Olivier often costarred on stage and screen with his second wife, Vivien Leigh, 1913-67, a delicate brunette who made a spectacular American film debut in Gone with the Wind (1939), winning the Academy Award. She followed this with Waterloo Bridge (1940), Lady Hamilton (with Olivier as Nelson, 1941), and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), for which she won a second Academy Award.
See F. Barker, The Oliviers (1953); L. Gourlay, ed., Olivier, a collection of memoirs by his friends (1973); Olivier's own disquisition on acting (1986); biographies by A. Holden (1988), H. Vickers (1989), A. Walker (1989), D. Spoto (1992, repr. 2001), and T. Coleman (2005).
Messiaen's major works include L'Ascension (1933), for orchestra; Apparition de l'Église Éternelle (1932), La Nativité du Seigneur (1935), Le Banquet Céleste (1936), and Les Corps Glorieux (1939), for organ; Quartet for the End of Time (1941), his best-known piece, composed while he was a prisoner of war in Germany (1940-42); Visions de l'Amen (1943), for two pianos; the orchestral Oiseaux Exotiques (1956), Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum (1965), and Des Canyons aux Étoiles (1974); and The Transfiguration (1969), an oratorio. He also wrote masses, songs, and much chamber music. His symphony in 10 movements, Turangalila Symphony (1948), is considered the most grandiose expression of his theories. Messiaen's only opera is the five-hour St. Francis of Assisi (1983). His last major composition, Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà (1992), was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
See his Technique of My Mystical Language (tr. 1957); biography by R. S. Johnson (1975, rev. 1989); studies by C. H. Bell (1984), P. Griffiths (1985), and R. Nichols (1986).
As a surname: