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The talented actress, who shone on the screen in the twentieth century, for many years has remained the standard of femininity and beauty. She was called a Hollywood legend, she had thousands of fans and one big love. And Vivien Leigh also had an only daughter, Suzanne, about whom the star mother did not talk too often. The girl had to live for a long time away from her mother, who was enthusiastically building her career, and having matured, Suzanne Farrington (nee Holman) never tried to receive dividends from the fame of Vivien Leigh.
Daughter without mother
Little Suzanne was born in October 1933, when her mother was not even 20 years old. Then Vivian (the real name of the actress) was married to lawyer Herbert Lee Holman and did not experience any enthusiastic emotions. She even told her friend that baby Holman is very small and so far no one can be proud of her. In addition, the future movie star admitted: she is oppressed by the very thought that the baby needs to be fed for months.
Undoubtedly, Vivienne loved her daughter, like all mothers, but she could not even allow the thought of leaving the profession for the sake of Suzanne. A whole staff of nannies was hired for the baby, and the future star began to build an artistic career. Vivien Leigh's family faded into the background, and soon she met Laurence Olivier, whom she fell in love with.
Over time, the actress convinced Herbert Lee Holman to divorce her, while the actress's first husband always remained a close friend to her. In the difficult moments of Vivien Leigh's life, he was always there. By a court decision, little Suzanne remained under the tutelage of her father.
Suzanne was not as beautiful and talented as her mother. She was the most ordinary girl who wanted more than anything to have her mother by her side when she was sick or celebrating her birthday. But the baby saw Vivien Leigh too rarely. When World War II broke out, Suzanne went to Canada with her grandmother Gertrude Hartley, mother Vivien Leigh. First, they stayed with a relative, then Suzanne was assigned to a monastery school in Vancouver.
In 1940, Vivien Leigh arrived in Vancouver to visit her daughter. This visit came with very unpleasant consequences. Firstly, the arrival of a star of this magnitude attracted a lot of attention, and secondly, after her visit, threats about the kidnapping of the actress's daughter began to sound.
The abbess of the monastery school then asked to transfer Suzanne to another school, as she might endanger other children. As a result, the actress's daughter was transferred to a regular school, and her grandmother had to stay in Canada with her granddaughter, contrary to her plans. In 1942, screenwriter and director David Selznick offered to film the nine-year-old Suzanne in the film "Jen Eyre" as the main character as a child, but the girl's father, Herbert Lee Holman, was categorically opposed to her daughter following in her mother's footsteps.
After returning to England, Suzanne Holman studied at the Sherborne School for Girls, then at a boarding school for noble maidens in Switzerland. In 1951, the girl entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Despite her father's protests, Suzanne still wanted to become an actress, but two years later she left her youthful dreams with her studies. After Suzanne began teaching at the Academy of Beauty Culture of her grandmother in Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge.
All these years, the girl hardly saw her mother, who remembered the birthdays of almost all the members of the film crew, but often forgot about the date of birth of her only child. The story of one letter is very eloquent in this light.
When Suzanne returned to England after graduating from a Swiss boarding school, she wrote to her mother a touching message, where she told her how she could not wait to see her mother again, to talk to her. And Vivienne … she just forwarded a letter to her ex-husband, accompanying it with the words: "They are so cute and funny …" together with his mother and father in Italy in 1957.
In early December 1957, Suzanne married an insurance broker and executive director, Robin Farrington, who was five years older than his chosen one. The acquaintance of the future son-in-law with the mother of the bride turned out to be very curious. When Vivien Leigh entered the living room where Robin was, he went up to her to shake hands with Suzanne's mother. The cat, which was in the hands of Vivien Leigh, immediately dug into the hand of the unlucky groom and he reacted almost with lightning speed, throwing the animal flying across the room. Fortunately, for Robin, this did not entail any consequences.
Suzanne and Robin Farrington were happily married for 45 years and became the parents of three sons, Neville, Rupert and Jonathan.
In 1967, Vivien Leigh passed away, leaving her fortune and archive to her daughter. In subsequent years, Suzanne was upset by the flood of books dedicated to her mother and revealing the hard-hitting and far from always true details of her life.
She categorically refused to give anyone the archive and gave her consent to the transfer of some of the papers only after receiving a recommendation from Peter Healy, head of Laurence Olivier Production. Subsequently, Suzanne collaborated with Hugo Vickers, who was allowed to work with the papers of her grandmother and mother, and even accompanied him on trips to his mother's friends. After the release of Hugo Vickers' book in 1988, Suzanne Farrington admitted that this was the only biography of Vivien Leigh she read without embarrassment.
In 2002, Suzanne's husband died, and she herself spent her last years finding consolation in communicating with numerous friends, traveling, skiing and tennis, playing bridge. She never intended to write memories of her mother, considering it impossible for herself to receive any dividends from her fame. She loved her mother too much.
On March 1, 2015, Suzanne Farrington passed away in Lower Zils, Wiltshire, as quietly and calmly as she had lived. As if in this mournful hour she did not want to attract attention to herself.
"Gone with the Wind" and "A Streetcar Named Desire" brought Vivien Leigh "Oscar" and world fame, her beauty and talent were admired by millions of viewers, she became the standard of femininity and grace for thousands of fans. But then a misfortune happened to her, which instantly destroyed her personal happiness and professional success, and also became the reason for premature leaving at 53 …