Vivien Leigh was an English theatre and film actress. Although her
film appearances were relatively few, she won two Academy Awards
playing "Southern belles", Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind and
Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, a role she had also played
in London's West End. She was a prolific stage performer, frequently
in collaboration with her husband, Laurence Olivier, who directed her
in several of her roles. During her thirty-year stage career, she
played parts that ranged from the heroines of Noël Coward and George
Bernard Shaw comedies to classic Shakespearean characters such as
Ophelia, Cleopatra, Juliet and Lady Macbeth. Lauded for her beauty,
Leigh felt that it sometimes prevented her from being taken seriously
as an actress, but ill health proved to be her greatest obstacle.
Affected by bipolar disorder for most of her adult life, she gained a
reputation for being difficult, and her career went through periods of
decline. She was further weakened by recurrent bouts of tuberculosis,
which was first diagnosed in the mid-1940s. She and Olivier divorced
in 1960, and Leigh worked sporadically in film and theatre until her
death from tuberculosis.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Napoleonic Wars: Lord Nelson led the British fleet to victory in the
Battle of Trafalgar, defeating Pierre-Charles Villeneuve and his
combined French and Spanish navy.
English stonemason, bricklayer and inventor Joseph Aspdin patented
Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses were sent to the Crimean
World War II: HMAS Australia was hit in the first kamikaze attack; 30
crewmen, including the commanding officer, were killed.
Siad Barre became President after a military coup in Somalia.
Wikiquote of the day:
He prayeth well, who loveth wellBoth man and bird and beast. He
prayeth best, who loveth bestAll things both great and small;For the
dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all. -- Samuel Taylor