Vivien Leigh’s psychological sickness reportedly prompted her collection infidelity and ruined her life and profession
British actress Vivien Leigh and actor Laurence Olivier’s romance was far from perfect. Despite being married for two decades, the former couple had a toxic marriage.
The Daily Mail reported Vivien Leigh, who played the iconic Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind,” as a serial bisexual adulteress.
A new biography revealed that her marriage to Laurence Olivier was a shame, as the two had betrayed each other within months of their romantic connection in 1937.
Unpublished memoirs and testimony reveal at least three of Leigh’s same-sex conquests in “Damn You, Scarlett O’Hara,” which is due to be released in the United States.
The bio also reportedly describes her desire for rough trade – men who were apprehended in a brothel called Scotty’s in Los Angeles that posed as a gas station.
A published source revealed that Leigh and her boyfriend George Cukor were going to Scotty’s house in the 1940s and picking young gentlemen for the night.
The source revealed that the couple paid for their conquests with gifts, including cigarette cases, jewels, or stocks and bonds. However, Leigh required them to be discreet and not reveal that they had served her.
The actress was once kicked out of an Italian hotel for bringing too many street boys with her. A source added that she would have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder had she had access to modern mental health care.
However, since things were different back then, people didn’t know how to deal with the star. She even tore all of her clothes and ran out of her house once.
The memoirs were written by Darwin Porter, who knew Leigh in the 1960s, and Roy Moseley, Olivier’s former assistant. The authors had said this about the lovebirds:
“They were both beautiful and both wanted more.”
Failed 1st marriage & affair
They revealed that Leigh tortured Olivier more with her affairs after she became mentally ill, depressed, and manic. In addition to their affairs, she was also dating British actress Isabel Jeans and two other women.
Leigh was also involved in co-stars Marlon Brando and Rex Harrison. Before meeting Olivier, the star was married to an older man, a lawyer named Herbert Leigh Holman, at the age of nineteen.
At that time she was still studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She gave birth to their only child, a daughter named Suzanne, at the age of 23, and then returned to acting.
During her career, Leigh fell in love with Olivier, 29, an up-and-coming star who had left his lesbian wife, Jill Esmond, for her. His marriage to Esmond lacked physical intimacy because she preferred women.
However, that didn’t stop the former couple from fathering a child. Esmond found out she was pregnant when she learned of her husband’s infidelity with Leigh in 1936. In August of the same year, they greeted their son Tarquin.
LEIGH & OLIVIER’S LOVE STORY
Leigh and Olivier married in front of small guests in California in 1940, a year after “Gone with the Wind” made them internationally famous. Olivier said:
“I couldn’t help myself with Vivien. No man could. I hated myself for cheating on Jill, but I’d cheated before, but that was different. “
He declared that it was not lust, but love that he did not ask for but was drawn into. His biographers Terry Coleman and Michael Lunn claimed that Oliver cheated on other women during his affair with Leigh.
He and Leigh played as lovers in “Fire Over England” and traveled to Denmark to perform “Hamlet” together. Upon their return to England, they informed their respective spouses that they would end their marriages.
Shortly afterwards they moved together in Iver, Buckinghamshire, and shortly afterwards they were spending a month apart when Olivier moved to Hollywood for professional reasons in 1938.
During this time they wrote love letters to each other, which are now kept in the archives of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Olivier wrote in one:
“I woke up wanting you.”
To which Leigh replied, “If we only made love with our bodies, it would be fine. I love you with much more. I love you with, oh everything somehow, with a special kind of soul. “
Oliver later wrote again to his love, saying that it was on his mind and heart the whole time, adding, “I only exist until I see you again, and I just manage to do that.”
Leigh joined him a month later in California, partly because he was there and partly because she wanted to play Scarlett O’Hara.
Since they couldn’t get enough of each other, the duo also tried to be together professionally. It was challenging, however, as producer David O. Selznick believed it was best to keep their romance off screen until their divorces were over.
In early 1940, their two marriages were dissolved by February. The couple walked down the aisle of San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara that August.
Despite abandoning their spouses for each other, their marriage, which lasted more than 20 years, fell apart because of extramarital affairs and mental illness.
Leigh developed a drinking problem and her husband was bored with her suffocating affection. English playwright Noel Coward said Olivier seemed unhappy at the time.
Despite the visible rifts in their union, the actual downfall came a few years later, in 1948, when the couple went on a six-month tour of Australia. During this time Olivier realized that he had lost his wife.
Then they met Australian actor Peter Finch, with whom Leigh would have a year-long affair. Olivier hired Finch and that gave him a reason to move to England.
Meanwhile, Leigh’s mental health deteriorated in the early 1950s, and her husband often found her heartbroken, sitting on the corner of the bed sobbing in despair.
Her manic depression turned out to be a “scary bad monster”. Even after she admitted cheating with Finch in 1953, she and Olivier continued to fight for their marriage.
Leigh learned in 1956 that she was expecting something and stepped down from her role in a play. Tragically, she miscarried the day after her last appearance.
The incident triggered months of deep depression. As a result, Olivier began an affair with actress Joan Plowright, a married woman 22 years younger than him.
As Leigh’s emotional instability worsened, she threatened suicide in 1960. She and Olivier eventually separated and their divorce proceedings began in May 1960. They finalized in December.
Shortly thereafter, Olivier, then 53, remarried Plowright, 31, and the couple welcomed a son a year later and two daughters in the years that followed.
In September 2013, Olivier’s secret lover, Sarah Miles, with whom he had been on and off for 20 years, revealed that he had confessed to nearly killing Leigh.
Miles shared that the Oscar-winning actor told her stories about his ex-wife, including her mental health. She said he described her in a disturbing, cruel light.
However, Olivier had a dark side to him, too, and she revealed that he had once told her that before he and Leigh finally separated, he had pushed her aside during a row and she accidentally slipped and fell into the fireplace and hit her head. She said:
“Larry thought he killed her. When Vivien came by, he swore that he would surely kill her next time if he did not part with her. “
Aside from her rocking Hollywood love story with Olivier, Leigh was best known for her Oscar-winning roles in Gone With The Wind and Streetcar Named Desire (1951).
She often portrayed women in unhappy marriages on screen, such as Scarlett O’Hara, Lady Hamilton and Anna Karenina.
Leigh was born Vivien Mary Hartley on November 5, 1913 in Darjeeling, India. She and her parents lived in India for six years because of World War I, but later returned to England.
YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER HAPPEN
Unfortunately, Leigh died of tuberculosis in 1967 at the age of 53 after contracting it in Africa in the 1940s. Her daughter Suzanne Farrington also died at the age of 81.
She and her mother had a difficult relationship when Leigh put her career ahead of her and even married Olivier, leaving her and Holman behind.
Farrington also lived a private life away from the prying eyes of the public. She was married to Robin Farrington and had three sons. Suzanne was born in a London nursing home on October 10, 1933 and died on March 1, 2015.