Gielgud as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, 1959
Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939)
The Palace Theatre, in the City of Westminster, London, built in 1891
Centre: Marion, Kate and Ellen Terry and, far right, Fred Terry at Ellen's Silver Jubilee matinée, Drury Lane, 12 June 1906. Everyone shown was a member of the Terry family.
Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939)
The London Palladium in Soho opened in 1910. While the Theatre has a resident show, it also has one-off performances such as concerts. Since 1930 it has hosted the Royal Variety Performance 43 times.
Noël Coward with Lilian Braithwaite, his, and later Gielgud's, co-star in The Vortex
Clark Gable and Leigh strike an amorous pose in Gone with the Wind (1939)
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Opened in May 1663, it is the oldest theatre in London.
Mrs Patrick Campbell and Edith Evans, 1920s co-stars with Gielgud
Leigh's portrayal of Scarlett O'Hara
Original interior of Savoy Theatre in 1881, the year it became the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Gielgud honed his skill as a Shakespearean
Leigh and Laurence Olivier in That Hamilton Woman (1941)
The Lyceum Theatre, home to Disney's The Lion King.
Mabel Terry-Lewis, Gielgud's aunt and co-star in The Importance of Being Earnest
Leigh and Olivier in Australia, June 1948
Queen's Theatre showing Les Misérables, running in London since October 1985
Peggy Ashcroft in 1936
As Blanche DuBois, from the trailer for the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
The restored facade of the Dominion Theatre, as seen in 2017
Gielgud in a publicity photograph for Secret Agent (1936)
Photograph by Roloff Beny, 1958
The St Martin's Theatre, home to The Mousetrap, the world's longest-running play.
Interior of the Queen's Theatre
Regarded as one of the most beautiful actresses of her era, Leigh was also acclaimed for her performances on the stage and the screen.
The exterior of the Old Vic
Gielgud and Dolly Haas in Crime and Punishment, Broadway, 1947
English Heritage blue plaque at Leigh's final home at 54 Eaton Square in Belgravia
The Royal Court Theatre. Upstairs is used as an experimental space for new projects—The Rocky Horror Show premiered here in 1973.
Edmond O'Brien (Casca, left) and Gielgud (Cassius) in Julius Caesar (1953)
West End theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue in 2016
Gielgud, 1953
Gilbert and Sullivan play at the Savoy in 1881
Much Ado About Nothing: Gielgud as Benedick and Margaret Leighton as Beatrice, 1959
Victoria Palace Theatre (showing Billy Elliot in 2012) was refurbished in 2017.
Gielgud (left) as Joseph Surface, and Ralph Richardson as Sir Peter Teazle, The School for Scandal, 1962
Gielgud in 1973, by Allan Warren

She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, for her definitive performances as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Blanche DuBois in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a role she had also played on stage in London's West End in 1949.

- Vivien Leigh

After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.

- John Gielgud

A number of other actors made their West End debut prior to the Second World War, including John Gielgud, Alec Guinness and Vivien Leigh.

- West End theatre

John Gielgud directed Twelfth Night and wrote, "... perhaps I will still make a good thing of that divine play, especially if he will let me pull her little ladyship (who is brainier than he but not a born actress) out of her timidity and safeness. He dares too confidently ... but she hardly dares at all and is terrified of overreaching her technique and doing anything that she has not killed the spontaneity of by overpractice."

- Vivien Leigh

Gielgud made no more films for the next ten years; he turned down the role of Julius Caesar in the 1945 film of Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra with Vivien Leigh.

- John Gielgud
Gielgud as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, 1959

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Olivier in 1972

Laurence Olivier

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Olivier in 1972
The house in Wathen Road, Dorking, Surrey, where Olivier was born in 1907
Interior of All Saints, Margaret Street
Peggy Ashcroft, a contemporary and friend of Olivier's at the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, photographed in 1936
Olivier, with his first wife Jill Esmond (left), in 1932
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Olivier honed his skill as a Shakespearean
Olivier, with Merle Oberon in the 1939 film Wuthering Heights
Olivier with Joan Fontaine in the 1940 film Rebecca
Overseas newspaper correspondents visit the set of Henry V at Denham Studios in 1943
Co-director and co-star: Ralph Richardson in the 1940s
Olivier with Leigh in Australia, 1948
Olivier and Leigh in 1957
Olivier, with Joan Plowright in The Entertainer on Broadway in 1958
Poster for Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, one of two films in which Olivier appeared in 1960
Laurence Olivier in 1972, during the production of Sleuth
Olivier in 1939

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, (22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, was one of a trio of male actors who dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century.

In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, and he appeared in his first film.

He was married three times, to the actresses Jill Esmond from 1930 to 1940, Vivien Leigh from 1940 to 1960, and Joan Plowright from 1961 until his death.