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They were one of the most beautiful couples in Hollywood. But their love did not stand the test of difficulties.
It was love at first sight, born in the London theater during the production of the most romantic Shakespearean story. Strong and passionate Laurence Olivier in the role of Romeo instantly won the heart of his very young spectator Vivien Leigh. A little later, she exclaimed emotionally: "I will marry this man!" And so it happened.
Her obsession was so strong that later, when their fateful acquaintance with Lawrence took place, the actress was not stopped either by her own marriage, or by her one-year-old daughter Suzanne, or by the fact that her lover was also not free. Lee was so carried away by Olivier that she did not miss a single performance with his participation. She penetrated behind the scenes, took the initiative in communication and, as a result, charmed the actor with her assertiveness and natural charm.
Glory and other stars who became parents early
Nastya Slanevskaya became a star by accident. In 2002, director Sergei Kalvarsky noticed a girl at karaoke. So Anastasia turned into a singer Slava. At the age of 17, Anastasia Slanevskaya became pregnant. The father of Alexandra's daughter, Konstantin Morozov, was engaged in business, but he and Slava had different views on life. Soon after the birth of Sasha in 1999, the couple broke up, but Slava did everything possible so that her child did not need anything. Now Anastasia already has two children: the eldest Alexandra and the youngest Antonina, who was born in 2011 from businessman Anatoly Danilitsky. Young Sasha already has a serious relationship, but Slava is not afraid that her daughter will repeat her fate. The singer is sure that she will be a great grandmother.
Acquaintance and first difficulties
The romance of a rising star and an accomplished actor began in 1936 on the set of Flames Over England. The lovers could not hide their feelings, but it was not possible to officially announce the relationship - both husband Vivienne and wife Olivier refused to give a divorce.
Then, not giving a damn about prohibitions and obstacles, the actors nevertheless began to live together. True, the idyll did not last long. Soon, the celebrities had to part. Lawrence flew to America to play Heathcliff in the film adaptation of Wuthering Heights, while Vivienne remained in England. But the unexpected news that his beloved injured his leg on the set made the film star urgently drop everything and fly to him. At that time, the actress did not even imagine that this particular trip would be fateful.
In America, Vivienne almost immediately met the brother of the producer, who for two years could not find an actress for the role of Scarlet O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. Vivienne immediately understood: this is a chance! She went to the casting and, leaving 1,400 applicants behind, got the lead role in her life. Surprisingly, Olivier was strongly against the participation of his beloved in this project, but no one could stop the actress.
Filming completely exhausted Vivienne. She literally lived her role. The audience fully appreciated the talent of the rising star, and she deservedly received her first Oscar for Best Actress. Meanwhile, the relationship of the actress was not so smooth. Lawrence became jealous of Lee's success. Still: the recent patron of a budding protégé, now he himself was in the shadow of her glory. Vivienne had to prove to Olivier with all his might that he was an outstanding actor. During another loud scandal, the coveted statuette flew out the window.
Despite the disagreements, the lovers still managed to cope with the misunderstanding. They finally broke off relations with previous partners and decided to have a secret wedding.
Soon after the wedding, the happy newlyweds accepted an offer to star in the film Lady Hamilton, where Olivier played Admiral Nelson and Vivienne played his beloved Emma. The painting was highly praised by critics. Many noted that Lee's heroine is simply charming, but the image of Lawrence's character seemed far-fetched. Here, the difference in the creative approaches of the two great actors became especially visible. For Lawrence, the game has always stood next to the business, while Vivienne lived her whole life with each of her heroines.
Beginning of the End
Over time, the relationship between the spouses worsened, but they tried to ignore the problems. To distract from negative thoughts, Lawrence and Vivienne decided to stage "Romeo and Juliet" in memory of their love. During the work on the play, the couple's relationship finally soured.
The production turned out to be a failure. However, everyone once again noted Lee's brilliant performance. Olivier was reproached for being the worst Romeo in history. The actor took criticism painfully. Lawrence realized that he was no longer a great British actor, but only the husband of the legendary film star. This hit his self-esteem hard. Vivien's support did not help: Olivier could not believe that his beloved had surpassed him in his career.
Family problems were aggravated by the fact that for 20 years of marriage, the spouses did not manage to have children. Olivier always dreamed of becoming a father, but all his hopes were dashed. Around the same time, Vivien was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The star could not refuse filming, and the disease did not recede.
Li began to have nervous breakdowns. Vivien's sudden mood swings were accompanied by seizures, after which the actress completely forgot how she behaved. Lawrence found it increasingly difficult to understand his beloved. Later, Li even had to undergo compulsory treatment in a psychiatric clinic. Psychotropic drugs caused her bouts of depression, and with the consent of her husband, the film star was treated with electric shock. From now on, she was not destined to become the same.
In the meantime, Lawrence began to twist intrigues with young actresses. By the time Vivienne returned from the hospital, he was having an affair with the aspiring star Joan Plowright. As a result, Lawrence decided to divorce Lee. She bravely endured a new blow and calmly let go of her ex-husband.
Nevertheless, even while in a relationship with another man, the actress continued to love Olivier and kept his photo on the dressing table, hoping that he would come back someday. But the miracle did not happen.
Lawrence realized what a mistake he had made too late. On July 8, 1967, after discovering that Vivienne was dead, her common-law husband Jack Merrivail called Olivier with a request to come. Lawrence rushed in immediately. He stood for a long time at the bedside of his beloved woman, cried, asked for forgiveness for the fact that their feelings could not withstand all the trials that befell them. However, he did not know that Vivienne had forgiven him for a long time.