Revealed: Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh's Love Letters

And they're pretty steamy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2015 6:58 PM CST
Revealed: Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh's Love Letters
This file photo shows actors Merle Oberon, left, and Laurence Olivier, second from left, in a scene from the film "Wuthering Heights," with actor David Niven, 1939.   (AP Photo/File)

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh embarked on an epic affair in 1936 while playing lovers in Fire Over England; after keeping their relationship secret for four years, they married, only to divorce in 1960. Throughout that time—and even after they divorced—they wrote passionate letters to each other; 200 of those letters, never before published, will now be made public, reports the Guardian, which has a number of sample lines:

  • "I woke up absolutely raging with desire for you my love," Olivier wrote to Leigh in 1938 or 1939. "Oh dear God how I did want you. Perhaps you were stroking your darling self. Oh dear sweet, I haven't done anything. I've often thought of it, but it isn't that I want to satisfy myself so much because I wouldn't do that without you, so I'm not going to if I can help it. I know it won't be right or do any good. If we loved each other only with our bodies I suppose it would be alright. I love you with much more than that. I love you with, oh everything somehow, with a special kind of soul."

  • Another from him to her reads: "I am sitting naked with just my parts wrapped in your panties. My longing for you is so intense. ... I'm loving and adoring and want you so."
  • "I have come to the conclusion you're very naughty," he wrote to her in 1939. "We are a popular scandal, or rather a public one. Therefore it is only reasonably good taste to be as unobtrusive as possible. Can you dance and be gay and carry on like the gay happy hypocrite days? No my love you cannot. Why because of your fame, tripled with our situation—quadrupled with the fame there off [sic]."
  • "Oh sweet Baba. If we were together I expect this would seem quite exciting, but then that applies to everything in life," Leigh wrote to her then-husband in 1950.
  • In another letter, she wrote, "Whenever you think of me my Larry-boy you will know I am with you adoringly Vivien."
Interestingly, the letters, held in the Victoria and Albert Museum archives, also reveal that both Olivier and Leigh thought Gone With the Wind would fail. (More Vivien Leigh stories.)

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