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18 Facts about Vivien Leigh


Beautiful Viven Leigh was only 25 years old when she filmed the movie for which she'd be most remembered, Gone With the Wind. At the time, Barbara O'Neil, the actress who played her mother in the film, was aged 28. 

The role of Scarlett O'Hara was coveted by every famous actress of the day, including Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn and Paulette Goddard. Beating out hundreds of actresses for the role of Scarlett, Leigh may not have realized what she was in for.

Over the course of the film shoot, Leigh worked 6, 16-hour days a week for 125 days. Actress Cammie Conlon, who played her daughter Bonnie Blue, remembered Leigh looking worn down. 

“I have candids of her taken on set. She is exhausted... She was in every scene, almost."

In spite of Leigh's hard work, she only earned a fraction of the salary that her costar Clark Gable did, although he wasn't in nearly as many scenes. Gable's 71-day stint made him $120,000. For Leigh's 125 days of work, she received $25,000. 

Read more interesting facts about Vivien Leigh at Mental Floss. 

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By the time GWtW was filmed, Gable was an Academy Award winner in 1935, again nominated in 1936 and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood's Golden Age; Leigh was pretty well a nobody. Just like modern actors, sports players or so many careers, Gable simply had the ability to demand more for his presence.

Great flick, though. I went in expecting a soap opera and came out duly impressed.
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