photography vivien leigh

Vivien Leigh: The Last Sitting

Vivien Leigh by Angus McBean

Vivien Leigh by Angus McBean

Vivien Leigh by Angus McBean

Four original Angus McBean portraits from the last sitting he did with Vivien Leigh in 1965. They’re all signed and dated, and I only recall one of them from the book Vivien: A Love Affair in Camera. The others are new to me. As you know, McBean was Vivien’s “official” photographer and snapped her numerous times throughout her career for the stage and general fashion shots. I purchased this set today from a very nice collector here in London who has worked on several famous documentaries, including the Emmy-winning Laurence Olivier: A Life. Aren’t they fantastic? The detail is so sharp when looking at them in person and you can tell where touch-ups were made. These are real treasures, I’m so happy and honored to add them to my collection!

Kendra has been the weblady at since 2007. She lives in Yorkshire and is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, and co-author of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies (Running Press). Follow her on Twitter @kendrajbean, Instagram at @vivandlarrygram, or at her official website.

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Comments (15)

  1. Wow what a find! They are beautiful! I recognize only one of them from the book, as well. That’s so cool that the collector you got them from worked on the Olivier documentary!

  2. What a find,well done for tracking them down.All you need to do now is to put a Mc in front of your own name and you can carry on as ‘photographer to the stars!!!’…

  3. are these photographs available anywhere in a downloadable high resolution format? i wish i could see all the details. they’re really beautyful. would you like post your complete collection maybe in the future? i’m sure a lot of us were glad to see it;)

    1. No, they aren’t, sorry. I used to have most of my collection in picture form on the site a few years ago, but decided to take it down. However, many of my magazines and photos can be found in the site gallery, nd clicking on the “collecta-belle” tag will take you to some entries about my favorite items. 🙂 Also, I was recently features over at Clara’s If I Had To Pick 4 series.

  4. I’m a little confused,the photo’s you have acquired are dated 1965.The last shots McBean took of Vivien were those for A ‘Delicate Balance’ just a few weeks before her death a couple of years later.Do you think he might have confused the dates or are these from an altogther different sitting??…

    1. They’re from the same sitting, but I can think of two things: either he mixed up the dates when he wrote his book, or someone else mislabeled the photos later

  5. I’m pleased to say that I picked up one of these on ebay last year!!
    I cannot begin to say what a kick it gives me to have an signed Angus McBean photo of Vivien ….It don’t get much better..!!

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