The joy of six: The leading ladies of David Lean
Sunday 29 June 2008
David Lean's first wife was his cousin, Isabel Jean, who he married in 1930. She gave him his only son, Peter, but Lean soon decided that cosy family domesticity was not for him, and just six years after the wedding, the marriage was over.
Kay Walsh, a brilliant actor who helped push Lean's career as a director, was under no pretences as to how married life would be after wedding him in 1940. "David warned me that life with him would be very difficult," she later recalled. "He had damaged so many women and didn't want to damage me. Being in love with David was a killer... how I survived I don't know." The marriage lasted nine years.
Ann Todd had emerged as a major British movie star thanks to her masochistic role as the pianist tormented by James Mason in The Seventh Veil. Sometimes called the "British Garbo", she was initially suspicious of Lean's standoffish attitude toward her on the set of The Passionate Friends, but then – as she later wrote – he swept her off her feet. The marriage, which lasted from 1949 to 1957, didn't turn out well. As Todd later said, "There are some people who shouldn't be married and David Lean was one of them."
Leila Matkar met Lean in India in the mid-1950s. She left her husband and two children to be with him. They married in 1960. The marriage was Lean's longest-lasting, but ended in 1978.
Lean's fifth wife, Sandra Hotz, appears briefly in his final feature, A Passage To India. He had met her in the 1960s when she was only 20 and fell in love with her. They wed in 1981 and split in 1984.
Lean met his sixth wife, Sandra Cooke, in the food hall at Harrods. "I just wanted to congratulate David Lean and ask what he was doing next," she later recalled. They married in December 1990; Lean died four months later.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 2 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils