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Dark Star : A Biography of Vivien Leigh
I.B. Tauris

Dark Star : A Biography of Vivien Leigh

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Dark Star
Author(s): Alan Strachan

Winner of the Society for Theatre Research Book Prize 2020

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.



Review(s):

“What makes this account of a familiar story outstanding is that Strachan wins the reader's trust ... As an experienced man of the theatre, he suggests, qualifies and adds interesting views of his own.” —The Spectator

“[Vivien Leigh's] life, lived to the full at every second, will never be better told than it is in these pages.” —The Sunday Times

“A gripping new biography.” —The Daily Mail

“Strachan's meticulously researched, elegantly written volume is an eye-opener. Strachan's attention to detail is striking ... a valuable, authoritative record that supports [Leigh's] status as a great stage and screen actress.” —The Herald

“This is a well-written biography of a much-loved star. Strachan achieves that rare thing of exposing his subject whilst maintaining their integrity. Leigh, who was fiercely private, would have been proud of this book.” —The Lady

“Alan Strachan does a fine job in reasserting [Vivien Leigh's] status, not merely re-examining her stage work, but also becoming the first biographer to give due attention to the underrated films she made.” —Country Life





ISBN:  9781788312080