Mr. wOw Remembers: My First Time With Liz Taylor

Image: Public domain

On a blazing white-hot day, a searing encounter with an unforgettable star

She looks like the prow of a great ship; that’s what I thought mulling my initial glimpse of Elizabeth Taylor.

July 2, 1973. The phone rings. It is my friend Bill, fanatically devoted Elizabeth Taylor fan and junior paparazzo. “Elizabeth is in town. She’s at the Regency. Nobody knows she’s here. Come down and see her.”

Taylor had not much interested me in my formative movie-going years – Marilyn Monroe was a much safer (dead!), and more tender icon. But I was always aware of Taylor: who she was and who she was supposed to be – The World’s Most Beautiful Woman. I thought that moniker inappropriate for a woman with such a soft jawline.

But in her mid-career rococo period – “Boom,” “Secret Ceremony,” “X, Y and Zee,” “Ash Wednesday” – she got under my skin. She was obviously out of her mind (a fur coat thrown over a teeny pink bikini on the cover of Look magazine, for Christ’s sake!), and didn’t care what she ate, drank or wore — but she an remained – no matter what the box office said – The Biggest Star in the World. She was pretty fabulous, I had to admit. (When Barbra Streisand sang “I Am the Greatest Star” in “Funny Girl,” I kept looking around the screen for Miss Taylor.)

I hurried over to the Regency.

It was hot. “A blazing white-hot” day, as Miss T. herself described the weather when cousin Sebastian got eaten by hustlers in “Suddenly Last Summer.” There were only six photographers, myself and friend Bill waiting. It was high noon when Richard Burton made his appearance. He didn’t look good; he didn’t smile and did not acknowledge requests to pose. Burton got into the limo and scrunched himself into a corner. One of the photographers nudged me. “Something wrong with those two. They never come out separately.”

Ten minutes later there is a rumble from inside the hotel. Two big men run out. One stands near the door, the other at the limo. It’s time.

Stepping into the brutal sunshine is Elizabeth Taylor in skintight bell-bottom jeans, a tight yellow T-shirt and a wild collection of faux and real jewels, dangling across the bosom, on the wrists, the fingers, the ears. She is shockingly short, surprisingly slender and much more beautiful than I had expected. The eyes were cobalt. The hair was black, generously flecked with gray. The nose perfect. She had freckles! I had prepared myself for the occasionally blowsy, always over-painted woman of movie magazines and recent screen appearances. But she looked surprisingly fresh.

Taylor moves in cinema slo-mo. The paparazzi is instantly frantic – so much more than they’d been for Richard – but they keep a respectful distance. She turns her head and smiles at each pleading, “Please this way, just one more …” I was mute. Agog. An idiot. She looks right at me. She passes me. How slim her hips are! What a pert, winking ass! What a surprise! Into the car she climbs. From nowhere a man leaps toward the half-open widow of her shiny chariot. He is clutching photos. “Sign just one!” The big men drag him away. From the car comes a familiar, girlish shriek, the voice of a high-school junior. “No, no … I’ll do it. I’ll sign!” Out comes a rather square hand with a hugely square Krupp diamond on it. She scrawls an almost unreadable autograph. Up goes the window. Taylor is now safe within her cocoon and continues to smile and pose; a little of this, a little of that – now give ‘em the profile. Richard Burton does not look at his wife.

July 4, 1973.

Word has come. Elizabeth and Richard have separated. She is back at the Regency. She has issued a note, handwritten on hotel stationery, explaining herself to the world, “Perhaps we have loved each too much … pray for us.” The radio (remember the radio?!) says Taylor flew to Los Angeles at eight o’clock AM. My friend Bill scoffs, “Are you kidding? She’s still there!”

She looked like the prow of a ship on a day the waters were calm. What would she be like in a storm?

I am again standing in front of the Regency. But this time, everybody knows she’s in town. It is, if possible, hotter. There are no forgiving clouds and no relief from the heat radiating off the concrete. Hour after hour we wait. Camera crews arrive by the dozen. Hundreds, then at least a thousand are massed around the hotel. In a misguided effort to control the crowd, the hotel opens the lobby to the media. Now there is a solid wall of humanity from the elevators where Taylor will emerge, to the street outside. A limo pulls up, causing a hysterical reaction: “She’s coming out!” No she is not. The car slides into the garage to load her distinctive floral luggage. A large part of the throng, including newsmen, follows the car and is almost lethally poisoned by the noxious exhaust fumes. The luggage appears. Wouldn’t this be a good time for Miss Taylor to escape, swiftly and semi-privately? In the words of friend Bill, “Are you kidding?” Great stars have great scenes.

Back around the block goes the stretch and once again it stops in front of the hotel, in the middle of Park Avenue because, at this point, it can’t get near the curb. Another hour goes by. Nobody becomes bored and wanders off. Suddenly, just as it had happened the first time, there is noise from inside the building. But this is no low rumble. The lobby is ablaze with lights from the camera crews. Women screaming, men cursing and everybody shouting, “LIZ! LIZ!” It’s time. The crowd surges.

It’s impossible to see anything; to see her despair. That’s why we’re all there, yes? Driven by the moment, and buffeted by the mob, I have now climbed onto the hood of a parked Volkswagen. I must take it in … cinematically. It’s not a long way from the door of the Regency to the waiting car, but this is for sure one of the most torturously slow movie-queen exits in history. Taylor cannot move – she is pinned by her bodyguards, the photographers, the maddening crowd. She seems, from my perfect “Day of the Locust” vantage point, far more heavily made-up this time. Her hair is not teased; it is tortured. She wears white, and a look of misery. And she is clutching her 11-year-old daughter, Maria. She shakes her head side to side, mute to questions – what is there say? They have loved each other too much! Finally, she lifts Maria up, off the ground, and half carries her the last few feet before they are both shoved into the same car in which her husband did not look at her, two days ago.

Another eternity passes as police push the mob back and the car crawls off, careful not to run over everybody eager to glimpse the unhappy woman, the actress playing out her private life publicly, as she had since the age of 12.

I am watching the limo turn the corner when I realize somebody is screaming at me. “What the fuck is the matter with you? You’re standing on somebody’s car!!” I am only 19, and other people’s property doesn’t seem to be a big deal. I jump onto the sidewalk. I have left a small dent in the hood. Eh, an easy repair. And not one I will make. The dent in my heart? That’s another story.

This article originally appeared in the February 2007 issue of Interview magazine.

48 comments so far.

  1. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    I have never understood the absolute pandemonium she created in public throughout her life be it a star-studded event at which everyone else seemed to be ignored or a cocktail party at which she was the only star, Even if there were by chance other stars there as well. 

    It was much more than just the beauty.  More than just the scandals. She had a presence that none of our other gods and goddesses had. Or ever will. 

    She is now the myth she wanted to be.  The Earth Mother.  Well, the Earth Mother after the Earth Mother collided with the Brinks truck on its way to Harry Winston. To be remembered for her heart as well as her beauty.  To be rememembered for her presence. Which graced us all. 

    There is this bright new star in the heavens. Named simply Elizabeth. There really is only one Elizabeth. It will shine brightly forever.  As will our memories of her. 

    • avatar Anais P says:

      I think Elizabeth Taylor was very steely at heart. Not hard-hearted; certainly not! She was by all accounts a doting mother and grandmother and good friend with a conscience who raised millions for AIDS research. But she was psychologically tough in ways that the fragile Monroe was not. She survived all those scandals and medical catastrophes. She directly deflected questions that she would not answer. What a phenomonally great beauty (without plastic surgery!) and great talent with a lust for life. She will bo missed.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Anais…Not only was Elizabeth tougher emotionally, she had the stability and responsibility of being the sole support of her parents from the age of 12, and then her children and a number of husbands.  Their was no time for her to brood.  MM had courage in other ways–trying to fight the Hollywood system that looked down on her–but she lost in the end.  Taylor won.

        ET was a great, great beauty.  (And far more impressive in person)  But…there was some teeny tiny work early on.  And a lot more later, after age 50.  But that’s the standard in Hollywood.  “You’re perfect…but…”

        But she was born a ravishing beauty.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      I won’t say “Ive seem ‘em all”  But…I’ve seen a lot.  Including Madonna at her peak.  Nobody but nobody created the frenzy Elizabeth did.  The tension. The oush and shoving and tripping over their own feet. Very dignified people went ape-shit when she appeared.

      And in the midst of it…Miss T., unruffled, smiling, basking.  And polite.

  2. avatar Bonnie O says:

    I was watching the Piers Morgan show this evening and one of his guest, a daughter of the actor Yule Brenner and godchild of Elizabeth, said that Elizabeth left instructions that she was to be tolerably late to her own funeral.  As requested, her casket arrived 15 minutes late!  Miss Brenner added, that in the time world of Elizabeth Taylor, 15 minutes late was actually early.

    There have been some wonderful remembrances of Elizabeth during the last week.  Your comment, Mr. Wow, is one of the best.  I felt I was there crushed in the Regency lobby waiting for a living legend to arrive.  Marvelous work.

    • avatar Bonnie O says:

      postscript …  another movie that is very entertaining is Elephant Walk which also starred the wonderful Peter Finch and the equally wonderful Dana Andrews.  Along with The VIPs, I have found that some of Elizabeth’s movies that appeal to me the most are not the big dramatic roles as in Viriginia or her role in Butterfield Eight (hated the ending in that one) but are the movies commonly characterized as pot-boilers.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Bonnie…thanks!   Believe me, the memory is vivid!

  3. avatar rick gould says:

    Mr. wOw–
    This, my friend, would make a lovely chapter in that book you should write ;)

    Rick

  4. avatar Pdr de says:

    Mr. Wow, what an excellent piece of writing – so descriptive and colorful that the reader feels as though he/she is standing beside you (except on the hood of the VW – not enough room) and sharing the experience.
    I’ve been waiting all week for your comments about Elizabeth Taylor, going into the website a couple of times a day. Then I thought perhaps because so many other people from Wow had written about her, you weren’t going to do so. But somehow I knew you couldn’t not write something. You did not disappoint! I know you wrote your comments and recollections some time ago but it didn’t make them less meaningful. What you wrote was perfect.
    There will never be another Elizabeth Taylor. I’ve been searching out pictures, mostly pictures taken when she was much younger. I saw “Lassie Come Home” when I was a girl – Elizabeth was 7 years older than me. I watched that beautiful little girl as she knelt down by the kennel to comfort Lassie and later stood aside as Lassie made her bid for freedom with the kennel man chasing her and yelling at Elizabeth to close the gate. Later when she and her grandfather stood in the cottage looking at a worn out, thin, dirty Lassie and both agreed she couldn’t possibly be their dog, I was hooked and continued to be so throughout her life.
    I truly believe she was the most beautiful woman in the world, bar none! She marched to her own drummer, she was as compassionate as the young girl she played in the movie. She was very human, very fallible and from what I’ve read and heard, she was funny, outrageous, and often had a “potty mouth”. She was warm, loving, spontaneous, courageous and generous. She bore unbearable pain throughout much of her life.
    Is the world a better place because she was in it? Absolutely! The inroads made in prolonging the lives of people with HIV/AIDS have been huge. Elizabeth was dedicated to finding a cure and while that hasn’t happened yet, in the meantime people who, a few short decades ago would have died terrible wasting deaths are living productive, satisfying lives. By her strong involvement she helped enormously to erase a lot of the fear and ignorance surrounding this disease; with her fund raising efforts, millions of dollars that wouldn’t have been there otherwise, was provided for research.
    Anyone who writes as vividly and descriptively as you do; who paints pictures with words should seriously consider writing a book. You have a wonderful gift, Mr. Wow.
    When you described what she was wearing and how she looked when she came out of the hotel that blistering hot day while Burton scrunched himself into the corner of the limo, I had a perfect picture of her in my mind – it was as though I saw a large, full color photograph of her. She will be missed!
    Thank you!

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      That mouth. It could make a sailor blush. And probably did along the way. It was just part of her. The earthy part of the Earth Mother.

      That heart. From the beginning, always giving. And she usually put her money where her heart  as well as her mouth was. 

      In addition to providing the seed money for Project Angel Food, one of the most lauded programs in the country that provides meals for not only people with AIDS but people with any debilitating or terminal illness, for the past 20 years The Elizabeth Taylor Foundation has provided seed money for other organizations as well as funding for projects by organizations committed to providing educatinon and care services in communities all around the world.  Each organization assessed by Elizabeth Taylor herself. Many organizations were able to raise even more money because of the association with her. It was like the “Elizabeth Taylor Seal of Approval.”  It meant the organizatio had been scrutinized very carefully. She wasn’t interested in funding salaries for staff. She was interested in funding programs for people with AIDS.  And in funding programs that would educate people about AIDS and reduce the number of people with AIDS.  

      And she intended that the foundation continue to do so. That was her wish. Made clear by her family. Shame on those organizations who benefitted from her lending her name thorugh the years now asking for donations in her name. She requested the donations be made to her own foundation.

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

         
        “The Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation” was created in 1991. Its mission was to provide direct patient care, leaving education, prevention and awareness to other organizations (such as amfAR). There was no overhead (paid staff) so the funds could be assured that they were used for patient care. This is when the organizations that she chose were closely scrutinized. In 1991, the only medication available for HIV patients was AZT, and that provided very limited results and did not work on everyone. There was a highly allergic aspect to it. So people were dying of AIDS relatively quickly (in a few years) and the need for direct patient care was critical. Hospice, housing, food and medical interventions were quickly needed. She intended the foundation to be used solely for that purpose. Well, twenty years have passed. Now, there is a multitude of effective medications and living for twenty or thirty years is not uncommon. Yet, still no vaccine or cure. Yes, there is still a need for direct care but it is not as crucial as it had been. The Elizabeth/ Taylor AIDS Foundation has branched into third world countries that do not have access to any medication. At this point, this is where it is needed the most.

         

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        It was incorporated in 1991 as The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and then renamed at one point The Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation and then renamed once again The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and about a year ago was reorganized and added research to its mission statement although that has now mysteriously disappeared from the mission statement although I suspect at some point the foundation will fund reserach projects which apparently was her intent. That of course will be someone else’s intent at this point. There apparently is some “unpleasantness” with regard to the situation. But no doubt she left specific instructions as to the future of the foundation in terms of its direction which the family, which was touched by AIDS as was she through the death of Aileen Getty who was the mother of two of the grandsons, will abide by. 

        And again, for the last time, the family made it clear that it was her wish that rememberance be made to her foundation. 

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:


        No doubt the foundation will be continued posthumous, as most are. The HIV aspect included (here in America) is not meeting the criteria for an AIDS diagnosis as it once did. That being: a T-Cell count fewer than 250 and/or a major opportunistic infection. In terms of care, there is very little distinction between them. If a person’s T-Cell count drops below 250 T-Cells and then, after a powerful medication regimen, the T-Cells shoot up to 600 T-Cells, the diagnosis of AIDS remains. Once the criteria are historically met, there is no bouncing back from HIV to AIDS, or AIDS to HIV. At one time, the distinction between the two conditions was revalent regarding treatment and services. Most everyone was diagnosed with AIDS, after a relatively short informal period of having a HIV+ diagnosis. Now, it is the opposite. And in the very beginning (1984), there was no differential between the conditions. Everyone had AIDS. Now, as most infected people in the USA are primarily HIV+, it would be ridiculous not to include any services to those… with either diagnosis. As T-Cells do drop and bounce back up due to a variety of medication interventions, social services are still needed. Many people (especially people born with the disease who are now 25 years old), find it tougher to get Social Security Disability and those with an HIV+ diagnosis are expected to live normal lives and choose rewarding careers. They say HIV is a manageable disease. That does not comfort the infected person all that much. Here is the dilemma: the new medications are showing signs of resistance and other side effects after being on them long term. Funding for research is earmarked to address this issue, alone. But Baby, there are those who still fall through the cracks here and other nations just do not have access to the same medications that we do. It all boils down to money. Here, in the USA, we only have a fraction of those who are HIV+ opposed to a full scale AIDS diagnosis in other third world countries. These countries certainly deserve the same amount of medical care with research, awareness and education. Without this knowledge, the AIDS pandemic just grows…and eventually reaches us, again. Elizabeth Taylor was no dummy. She knew all of this information and she (or a representative) had to choose which agencies are working directly with people needing intervention. There are a lot of other service organizations that deal with research, education, awareness, vaccines and a cure. Elizabeth Taylor’s foundation money is still envisioned to address direct care but now there are blurry lines between all of the services that are needed. It is just due to the age in which we live in right now, 2011.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        The only thing anyone can be sure of at this point is that the foundation will be her legacy. Many changes I suspect the past year but more than likely there will be a large endowment set up to ensure her legacy continues which no doubt is why she asked that rememberances be made to the foundation. 

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Pdr….thank you.  Look, as far as I am concerned, I owe my life to Elizabeth Taylor.  I was diagnosed in 1997.   What if she hadn’t taken up the cause?  What if advances in medication hadn’t come so far?   Mr. Wow was all but given up for gone.  But….I recovered.

      She was a great symbol of fun and glamor and excite excitement to me.  In 1984, she became a great woman.

  5. avatar Richard Bassett says:

    Yes, I do remember this story and was mesmerized by your visuals. I have met Elizabeth in 1985/86 under such different circumstances and without the frenzy of the press but that story will be left for another day. Like Elizabeth, maybe you are still living chapters, Mr WoW, so you may be waiting another ten to twenty years before complete an autobiography. But, on the other hand, maybe sooner than we think. How amazing that you were there during a major change in her life…the first separation from Burton. She certainly knows how to work any type of crowd, doesn’t she? There is a misconception that she is oblivious of the press, but I sincerely do not think that is true. She works…and can control a crowd. But this sadly became impossible in these past few later years with the wheelchair and a schedule that was so unpredictable. I was never involved in a massive enthusiastic crowd of hundreds of people. I think that I would be too disconcerted. I hope that you have several more such stories, as you are certainly able to captivate. I am sure that, in those days, these receptions were a frequent occurrence for The Burton’s (or Elizabeth). One cannot help but remember the 1964 Boston incident when they were descended upon by a crowd without their protection. They were literally being pulled apart with their clothes and hair being forcefully ripped off of them. I doubt that ever happened again.

  6. avatar HauntedLady says:

    Mr. W, you really need to write a book. These tidbits here are wonderful and completely enjoyable, like marvelous appetizers, but I’m longing for the entree. The thought of a book from you makes me salivate. Please, please write one.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Haunted L…thanks.  Maybe.  As I said to Rick, above…I need more discipline, time and motivation. 

      Odd, today—my replies are not landing the right spots.  Problems here?

      • avatar rick gould says:

        Mr. wOw–
        Everyone says I need to write a book too, if that makes you feel any better ;)

        I just think your story and your particular time and place in the world (coming of age in the Big Apple as a young gay man)…the mix of reality and brushes with celebrity could be a compelling and cool read!

        Rick

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Rick…I think everybody has a book in them, to be honest.  We all have a fascinating story to tell.  Life is wonderful and terrible.  And so fucking short.  (unless you are poor and ill.  Then it is much too long.)

        As to my own tale, I have told some of it here.  I’d tell more, but it is deemed “too shocking” for you all here at WoW. 

  7. avatar Bella Mia says:

    Eight marriages by any standard is tragic. Why do we lack empathy for stars in torment? Clearly, in the moment when she was carrying her child to the car, she was anguished; why then don’t her fans feel her anguish rather than their own excitement?

    She has admitted that her boozing and pill-popping negatively affected her relationships; but no one speaks of how those behaviors affected her children. Social science tells us that those parental behaviors are devastating for children, and create permanent scarring. This is not glamorous. It is fear, loathing, insecurity and pain for the children in these situations. But we either refuse to feel or are incapable of feeling empathy for them in their trauma and pain.

    Dr. Drew gave an interview in which he explains our fascination with celebrity, especially dysfunctional celebrity – it’s the narcissism, theirs and ours, and our sense of envy and joy in seeing their lives destroyed and rebuilt.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Dr. Drew gave an interview in which he explains our fascination with celebrity, especially dysfunctional celebrity – it’s the narcissism, theirs and ours, and our sense of envy and joy in seeing their lives destroyed and rebuilt.

      __________________________________________________________________

      It’s called schadenfreude. We love to put people on the pedestals and then knock them off the pedestals. Beware the gods and goddesses. And perhaps the gods and goddesses should beware those who worship them. 

    • avatar Richard Bassett says:


      Her children are very private people. In 1970, Michael gave up his rich life to marry and become a father. He was only 17. He and his wife lived in an English commune. At the time, he said he was in a rebellious phase. Years later he embarked on an acting career, but that fizzled away too. Christopher had to endure a marriage in which his wife had an affair and was infected with HIV. Liza lived a private life, away from the public and concentrated on her family and her life as a sculptress. Maria went through a difficult period of validity in 1980 when she wanted to be a model. Clearly, she did not possess the features to do so but held onto Elizabeth’s coat tails for recognition. She married and divorced, then remarried and had a child. She and her second husband separated and she wanted custody of their son. It was Elizabeth (and her clout) who she turned to for support. Eventually, the couple reconciled and are living out west. They surely lived a privileged life. They, also, had absentee parents who had substance abuse problems. Who are we to determine that these experiences forever dented them? They have always been discrete in talking about their mother. But, now that Elizabeth is gone…they may feel more free to say more about their lives as children but usually books are written to gain monetary value, and I suspect that her children are now set for life and a ‘tell all’ is not needed, or would be appreciated. But, you cannot predict the future or theorize about their past. Only they hold the answers.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I doubt you would see a “Mommie Dearest” even if Elizabeth Taylor had died penniless - it may not seem so to us but they have had a pretty wonderful life albeit unusual and they were always a family and always will be. She allowed them their mistakes. Perhaps because she had made so many herself and managed to survive and lean from them. And  she was always there despite appearances that she wasn’t. She was perhaps a wife too many times. And they perhaps had too many fathers. But only one mother. And she was a great mother. They in turn allowed her her mistakes as well.  That is a definition of love. Not dysfunction.

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:


        Judging that she allowed her pets to roam free in her household, I suspect that she was more on the relaxed side when it came to disciplinary actions regarding the children. They were not exposed to the obsession compulsive behaviors in Elizabeth, as was seen by Joan Crawford’s children. But Joan had a dismal romantic life and was categorized by MGM as washed up in 1940. This surely affected her negatively and took her frustrations out on her children. Elizabeth never faced such issues. She created her own love life and her career always came second to her family. She instilled solid values in her children, when other actresses’ (Joan, Bette, Lana) believed their screen images so they came across as cardboard figures. Truly, for them…having children was not a priority. It added to their public reputations. Despite the frenzy of their world, Elizabeth’s children grew up with a loving mother, who didn’t hold them to ethics that were based on her stardom and they…in turn, were devoted to her. A healthy mother/ child relationship.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Judging that she allowed her pets to roam free in her household,

        ____________________________________________________

        Yes. The pets. All assorted species. Along with assorted “scents” about.  Earth Mother indeed.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Bella Mia–given that her children remained devoted to her to the very end, I’d say everybody made peace with her issues.  She was probably a great adult friend and support to her children–I’m sure she realized the effect  her serial marrying and her drug and drink problems had on her children when they were children.

      Forgive me, But Dr.Drew is a total fraud and asshole.  Not that that makes him a bad person.

      • avatar Paul Smith says:

        Dr Drew (even the name sounds fabricated).  At the risk of being pummelled, I want to say Dame ET’s children may have a different perspective on things (as children oftentimes do).

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Paul…

        I’m sure ET’s children thought many things, and suffered over the years.  Simply being the child of a major star whose life seems to be an open book must be incredibly stressful. 

        However, just as Elizabeth came to terms that her own parents were merely human beings, riddled with flaws, I feel certain ET’s offspring arrived at  the same conclusion about their own remarkable mother and their own lives–after a certain point, one must stop blaming the parents and take responsibility.  Even when the parent is Elizabeth Taylor and life has been a circus.

      • avatar rick gould says:

        To Elizabeth’s credit, she never trotted her own children out for sympathy (Debbie?) or for publicity (Joan C. and a million others). Taylor seemed to try to shield them from the press as realistically as possible.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Rick…as much as I am iffy on Joan Collins and her very tall tales, I think she too has been a good mum.  I don’t recall she particularly used her kids for publicity.  As for Debbie and Carrie—Carrie herself became a public person of note, first as Princess Lea and then as a (briefly) brilliant writer.    She was the child of scandal and there was no way around it. 

        She came to love ET. 

  8. avatar NSH says:

    Year ago I stood but five feet from Elizabeth Taylor, looked into her incredible and truly blue/violet eyes – she smiled and waved – I was rendered speechless for hours. Although always beautiful in photographs and on film, somehow in person she was even more exquisite and breathtaking (or, in my case voice taking).

  9. avatar Rho says:

    She was commited to Israel, did you know that?  I adored this woman. 

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Rho…she converted for Eddie Fisher and remained a Jew at heart.  She would remark in later years that her role as the outcast Rebecca in “Ivanhoe” was quite meaningful to her.

      • avatar Rho says:

        Mr. Wow, she converted for Mike Todd, not Eddie Fisher.  She even was buried as a Jew, one day after her death. 

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Rho…no, had Mike Todd lived she would have converted for him.  As he didn’t, she took on the best best thing (in her mind) married him and converted for Mr. Fisher.

        Of course, to have heard her  to tell it, “I never loved Eddie!” and she even denied he had–with considerable emotion–adopted LizaTodd and then little Maria, whom Elizabeth discovered during the Rome production of “Cleopatra.”

        That he fought her on those issues, and wanted $ from her, totally wiped out her affection for him.  His later (very candid) biography sealed the deal.  Yet he went to his own grave still  besotted by her.

        She treated him very badly.    But…she was totally swept  up by Burton, and expected Eddie to do his duty to the Queen and step aside for the next consort.

      • avatar Rho says:

        Mr. Wow, are you sure?  I always knew she converted for Mike Todd.  I’ll have to look it up.  As far as Eddie Fisher, that was her biggest mistake.  :)

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Rho…it does me no credit to be so expert on these matters but yes…she converted when she married Fisher. 

        It only became her “biggest mistake” when Mr. Fisher objected to being  tossed aside for Mr. Burton.   She thought he was going to be all Michael Wilding about it–a gent. (She was pregnan twith Liza  when she married Todd, but Mr. Wilding couldn’t have been sweeter. Eddie, whose career had been ruined when he left Debbie, wasn’t so sanguine. )

      • avatar Rho says:

        Okay, Mr. Wow — you are correct, I just looked it up.  She converted in 1959. 

        As far as Mr. Fisher, he ruined his own career, I know about that first hand, will tell you another time.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Oh, honey…tell me now.  It’s just between us.

  10. avatar D.K.Milgrim-Heath says:

    Elizabeth Taylor Is Being Absorbed Heavily In Everyone’s Mind
    By D.K.Milgrim-Heath©2011
    Elizabeth Taylor is being absorbed heavily in everyone’s mind-
    Such an impact all her life she was to the world we find.
    Already I’ve written several pieces about her-
    One can’t run out writing material to write about her that I do concur!
    A fascinating child than a woman she grew up to be-
    Elizabeth fills up years of much entertainment history!
    Every day another story from someone else interesting to read-
    About Elizabeth’s life a true rarity in breed!
     How many women have had husbands numbering eight?
    She held a feminine mystique there all woman could surely emulate!
    Of course her life wasn’t the average life we do know-
    But it was an interesting, fulfilling life with each high and low.
    Everyone that saw her in person saw her beauty shine-
    She made love to any camera her features being so divine.
    Mr. ‘WOW’seeing Elizabeth in person your memories so descriptive you didn’t forget-
    Seeing her when I was as a child -she was so beautiful in the evening air my memory then was forever set.
    Many people photograph differently in person as opposed to a magazine or in movies we see-
    Elizabeth was fresh faced sometimes always through the years that great beauty.
    Elizabeth did in later years so much for our suffering world-
    Her beauty wasn’t only visually upon us internally but compassionate that came also unfurled.
     

  11. avatar Mr. Wow says:

    TO ALL…thank you for your comments here and on other posts asking how I was holding up.  You are  apretty great bunch, I must say.

    And forgive me for all these late replies.  My Internet went down at home on Friday. It’s still down!

    Scary how we have come to depend on this instant form of communication/gratification. 

    I said to B. yesterday frantically:  “But they’ll be wondering where I am!”   B replied: “Calm down, Miss Desmond, I think they just want the Rolls.”   (B. after many years with Mr. W. knows the plots of many grand old films.  Her certainly knows a Biig Scene when he sees one.)

  12. avatar Laura Ward says:

    Elizabeth Taylor was born with something we weren’t, even without her beauty. Just like that book, “Unbreakable,” some people are born with a different makeup to withstand things. After all, she told Louie B. Major to go to hell when she was 12 years old after he insulted her mother. Other people crumble at the first sign of hardship, or get intimidated easily. Not Elizabeth!

  13. avatar crystalclear says:

    Elizabeth Taylor had class throughout her life.   Her beauty never betrayed her.

  14. avatar chipgiii says:

    There are stars and there are stars; and there are a few stars that become legends.  She, ET, is certainly one of them.  She definitely had a charismatic aura about her.  I am usually not one that cares much for stars, but she even gets my attention – and that is one of those “somethings” than ain’t explanable.  RIP.