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Vivien Leigh Archive Acquired By London Museum

Vivien Leigh Collection

Vivien Leigh’s archive was acquired by a London museum. The collection includes Leigh’s personal diary, love letters, photographs, scripts, and awards. The Victoria & Albert museum acquired the collection 100 years after Leigh was born.

As reported by Los Angeles Times, the V&A museum houses the United Kingdom’s national collection of theater and performing arts. It has been called “the world’s greatest museum of art and design.” Current museum exhibitions include London fashion in the 80s, and a visualized narrative.

Vivien Leigh was born in India to European parents. Leigh moved to England with her parents at the age of six.

As reported by Biography.com, Leigh attended numerous schools throughout Europe. She eventually studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic art.

In 1953, Leigh appeared in her first film. Her performance in The Bash caught the attention of producer Sydney Carroll. Vivien Leigh was offered the lead role in Things are Looking Up.

Vivien got her big break when she was cast as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. Director George Cukor was looking for a girl who appeared to be “possessed of the devil and charged with electricity.”

Cukor was taking a risk casting a British actress in the role. However, his decision paid off. The film became a legend.

Vivien Leigh married Laurence Olivier in 1940. The couple appeared together in several films and stage productions.

Throughout the years, Leigh struggled with mental illness. She was reportedly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was given electroshock therapy, however her condition declined.

Despite her illness, Leigh continued to star in numerous London productions, including A StreetCar Named Desire, Antony and Cleopatra, and Caesar and Cleopatra.

At the age of 53, Vivien Leigh died of tuberculosis. The entire theater district in London blacked out their lights for an hour.

Vivien Leigh’s archive includes many items that are unknown and have never been displayed. Fans are eager to see the priceless collection.

[Image via Flickr]

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