Truth Christchurch, New Zealand
October 20, 1948
“Have you seen the Oliviers?” This is the question which has occupied New Zealanders to the exclusion of almost every other topic. Of the hundreds who have been lucky enough to see the famous theatrical couple both on and off stage, there are many thousands more who can read about them only in the headlines. What do the Oliviers really look like? is another burning query. Prompted by photographs which barely hint at the real personalities of Sir Laurence and his quite lovely lady, it can be said that they are all that has been most optimistically remarked about them.
Wellington, like other places visited by the Oliviers, greeted them warmly.
Many famous people have been welcomed in the capital city, but few have occasioned the excitement which preceded the appearance of the Oliviers, or was attendant upon their arrival.
Everyone present was on tiptoe, figuratively and literally.
The first impression gained of the Oliviers is their simplicity and complete naturalness. They have charm; such an abundance of it that the much over-exploited term glamor finds an authentic mark.
As first gentleman and lady of the British stage and screen, they embody the glitter and romance of the theatre; personify the Prince Charming and lovely princess of every fairytale.
If Sir Laurence, with his compelling personality and striking good looks is the stage ideal of every woman, the Lady Olivier (Vivien Leigh) is the dream heroine of every man.
She has the perfection of a Dresden-china figure, with her ivory skin, lustrous dark hair and the dramatic effect of heavily-lashed gray-green eyes.
That she is a man’s woman has been amusingly demonstrated at all the public gatherings at which she has appeared both her and in Australia.
By some subtle but inevitable process, Lady Olivier finds herself on such occasions drawn aside among a male entourage, while Sir Laurence becomes and inevitable target for feminine attention.
It was at one of these functions that “Truth” took the opportunity of presenting Lady Olivier with a picture of a prize Siamese cat. These are her beloved household pets, and she was quite delighted to have a pictured reminder of them.
“Once you have kept a Siamese cat,” she said, “you would never have any other kind. They make wonderful pets and are so intelligent they follow you around like little dogs. Though they are described as delicate, they are not really difficult to rear, and can be inoculated against influenza.
“Apparently,” she added, “you have quite a number of Siamese cats here in new Zealand, for I’ve received several letters already from people who keep them…”
She smiled again as she was drawn off to another masculine group of admirers.