Vivien Leigh (born Vivian Mary Hartley, and also known as Lady Olivier after 1947; 5 November 1913 - 8 July 1967) was a British stage and film actress. She won two Academy Awards for Best Actress for her performances as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Blanche DuBois in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a role she had also played on stage in London's West End in 1949. She also won a Tony Award for her work in the Broadway musical version of Tovarich (1963).
After her drama school education, Leigh appeared in small roles in four films in 1935 and progressed to the role of heroine in Fire Over England (1937). Lauded for her beauty, Leigh felt that her physical attributes sometimes prevented her from being taken seriously as an actress. Despite her fame as a screen actress, Leigh was primarily a stage performer. During her 30-year career, she played roles ranging from the heroines of Noël Coward and George Bernard Shaw comedies to classic Shakespearean characters such as Ophelia, Cleopatra, Juliet, and Lady Macbeth. Later in life, she performed as a character actress in a few films.
The Seven Year Itch
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married at the age of sixteen. While working in a factory in 1944 as part of the war effort, she was introduced to a photographer from the First Motion Picture Unit and began a successful pin-up modeling career. The work led to short-lived film contracts with Twentieth Century-Fox (1946-47) and Columbia Pictures (1948). After a series of minor film roles, she signed a new contract with Fox in 1951.
Over the next two years, she became a popular actress with roles in several comedies, including As Young as You Feel and Monkey Business, and in the dramas Clash by Night and Don't Bother to Knock. Monroe faced a scandal when it was revealed that she had posed for nude photos before becoming a star, but rather than damaging her career, the story resulted in increased interest in her films.
By 1953, Monroe was one of the most marketable Hollywood stars, with leading roles in three films: the noir Niagara, which focused on her sex appeal, and the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, which established her star image as a "dumb blonde". Although she played a significant role in the creation and management of her public image throughout her career, she was disappointed at being typecast and underpaid by the studio.
She was briefly suspended in early 1954 for refusing a film project, but returned to star in one of the biggest box office successes of her career, The Seven Year Itch (1955).
Jean Harlow (March 3, 1911 - June 7, 1937) was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s.
Harlow was signed by director Howard Hughes, and her first major appearance was in Hell's Angels (1930), followed by a series of critically unsuccessful films before she signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1932. Harlow became a leading lady for MGM, starring in a string of hit films including Red Dust (1932), Dinner at Eight (1933), Reckless (1935), and Suzy (1936). Harlow's popularity rivaled and soon surpassed that of her MGM colleagues Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer.
She had become one of the biggest movie stars in the world by the late 1930s, often nicknamed the "Blond Bombshell" and the "Platinum Blonde"; she was also popular for her "Laughing Vamp" movie persona.
Harlow died at age 26 during the 1937 filming of Saratoga. The film was completed using body doubles and released a little over a month after Harlow's death. The American Film Institute ranked her as the 22nd greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema.
Samson and Delilah
After an early and brief film career
in C z e c h o s l o v a k i a that included
the controversial film
(1933 - in which Lamarr is very briefly seen swimming in the nude and running naked), she fled from her husband, a wealthy Austrian ammunition manufacturer, and secretly moved to Paris. There, she met MGM head Louis B. Mayer, who offered her a movie contract in Hollywood, where she became a film star from the late 1930s to the 1950s.
Lamarr appeared in numerous popular feature films, including Algiers (1938), I Take This Woman (1940), Comrade X (1940), Come Live With Me (1941), H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), and Samson and Delilah (1949).
Although she was dismayed and now disillusioned about taking other roles, the film gained world recognition after winning an award in Rome. Throughout Europe the film was considered an artistic work, while in America it was considered overly sexual and received negative publicity, especially among women's groups.
Lamarr went on to play a number of stage roles, including a starring one in Sissy, a play produced in Vienna, which won accolades from critics. Admirers sent roses to her dressing room and tried to get backstage to meet her. She sent most of them away, including a man who was more insistent, Friedrich Mandl. He became obsessed with getting to know her. Through his sheer force of personality and determination, and widely known as a major arms dealer, he finally succeeded in getting her attention. She fell for his charming and fascinating personality, and was naturally drawn to his immense financial status.