The name Leigh always rings a bell mostly in the entertainment arena, the major reason being that it is attached to two important personalities in the industry – Jennifer Jason Leigh and Vivien Leigh. How these two came to share the same surname is explained in this piece. Are the actresses related in any way? These and a lot more facts about the two actresses we will unveil as you read on.
Who Is Jennifer Jason Leigh?
Jennifer was born right in the heart of the American entertainment industry. She was born in Hollywood, California, on February 5, 1962, as Jennifer Leigh Marrow but changed her name to Jennifer Jason Leigh when she started acting.
Jennifer’s parents are Barbara Turner and Vic Marrow. Her father was an actor and director while her mother was an actress and screenwriter. Her parents got married in 1957 and after 7 years of marriage, they got divorced and each remarried. Vic married Gale Lester and divorced her 4 years into the marriage while Barbara married Iranian-American filmmaker Reza Badiyi and they also divorced years later. Both of Jennifer’s parents are late now, her father died on July 23, 1982, aged 53, while her mum died on April 5, 2016, aged 79.
Jennifer has two siblings, an older sister, and a younger half-sister. Her older sister is Carrie Ann Marrow. Carrie Ann is late now, she died in 2017. Jennifer’s younger half-sister is Mina Badie who was born to Jennifer’s mother and her stepfather Reza Badiyi. Mina is an actress and she once starred alongside her stepsister in the 2001 comedy-drama film The Anniversary Party.
Jennifer once found love, she met Noah Baumbach in 2001. Noah is a film writer and director. They met while they were working on a film and started dating right from that moment and on September 2, 2005, they got married. Five years after their marriage, they welcomed their only child, a son named Rohmer Emmanuel, born on March 17, 2010. With the arrival of their first child, one would expect a very happy family, but things went wrong for some reason as Jennifer filed for a divorce 8 months after the birth of Emmanuel, on November 15, 2010. Their divorce was finalized three years later, in September 2013.
Who Was Vivien Leigh?
Vivien Leigh was a British film and stage actress and was active from 1935 to 1967. She was born as Vivian Mary Hartley on November 5, 1913, in Darjeeling, Bengal Presidency, British India. Her parents were Gertrude Mary Frances and Ernest Richard Hartley. Because of the nature of work her dad did as a financial broker, her family moved across Europe a lot and Vivien ended up schooling in several European countries. It helped her learn different languages as she was fluent in French and Italian. She made her first stage appearance when she was 3 years old. Her role was to recite Little Bo Peep on stage for her mother’s amateur theatre group.
One film which Vivien will forever be remembered for is the 1939 epic historical romance film Gone with the Wind where she played the role of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of Ellen and Gerald O’Hara. Her role in the film earned Vivien her first Academy Award, winning in the category of “Best Actress”.
In 1951, Vivien starred in A Streetcar Named Desire. Her role in the film as the lead character Blanche DuBois won Vivien her second Academy Award and once again in the category of “Best Actress”.
Vivien was married twice during her lifetime, first was to Herbert Leigh Holman, with whom she had her only child Suzanne Farrington. Her second husband was Sir Laurence Oliver and they were married for 20 years before their divorce.
Vivien died on July 8, 1967, in London, England, aged 53.
Are Jennifer Jason Leigh and Vivien Leigh Related?
It is very common to have two different persons share similar last names and not have any relationship and the case of Jennifer and Vivien is not different
Jennifer and Vivien do share one thing in common – they are both actresses but their differences appear to be more than what connects them. From the biographies of the two actresses, and after further investigating their family histories, we have come to the discovery that the two actresses are not in any way related, except for the fact that they share the same surname. The pair lived in different generations, Jennifer was just 5 years old when Vivien died and a few might think that Vivien might just be Jennifer’s mother but that is not the case as Jennifer has a different mother. Also, Vivien lived in Europe for the majority of her life, while Jennifer was born, raised, and lives in the United States.