Today our memory of the week features some real Hollywood glamour.

The vintage image from a 1948 edition of the Essex and Thurrock Gazette, shows film stars Laurence Oliver and Vivien Leigh as they dropped anchor at Tilbury.

The couple – who were acting royalty and Hollywood’s golden couple at the time – had been married since 1940 and were on their way home from a six month theatre tour of Australia and New Zealand when this photograph was taken.

A write-up in the Gazette read: “Sir Laurence Olivier and wife Vivien Leigh were the centre of attraction at Tilbury on Tuesday when they arrived in the Corinthic after their successful Australasian tour”.

Despite the smiles for the waiting cameras, however, all was not well. The couple’s marriage had entered a very rocky patch.

The tour – to raise funds for the Old Vic Theatre – had taken its toll on their relationship. Leigh, who had famously starred as Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 blockbuster Gone with the Wind – for which she became the first British actress to win an Oscar – was suffering from crippling insomnia and depression.

While in Christchurch New Zealand Olivier and Leigh had a terrible argument backstage. When Leigh refused to go on stage with Olivier because her shoes were missing, frustrate Olivier slapped Leigh in the face and she slapped him back.

As they disembarked the ship the strain was evident. Olivier told reporters ominously: “You may not know it, but you are talking to a couple of walking corpses.”

Later, he would admit that he “lost Vivien” in Australia. The couple divorced in 1960 but remained friends and continued to write to one another every now and then.

“I want to say thank you for understanding it all for my sake,” wrote Olivier in a letter to Leigh regarding their divorce. “You did nobly and bravely and beautifully and I am very oh so sorry, very sorry, that it must have been much hell for you.”

Olivier went on to marry and have children with actress Joan Plowright. Leigh died in 1967, aged 53 and Olivier passed away in 1989. Shortly before he died Olivier was said to have become tearful while watching a film of Leigh, uttering “this was love, this was the real thing.”