Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Never Before Seen: Vivien Leigh's archive
"...The archive contains many never-before-seen items, including affectionate letters between the Gone With The Wind star and her husband, Laurence Olivier.
It also features diaries, photographs, annotated film and theatre scripts and her numerous awards.
[...] The actress meticulously catalogued more than 7,500 personal letters from friends and colleagues, addressed to both her and Olivier, including missives from TS Eliot, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother.
[...] Also on display will be the visitors' book for Leigh and Olivier's Notley Abbey home in Buckinghamshire.
Among the signatories were Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Orson Welles, Judy Garland and Rex Harrison..." 

This is wonderful news. I never knew she wrote diaries, now it turns out she started at the age of 16 and continued till death. There's some uncertainty, of course, because usually I prefer to keep a certain distance from people I admire, especially in this case, when on 1 hand Vivien had bipolar disorder and later contracted TB, which caused her much suffering and which affected her relationships, on the other hand I've heard some stories about her darker side, which I've come to accept as possibilities or probabilities but not facts, and who knows, her diaries may reveal even more shocking things. 
Still, it's nice to know about this archive. I'd like to see the letters and the personal photos and backstage photos. 

Vivien and Laurence Olivier

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