Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait

Through both an in-depth narrative and a stunning array of photos, Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait presents the personal story of one of the most celebrated women of the twentieth century, an engrossing tale of success, struggles, and triumphs. It chronicles Leigh’s journey from her birth in India to prominence in British film, winning the most-coveted role in Hollywood history, her celebrated love affair with Laurence Olivier, through to her untimely death at age fifty-three in 1967.


  • Nov 12th

    The Vivien Leigh Archives

    V&A curator Keith Lodwick discusses the recent acquisition of the Vivien Leigh Archives. Followed by discussion with BFI senior curator Nathalie Morris and author Kendra Bean.

  • Oct 1st

    Book of the month on TCM

    Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait will be featured as the Turner Classic Movies Book Corner Selection for October 2013!

  • Nov 28th

    Lecture @ National Portrait Gallery

    Actress Vivien Leigh is best known for her Academy Award-winning performances in Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, her popularity on the post-war British stage, and her twenty-year marriage to Sir Laurence Olivier. Kendra Bean, author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, discusses the fascinating life of this extraordinary star.


Kendra Bean has an MA in Film Studies from King’s College London. Her writing on Vivien Leigh and cinema has been published in numerous film publications and she has participated in the production of exhibits and documentaries relating to classic film. She is the designer and editor of, an online historical archive and blog dedicated to Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, classic Hollywood, and world cinema.


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