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The Hollywood Reporter‘s executive editor, features Stephen Galloway is writing a dual biography of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. A Pact With the Devil: Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier and the Romance of the Century will be published by Grand Central Publishing.
It is being pitched as a modern exploration of Leigh’s battle with mental illness set against the sweeping changes of mid-20th century history, taking the story from the waning days of the British Raj (Leigh was born in India in 1913) through World War II to the social revolution of the 1960s. The book will draw heavily on new material, including previously unreleased correspondence. Galloway recently explored some of the Olivier-Leigh letters.
Leigh and Olivier met in the mid-1930s and began an affair in 1936. They married in 1940, after divorcing their respective spouses. While married, the pair appeared in numerous plays together and three films. They divorced in 1960, after 20 years of marriage. Leigh died of tuberculosis in 1967 at the young age of 53. Olivier outlived her by 22 years, passing away in 1989.
Galloway is the author of Leading Lady, a biography of former Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing, which was published in 2017.
Suzanne O’Neill acquired the book for GCP. Galloway was represented by Jennifer Joel of ICM Partners.