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Vivien Leigh's Supporting Roles: 4 Times Star Shined Without Being Lead Actress

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 10:20 AM

Because she only acted in 19 movies total, there are few times when Vivien Leigh played one of the supporting roles. However, as when she was the lead, her performances in these films is top-notch.

Here's a look at the few times when Leigh took on the supporting actress role:

1. Rose Venables, "The Village Squire" (1935)

"The Village Squire" is a quirky British comedy that is really only noteworthy for the film debut of Leigh. She had already made a name for herself on the London stage, but this marked her first appearance on celluloid.

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She portrays Rose Venables in the story about a small English village putting on a performance of William Shakespeare's "MacBeth" in advance of a visit by a Hollywood movie star. The film also stars David Horne, Leslie Perrins, and Moira Lynd.

2. Marjorie Belfer, "Look Up and Laugh (1935)
Taking on a small role as a small-two clerk, Leigh shines in "Look Up and Laugh," even though she has limited screen time. The story is about a small store fighting off the attempts to take it over by a national conglomerate by declaring the store as its own country. The film stars Gracie Fields, Alfred Drayton, and Douglas Wakefield.

3. Cynthia, "Fire Over England" (1937)
Leigh has a meatier role this time, as she is also starting to get top-of-the-billing roles as well. In "Fire Over England," Leigh portrays Cynthia, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth I's Lord Treasure, Lord Burleigh. Leigh plays as one of the aging queen's ladies-in-waiting, and the sight of her angers the queen because of her youth and vitality.

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The film stars Flora Robson, Raymond Massey, and Leslie Banks and also features such notables in the cast as Laurence Olivier and James Mason. David O. Selznick stated that it was Leigh's performance in this movie that caused him to cast her in her most famous role, that of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind."

4. Elsa Craddock, "A Yank at Oxford" (1938)
Leigh's final supporting role was that of Elsa Craddock, a married woman who has an affair with a young American who is attending Oxford University on a rowing scholarship. "A Yank at Oxford" is loaded with stars, including Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, and Edmund Gwenn.

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Because she only acted in 19 movies total, there are few times when Vivien Leigh played one of the supporting roles. However, as when she was the lead, her performances in these films is top-notch.
vivien leigh, supporting roles
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2015-20-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 10:20 AM
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