Vivien Leigh: Scarlett O'Hara, Blanche DuBois Would've Been 100

Image: Vivien Leigh: Scarlett O'Hara, Blanche DuBois Would've Been 100

Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 06:02 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Actress Vivien Leigh, famous for her roles as Scarlett O’Hara and Blanche DuBois, would have been 100 years old on Tuesday.

Although she died in 1967 of tuberculosis, Leigh’s influence and mystique is still felt today.

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Well-known for her roles in “Gone with the Wind” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Parade magazine said Leigh managed to “remain somewhat elusive” despite her career. She struggled with bipolar disorder during her life; loved, married, and divorced Laurence Olivier; and snagged the hearts of the world in theaters and on stage. She won two Best Actress Academy Awards.

Leigh never wrote about her life and even her husband, Laurence Olivier, refused to do interviews about her, Parade said.

Yet her classic beauty and tumultuous life still enthrall imaginations. Although she was much applauded for her role as the southern belle Scarlett, a Life.com tribute said Leigh’s movie fans considered her Blanche role “far and away more powerful.” 

“Leigh herself, however, later reportedly said that playing the alcoholic, idealistic, profoundly damaged Blanche ‘tipped [her] over into madness,’” Life.com wrote.

The beautiful actress, who made fewer than 24 movies in her life, is still considered “one of the greatest female movie stars of all time,” Life.com said.

A new book on the star, “Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait,” by Kendra Bean, came out this month.

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