Michael Parkinson, one of Britain’s most famous TV broadcasters and journalists, had a chat series called Parkinson that started in 1971. Prior to this, he hosted Cinema on Granada television, in which he interviewed actors about their film careers. His first star interview was with Laurence Olivier in 1969. The interview was conducted in Olivier’s National Theatre office in Aquinas Street.
This is a wonderful discussion that shows how charming and intelligent Larry was. It is interesting to hear him talk about his film career, as we know cinema was not his favorite medium.
Submitted to vivandlarry.com by Chris.
In 1959, Vivien Leigh gave her only full-length television performance in a filmed version of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth. She plays Lily-Sabina Fairweather (often just called Sabina in the play), a character she had made famous nearly 15 years earlier on the London stage. This adaptation was televised live by Granada Television and today is virtually non-existent. We weren’t sure if it was still out there, or if it had been locked away in some vault, or worse yet, lost or destroyed. So imagine my surprise and utter delight when I received an email from a vivandlarry.com visitor saying she had an archive copy and wanted to send it over!
Though there are three acts in Wilder’s play, only the first two are shown in this broadcast. We aren’t sure if Act 3 was even filmed. Vivien is a delight to watch. In her original run back in 1945-46, critic James Agate described her as “half dabchick, half dragonfly.” She brings the same flirtatiousness and comedic timing to this performance, and never misses a beat. I really like how this TV production was staged, substituting the cameras for the audience. I also think it’s funny how Vivien plays two characters: Sebina, and Ms. Sommerset (the actress playing Sebina within the play). Her accent swiftly changes from a Scarlett-Blanche hybrid to her normal posh British at the drop of a hat. George Devine provides good comedic support as Mr. Antrobus.
This program is truly a lost treasure (you can see it in 2 parts below), and I am very proud to be presenting it here at vivandlarry.com!
Submitted to vivandlarry.com by Marina.
Laurence Olivier gets funny on the popular British sitcom/variety The Morecambe and Wise 1973 Christmas Special.
Sent to vivandlarry.com by Chris
In 1972, Laurence Olivier made his one and only television commercial for product endorsement–the Polaroid SX-70, a then-state-of-the-art Polaroid camera. Where can I get one?
Sent to vivandlarry.com by Carolina
Edward R. Murrow’s television program Small World aired in 1958 and 1959. The show operated as a forum in which a handful of famous people talked about certain topics. This episode, featuring Vivien Leigh, Sam Goldwyn, and Kenneth Tynan, aired on December 28, 1958. I find this amazing bit of TV history to be very interesting considering how hard Tynan was on Vivien in his reviews in the Observer. In this episode, she fires right back at him. You stay classy, Vivien Leigh!
Sent to vivandlarry.com by Mark