Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh

It recently occurred to me that you hardly ever see pictures of Vivien Leigh where she isn’t in costume as either Scarlett O’Hara or Blanche DuBois. I felt suddenly, powerfully moved to remedy this fact.

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This circa 1935 shot feels like a very different look from what we generally associate with Leigh, though I can’t put my finger on precisely why. Maybe it’s the darker makeup?

Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh
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This photo from same period looks more familiar:

Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh

1935 again, as she “relaxes against a heap of cushions.” Do you reckon they bought that jacket for its utter perfection in black-and-white?

Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh
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A promo shot for Dark Journey, from 1937, “in which Leigh plays a French spy who falls in love with her German contact.” Again with the flirty head-tilt. Give this woman every secret we’ve got!

Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh
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The sad part is, Leigh felt like her stunning looks meant she didn’t get taken seriously. According to her Wikipedia page (I know, I know, but this one’s well-sourced), she once said: “People think that if you look fairly reasonable, you can’t possibly act, and as I only care about acting, I think beauty can be a great handicap, if you really want to look like the part you’re playing, which isn’t necessarily like you.” The entry also quotes George Cukor, who described her as a “consummate actress, hampered by beauty.”

Late 1938; they must’ve already cast her as Scarlett O’Hara—look at that eyebrow arch. (And what’s going on with that wallpaper?)

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Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh

At home with her cat (!!) in 1946:

Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh
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In Rome, with Laurence Olivier, 1953:

Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh
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1957, wearing a fur so white it probably glows in the dark:

Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh
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Meeting Ringo, of all people, 1964:

Illustration for article titled Apropos of Nothing, Some Stunning Pictures of Vivien Leigh
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Photos via Getty.

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