Emerging from a childhood of nearly Dickensian darkness, Lean is incapable of sustaining love. As a teenager, Leans father left his mother for another woman, all but abandoning him and younger brother, Edward. As was his past, so was his future. He went on to abandon his first wife and their infant son. He would marry and marry again, five times, always hunting for a perfection that he never believed in for long.
In almost every case, Lean left his mate for another, younger woman. It was this restlessness that made him, at 80, leave his 35-year-old wife for another woman. David, Leila and Omar Sharif at the premiere of Lawrence of ArabiaThe end If you are away for long enough, and I write enough letters you will get to know quite a bit about me! I often think that. I somehow dry up and cant express myself when you are here. These are the same feelings that made me get so impossible on the night before Ranikhet. Im awfully sorry. I know its all very childish, and if its any comfort, its only because I love you.
When you are here Im not even very kind to you. Oh yes, big gestures on a material level. Fly to see you in New York? Certainly. Go to London. Of course. Be patient with you when you dont seem to have any sense of time? Not on your life! Oh Blast! Damn!! What sort of man have you found for yourself? After almost eight years of being together, David left Leila Lean for another woman. According to Leilas sister, that woman was Lady Sandra Lean, who was also of Indian origin.
Actresses Kay Walsh and Ann Todd were already ex-wives by that time. The romance that began during the filming of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) was over shortly after Lean finished making Dr Zhivago (1965).
Leila Lean (nee Velinker)
Born in Hyderabad as Leila Velinker, Lily, as she is better known, has two sisters.
Family lore and memories tell of the Nizam of Hyderabads fascination with Leila and his expressed desire to marry her. But she was too young then and he already had a couple of wives, says a family member.
Salarjung III a minister to the then Nizam, who is best known for the museum named after him in Hyderabad apparently remained a bachelor all his life because Leila did not reciprocate his love.
She finally married Chandrasen Govindrao Matkar, treasurer to Indores Holkar ruler Tukoji Rao. She had two children by him Neela Suri and Ranju Matkar who now live in India.
Leila left Matkar to marry David Lean, but after that marriage ended, she remained single for the rest of her life. She lived in a suite at Londons Grosvenor House Hotel till she died, always hoping, some say, for Lean to return to her.
Born in 1908 into a middle-class Quaker family living in South Croyden, a suburb of London, director, writer and producer David Lean came out of a strict religious background in which films were forbidden.
He rose from being a tea-boy in the mid-1920s to become one of the worlds most celebrated filmmakers.
His landmark films include 1943s wartime classic In Which We Serve, Brief Encounter (1945), Great Expectations (1946), The Bridge on The River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and A Passage to India (1984).
He was working on his next movie, Nostromo, based on Joseph Conrads book, at the time of his death in 1991.