:

    oh, my god it only took me a week or so to read this because it was impossible for me to put this down at any moment anyway, as someone who has been a fan of vivien leigh for a while, i was initially not sure what to expect from this new biography, but am i glad i bought it it is one of the best biographies on vivien i have read so far the other being vivien leigh an intimate portrait it is fresh, it is impeccably researched with new information i had not known of before won t spoil it , oh, my god it only took me a week or so to read this because it was impossible for me to put this down at any moment anyway, as someone who has been a fan of vivien leigh for a while, i was initially not sure what to expect from this new biography, but am i glad i bought it it is one of the best biographies on vivien i have read so far the other being vivien leigh an intimate portrait it is fresh, it is impeccably researched with new information i had not known of before won t spoil it , it covers vivien leigh s mental illness most thoughtfully and above all it rightfully restores and discusses her incredible talent and achievements, not merely in film but in theatre as well personally, i would one day love to see a book dedicated to her theatrical career some of the albeit few criticisms of this biograph is that sometimes the discussion of olivier overshadows that of vivien, and that i agree with, despite the fact he undoubtedly played an important role in her life however strachan nevertheless presents vivien as an equally if notso, in my opinion proficient actress IN HER OWN RIGHT.i only minorly disagree on the author s opinion of her 1960s film performances two of her best ever,i believe, but this is just opinion however overall i highly commend this biography


  6. Vicki Vicki says:

    Well written, thoroughly researched and documented, this biography even has a chapter after the epilogue to explain why certain claims made in other biographies of Vivien Leigh and her longtime husband Laurence Olivier do not appear in the main text It s fascinating because she seems to have known or worked with everyone, from Noel Coward and Tennessee Williams to Katherine Hepburn and Patrick Stewart.


  7. Gillian Gillian says:

    What a heartening find on the final paragraph a Robert Louis Stevenson extract that the author says Vivien Leigh quoted in her commonplace book Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind strength to encounter that which is to come, that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune and, down to the gates of death, loyal and loving, one to the other Wise, kind, and timely pleas.


  8. Amy Amy says:

    This book Dark Star A Biography of Vivien Leigh was supposed to have a lot of new information with regard to letters between Vivien and Laurence Olivier that had been recently released to the public There were many quotes throughout the book from them, and many different people associated with the two, and a few from Suzanne Holman, who was Leigh s daughter from her first marriage to Leigh Holman However, that said, nothing seemed to me to be any new revelation or information that hadn t be This book Dark Star A Biography of Vivien Leigh was supposed to have a lot of new information with regard to letters between Vivien and Laurence Olivier that had been recently released to the public There were many quotes throughout the book from them, and many different people associated with the two, and a few from Suzanne Holman, who was Leigh s daughter from her first marriage to Leigh Holman However, that said, nothing seemed to me to be any new revelation or information that hadn t been touched on The opinions and quotes from the various people in Vivien s life were probably the most interesting part of the book though One thing I did notice that was different and updated wasof an explanation about Bipolar which Vivien Leigh suffered from The book doesn t go into as much detail about her episodes as other books that I have read The author of this book is himself a theater person, so there was a lot of detail about the plays and performances that Leigh, Olivier, and sometimes other actors, performed in, and where That, for me, got to be a little tedious as I am not a theater person, and was largely unfamiliar with many of the plays I have some knowledge of who the famous actors and actresses were from that time period, but again, was unfamiliar with many This made the book a bit of a slog for me because of my lack of knowledge.I was disappointed in how few photographs were included in the book I have read many books on the life of Vivien Leigh so I was surprised thatphotographs weren t included I found that a book that I own called Vivien Leigh An Intimate Portrait by Kendra Bean to be a great resource because I could look up photographs of the various time periods in Vivien s life that I was reading about since it has many photos from her entire life


  9. Dominique King Dominique King says:

    I didn t know much about Vivien Leigh, beyond her playing Scarlett in GWTW and being married once to Laurence Olivier, but it was interesting reading about the rest of her life and careerespecially on stage in live theater She really had an unhappy life for the most part, and it was especially sad reading about her illnesses and relatively early death The book really did bog down at parts, that, and the sadness of her life made it a difficult read It was all right, but I m looking for a ch I didn t know much about Vivien Leigh, beyond her playing Scarlett in GWTW and being married once to Laurence Olivier, but it was interesting reading about the rest of her life and careerespecially on stage in live theater She really had an unhappy life for the most part, and it was especially sad reading about her illnesses and relatively early death The book really did bog down at parts, that, and the sadness of her life made it a difficult read It was all right, but I m looking for a cheerier read after this


  10. Jenny Jenny says:

    This feels like a comprehensive autobiography At times a little dry, fastidiously detailing every play and film she was in However, by the end I was glad of that her personal life marriage to Olivier, affairs, and the difficulty of living with bipolar disorder is always within the context of an impressive body of work I expect that every actor would want a biographer like Strachan.


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