According to IMDb, the charming and classy actor David Niven appeared in movies like “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956) and “The Pink Panther” (1963). In 1959, he won the Academy Award for best actor for his performance in the movie “Separate Tables,” taking home the top acting prize. His lengthy career gave him the opportunity to meet many other talented performers, with whom he became friends.
Niven not only excelled as an actor but also as a writer. He was a gifted writer who produced four novels over his life, two of which were memoirs. According to Niven’s official website, his 1971 autobiography “The Moon’s a Balloon” was the first and was a big hit. Niven described his experiences in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s in his 1975 book “Bring On the Empty Horses,” which was released a few years later. This book contained a lot of intriguing disclosures and anecdotes, such as one involving an actress he simply referred to as “Missie.”
SOME THINK IT’S LANA TURNER
There has been much debate on who Niven’s “Missie” was ever since “Bring on the Empty Horses” hit the book shelves. According to Vanity Fair, he wrote a section of his memoir about this actress, portraying her as being quite unstable. She had a drug problem and had suffered abuse at the hands of the movie companies, according to Niven, who called her a magnificent beauty. Missie’s career and appearance both suffered as she descended more into drug addiction. She also struggled with mental health problems.
Niven wrote of a terrifying encounter he had with Missie. He made an effort to assist her even though she was experiencing a mental collapse. Some people believed that Niven was writing about Lana Turner in his novel because of her difficult personal life. Others, however, believe that Missie is another celebrity who is just as well-known for her troubles off the screen as she is for her on-screen appearances. Many of the hints also point to this actress as “Missie” Niven. The most likely contender is regarded to be Academy Award winner Vivien Leigh.
VIVIEN LEIGH MORE LIKELY TO BE MISSIE
The claim that Missie is really Vivien Leigh is supported by a number of other sources. According to Vanity Fair, the actress struggled with both drug addiction and bipolar disorder. It appears likely that Niven was speaking of circumstances that occurred sometime in 1953 following the actress’ departure from the “Elephant Walk” ensemble. She apparently suffered a breakdown, necessitating Elizabeth Taylor’s replacement. Leigh’s husband at the time, Laurence Olivier, mentioned his wife’s struggles with mental illness in his autobiography, “Confessions of an Actor.”
Leigh and Niven were friends, which increases the possibility that she is Niven’s “Missie.” “Vivien: The Life of Vivien Leigh,” the actress’ biography by Alexander Walker, claims that Niven was there to support her on one trying night. And the only person who would be able to help in such an emergency is a close friend. Leigh was in such bad emotional health that Niven even asked actor Stewart Granger to help. She was discovered by them in only a bathrobe and in a troubled state. She was uncooperative when Niven and Granger tried to settle her down by giving her sedatives in her meal. Later, a nurse had to put Leigh to sleep forcibly, and she was whisked away in an ambulance. This episode was recorded by Steward Granger in his autobiography “Sparks Fly Upward.”
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