It’s been a while since we plumbed our trusty email bag, so we hope to make up for some lost time today.
Reader Rosamund Forbes responded to our posting on the mental and emotional travails of Vivien Leigh (VIVIEN LEIGH — Sex and Sir Larry published on July 26, 2012) during her marriage to Laurence Olivier.
I too met the Olivier’s once in the Fifties when they where appearing in ‘The Sleeping Prince.’ (The Terence Rattigan play opened in London in 1953, with Leigh and Olivier costarred. Marilyn Monroe bought the movie rights and costarred with Olivier in the 1957 screen version titled The Prince and the Showgirl.)
I also asked them for their autographs after the show.
Laurence Olivier never took his eyes of VL. He seemed very tense and quickly took her away to a waiting car.
I think she had been ill previously where she had been having ECT treatment at a hospital in Surrey as she had a nervous breakdown when making the 1954 ‘Elephant Walk’ film with Peter Finch and had to leave the film. (Her replacement was Elizabeth Taylor.)
To me when I met her she had a very far away look in her eyes, and seemed very agitated but she was very charming to me, and signed the programme of the play which I still have to this day.
Thanks for the memory, and hold on to that souvenir.
From regular reader Mike Sheridan in response to our May 27 blog, DIETRICH and World War II:
Guys, you continuously bring out the best. Dietrich was definitely in the top 5 movie actresses of all time, not solely for acting ability but star factor. Oh my. I have an album of her 1959 Rio concert produced by Burt Bacharach, and she is truly amazing in that too.
Thanks, and we will have to take another listen.
In response to our June 8 Deanna Durbin Monday Quiz, Mark writes:
Deanna’s third feature film, 1938′s MAD ABOUT MUSIC, is scheduled to be shown at the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus Theater on June 20th. Here’s a link to the program:
Thanks, Mark. Deanna Durbin lives on.
Finally, Bill contributed this interesting observation in reference to our May 6 blog, Was ALAN LADD Really All That Short?:
Ladd, Cagney, Robinson, Bogart were all roughly the same height. I think Warners was better than Ladd’s studio Paramount at keeping embarrassing facts hidden. Plus Ladd was clearly costarred with taller women, like Shelley Winters and Sophia Loren. The latter, in her first movie, innocently told of having to walk in a trench next to him.
You have a point, Bill. By the way, Humphrey Bogart stool 5 feet 8 inches tall; Edward G. Robinson, 5 feet 7; James Cagney, 5 feet 6-and-1/2; and the shorter Ladd, 5-feet 6-and-1/4 inches.