Long-lost Letters Have Exposed The Secrets Of Vivien Leigh And Laurence Olivier’s Steamy Affair

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

It was positively scandalous when actors Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh got together. Both of them were already married when they fell for each other, and after they hooked up their tryst eventually became public knowledge. But the world didn’t know their most intimate thoughts on the affair until many years later, when letters came to light.

Image: Collection: Bettmann/Getty Images

Leigh and Olivier had a deeply passionate relationship – their recently recovered letters attest to that. But it was also a difficult one. Leigh struggled with mental illness at a time when it was barely understood, let alone properly medicated. And their marriage, when it finally happened, was full of ups and downs.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: London Film Productions/United Artists/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

As fans of either legendary actor no doubt know, the marriage didn’t last. But the love between them, it seems, actually did. Right up until Leigh’s death Olivier sent her loving messages. Their story was one worthy of a Hollywood movie itself, and the letters documenting their relationship only add to it.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT