Liz & Dick: Passion
> An Amusement Park Ride
> Entertainment Value
> Pop Culture
> Year At A Glance: 1958, 1957
> Liz & Dick
> Biographical Notes (for random consideration)
Amongst entertainment news for upcoming movie events, is the Lifetime Television film premiere of Liz & Dick, starring Lindsay Lohan as Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/lifetime-movie-club/tell-us-are-you-finally-convinced] The 88-minute bioptic film covering the biggest social scandal of the 20th Century, is set to debut later this year on the 25th of November. The crème de la crème of pop culture. The pièce de résistance of what makes fame. Hollywood——most authentic, but retold during a time when salacious stories seem fronted.
So how to retell the story without being pop culture? That is, if anything more than pop culture is needed to sell a Sunday night, at-home seat, in view of the Lifetime Network? If not, then expect to see without really grasping why the juggernaut of the tabloid press has become as relevant as a N.A.S.A space mission, broadcasted on the nightly news during the United States race to the moon, against the Soviet Union. The mere curiosity for ones personal life, having become equal news with a government event, is reason enough to tune in. Yet without a remote ‘Michael Jackson like’ comparison as a current media and entertainment example, it can be difficult to fathom how a single person could achieve and maintain, such a ravenous state of world-wide popularity, just from a few personal life decisions. Such a notion easily stirs up wonder for how the film will bring the events to life:
Marriage marathons, beginning in 1950 where the couple had to fight their way through a throng of fans, news reporters, and a sea of photographers, all the way from the altar to the get-away car——peaking during a fourteen-year relationship, and ending in 1991 at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Brawling and romancing from set to set——filming eleven pictures together, while jet-setting from country to continent——sloshing alcohol, and popping diamonds off her cleavage, as Liz Taylor did with Richard Burton during their affair of the century: Le Scandale. Being caught by a photographer, sprawled all-out-on a boat deck sunbathing, and rubbed by another woman’s husband, without so much as a meager concern for the public decency of spring 1962, that the Vatican itself “dropped the punch bowl”, and condemned the worlds’ biggest star for “erotic vagrancy”. The papacy nod notarized the scandal, and the paparazzi could earning a living with a single revealing shot. Today, any hint of this seems storyboarded——a head-on display, cartoonish——if not only for the fact that it is pop culture.
Therefore, in attempt to propose some meaningful suggestions (of story), for how to handle the illustration of garish events. In hopes of finding some attainable humanity for vulgarity while displaying a serious face; and for want of identifying the mind-set of a world society, floored with disbelief by the daily blow-by-blow of events. The following is presented as a philosophical discussion for how to portray the life of one, Elisabeth I have a Passion for life Taylor, to entertain an audience today.
An Amusement Park Ride
The story of Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor should be experienced from the perspective embodied by a character at the moment of realizing what must be done. Ideally, the audience should be treated to this perspective, just prior to the Taylor-Burton affair. The scenes that immediately precede the affair, and build up to this perspective, should settle within the audience the feeling, that we are finally getting back to normal. Establishing within the audience, those feelings that arise when expecting closure, is fundamentally important to manifesting the opposing feelings, that instead result when the unexpected occurs.
The intent, is that by the time of the Taylor-Burton affair, there is felt a marked sense of urgency, for the need to confirm news received in disbelief. The feeling of eminent danger should arise as if to demand retaliation, as the public deals with threat(s) made against its self perception. There is felt a certain exhilaration characterized by a nervous but delightful euphoria, or out-and-out sternum-gripping appall. There is a zipping——thrill-rush-of-a-feeling to experience. These ideas best describe an amusement park ride, and this is precisely what a film about such material should achieve.
Suggestively, to encourage the audience into a worked-up emotional state, the composition of the story can be lead creatively into its visual representation, by directing the audience through what to expect. It is therefore, necessary to establish some point of emotional reference in order to attain the state of shock felt by the public when the affair began. Naturally, after a crisis, the public gravitates towards closure, and so closure is key. There is none. A social taboo is being overturned. There can be no closure. No getting back to normal. The only option available, is a re-identification of what normal is——albeit this is not an option. It will happen ill-regardless of the players being, that equilibrium is the natural state of human emotion. However, a re-identification of what normal is, cannot begin until the public has passed the point of being shocked and appalled.
Simply put, what has happened is a reversal. What follows, is a return to certain normalcy. Pointedly, any story that erupts into scandal, is one that is chiefly a discourse on getting back to normal. The fact that the story erupts into scandal, can be represented creatively as though it were a mute point——simply passing before the eyes of the audience who are patiently waiting for the sheer explosion of the spectacle to pass, in order to get to the next calm point in the story to evaluate the subsequent decision(s), or recourse of action(s) made by the players. Sensationalism is authentic in a taboo love affair, thus its illustration should be delicate——it is the point for which most are aware.
Muting the illustration of the explosion of scandal, is suggested for the fact that the story is a scandal, and scandals are sensational. As such, they are directly proportionate to taboos, for once a taboo is breached, a scandal can arise. The more serious the taboo, the larger the scandal (particularly when considering who is involved). However, a scandal is a scandal only for the moment that it is a scandal. So to relive a scandal, (especially with commercial breaks), sufficient attention must be paid to the-building-up-to of events, to give reason for the actions of the players, 1. by identifying their hopes, dreams and wishes; 2. to establish the climate of public expectation, (that moves from love to hate and back again several different times through the story); 3. and to attain that in-the-moment-of sensation of peril, (stirred up like the anxiety of judgement). If any of this was felt during the scandal, then it must be again aroused in order to feel the weight of realism, and be entertained by what is commonly fabricated today.
One might supposes that anything that did occur in reference to the scandal, was reported, and read, and experienced through the eyes of a taboo. Reason, therefore, becomes all together important to the story’s emotional experience——a taboo signals doom——there is reason for it to be a scandal.
Conversely, in the absence of sufficient reason, any event depicted may appear insincere——counterfeit, as the absence of plausible reason causes detachment, (particularly for younger audiences who did not live through the events). Conceivably, such an experience could be characterized as watching an altercation explode into battle without really knowing why, and then walking away from the incident without much afterthought. Though the event may have been eye-gripping——leaving images of war and fight, its lack of reason yield no meaning——no need to choose either sides plight.
Reason is therefore, a vehicle of entertainment, for not every eye is attracted by the spectacle. Reason too, is the framework that renders one the freedom to construct a point of view. The presence of reasoning, and the point of view gained from it, provides one with the mental place from which to enjoy following the character(s) to where they end up. By this, value is added——as reason gives explanation for situations, circumstances, proximity, availability or unavailability, and all those things that build up to making the spectacle shine.
Entertainment then, really is a matter of value…now isn’t it? One could peruse the slides of any film and find its value simply by counting the money shots——single, most rememberable picture(s) from a film that could tell its entire story. The more shots, or better yet——the best shot, the more commercially valuable the film; and now Audrey Hepburn standing at the jewelry store showcase window in Truman Capote’s, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, exudes that single elusive representation——the undying essence of what sells the product——la promesse.
Sadly, if there is not much stock placed into reason, then we will see, without really grasping why; religious zealots are throwing rocks at the couple on sight. Candlelight vigil’s/death watches, while the “hated” woman fights for her life, only to return to a public, at closure, who wishes her no harm, and further champions the star——four times pronounced dead, to her first Academy Award——following four nominations.
Another Adulterous Affair! Paparazzi falling from the trees, and more pomp and stance already done to the hilt scenes like: Brawling after hemming and hawing, and ponytail swinging, and bouncing keepsakes worth millions of dollars off her cleavage, and into the air, while clanking Waterford crystal glasses of vodka on a yacht in paradise…
Liken a comical strip——a charcuterie of a person. And this is precisely the point. Thus, the highest value in the Taylor-Burton affair, is in its plausibility.
So too, the value for movie displays of spectacle is momentary. It is proportionate to the duration of the explosion of the event, and it is felt in the immediateness of the occurrence. It plays out in terms of highs and lows consisting of peaks of increased sound and activity, followed by valleys of in-between-the-mayhem intimate conversations, and is all together blanketed with aghast, and or wide-eyed fanatical reaction shots of awe or disbelief. Yes, the Taylor-Burton affair is one of those few authentic stories where the depiction of an unusually volatile, impulsive, and whimsical life, is necessary. Such is why it must be dealt with seriously, and even delicately, in order to lessen the comedic effect of blatantly over the top illustrations.
Furthermore, the value added by sufficient reason may, 1. serve to enhance the experience of realism——as it presents a foundation upon which to build ones personal judgement, 2. compel one to evaluate and empathize with the character(s) decision(s), 3. gather the sense of heresy felt by the public at the time, 4. identify the circumstantial elements of life for which the scandal occurred, 5. justify the historical account of world-wide media scrutiny, 6. and possibly even allow a measure of that zipping——thrill-rush-of-a-feeling, for what it was like to witness the most enduring peak of world-wide fame ever achieved by a single person.
Any discussion that reviews what is essentially pop culture, has a tendency to be redundant——monotonous, at its’ worst, a yawner. A few key phrases, and everyone has been there and done that. Such stories seem to have left no layers to uncover, and restless interest is always looking for the next big thing.
However, at the risk of being long winded, but because such an excursion will aid in this discussion. The phrase “been there, done that” deserves a technical interpretation.
The statement, in variable forms, is an acknowledgement of any person, place, thing or event. As such, it can be categorize as an identification of subject, as well as the subjects immediate enjoyment or lack thereof. The phrase therefore acts as a label that an individual can place upon their personal familiarity with anything that can be experienced. However, in treating the phrase, “been there, done that”, as a noun expressing experience, it appears that its frivolous usage is not an expression of an in-depth examination——as it is fundamentally a cliché that distinguishes and classifies. The analyzation of a life experience is not required before using the phrase. Furthermore, when one has scrutinized a life experience enough to bring a satisfactory critique. They tend not to pass it off with such a capricious phrase as, “been there, done that”——though being trite, one may. After all, why spend time seriously examining something that is superficial, unless you can express that it is not.
This is precisely the reason for acknowledging the place of Liz & Dick in pop culture. It may appear as though there are no layers left to uncover, but there is considerably more, than watching a few passes of the couple: Romancing their way from press conference to press conference——impromptu. Fussing out media reporters for printing unflattering reviews, confronting them face-to-face, and staring the reporter down as though to dare it be done again. Casually placing her bare breast back into her blouse, after a strange man walked up to her at a boxing match, and plucked one of them out of her top, and held it up for all to see——without even so much as a glance of protest from its owner, or even the husband of its owner, Eddie Fisher, siting right there...absolutely absurd I say, absolutely absurd!
And of course, the brawling and hemming and hawing, and the ponytail swinging, and bouncing the 69.42-carat love token off her cleavage and into the air, while trashing a string of luxury hotel rooms, during a series of knock-down-drag-out fights in paradise…
…these people actually lived——and as a duel citizen of America as well as Great Britain, subject to the laws of both countries. So how is it that duel citizen Liz Taylor whisked through Washington——tongue and cheek across the Senate room floor with Dick Burton like an episode of…alright, I’ll say it…Dynasty.
If one ventured to say, that the enduring entertainment of this story seems to center around the understanding of the players personal intent…better yet, their motivation, I might be inclined to agree.
The image of a woman of the 1950’s was definitive of virtue, and in the highest regards, honor——particularly with respects to her husbands’ death. A signature and vow into marriage is a lifetime commitment, despite the pitfalls of the relationship. Such an agreement effects all, if not only for the very perception of marriage. (As a testament, the divorce rate during the 1950’s was no higher than 14%). So when wholesome Coca-Cola pop music star Eddie Fisher, left his wife girl scout’n pigtails——household name film star Debbie Reynolds, for real-life one-of-a-kind femme fatal movie star Elisabeth Taylor, the scandal of the “50‘s was born.
But Why? Why would a woman dooo such a thing? There was no precedent, that had settled the public conscious enough to honorably allow the acceptance of a woman re-marrying after her husband’s death——let alone taking another woman’s husband…so publicly. The only story close enough, and a scandalous event itself, was when married movie superstar Ingrid Bergman, became pregnant by married Italian film director Roberto Rossellini, during their affair while filming Stromboli in 1950. But even that story wasn’t as big as the March 1st, 1936 Lindbergh baby kidnapping and murder, or the November 22, 1963 assassination of president JFK——both of which were horrors.
The two divorced their spouses and married one another that same year on May 24, but the deed still lead to Ingrid being denounced as a, “powerful influence for evil” by Senator Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado. Bergman, ranked #4 on the American Film Institute’s list of all-time best actresses, http://www.afi.com/100years/stars.aspx] had then only been known as a nun in The Bells of St. Mary’s in 1945, and as a virgin saint playing Joan of Arc in 1948. The result of such an image reversal——particularly for an actress as convincing as Ingrid Bergman, caused her to return to her home in Italy, away from the devastating waves made through her Hollywood career. Nevertheless, she returned to Tinsel Town with Anastasia in 1956, and a second Academy Award——later collecting a third and final statuette with Murder On The Orient Express in 1974, behind a total seven Oscar nominations——1st win Gaslight (1944).
As a matter of scandalous events/Hollywood irony, Bergman played Anastasia who was actually a real person/Russian princess, returning to claim her throne amid a scandal of disbelief, after being stolen away from her families’ slaughtering as a little girl; the kidnapping and murder illustrated in ‘Murder On The Orient Express’, was inspired by the Lindbergh baby stolen away and killed; Bergman would not make her post-scandal public appearance until 1958 at the Academy Awards. Where she received a standing ovation behind an introduction from the infallible actor Cary Grant——all while the Taylor-Fisher-Reynolds scandal brewed the same year.
From 1936 to 1963 are 5-major scandals in 27-years. Not to mention the public conscious changing events such as WWII in 1942, the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery in “46, the Soviet Union atomic bomb scar in 1949, the Cleveland Browns 5th consecutive championship in 1950, the Berlin Wall built in “61, Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream Speech in 1963——and the entire breath of the Civil Rights Movement. All of which, with the exception of Titan/Coach Paul Browns’ legendary 5-consecutive championship Browns, seems reason enough for one to increase in religious faith, not trample all over religious based values…
…but even Ingrid Bergman had not displayed such blatant disregard as to have married the best man at her own wedding. So why? Why would a woman dooo such a thing?
At this point, I would like to review the events of the year 1958, as well as “57. Maybe by identifying the times we may settle ourselves with at least gathering what frame of mind could befall a woman, that could make her dooo such a thing.
In 1958 on:
- Jan.8th. 14-year old Bobby Fisher wins United States chess championship
- Feb.17th. Pope Pius XII announces the sainthood of Clare of Assisi, the 1st woman to have written a monastic rule.
- Mar.22nd. Elizabeth Taylor’s 3rd husband, Mike Todd, dies in plane crash.
- Mar.24th. United States Army transforms Elvis Presley from the King of Rock & Roll, into U.S. private #53310761. His mother dies later the same yr., on Aug.14th.
- Apr.4th. Lana Turner’s 14-yr. old daughter, stabs her mothers lover, mobster Johnny Stompanato to death.
- Jun.1st. Charles de Gaulle, during the collapse of the 4th Republic, answers a decree that he return to France, out of retirement, to shepherd the nation through turmoil. The 67-yr. old General leads for 6-months only to be elected as the 1st president of the 5th Republic of France with 78% of the vote—— inaugurated the following yr.
- Jun.7th. His royal badness——His Purple Highness, Prince is born.
- Jul.17th. King Hussein declares himself head of Jordan/Iraqi federation.
- Jul.26th. Queen Elizabeth II names her son His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales after he became heir apparent on Feb 6th 1952, with the death of King George IV.
- Aug.6th. Glenn Davis, Elizabeth Taylor’s x-boyfriend, sets record of 49.2 in 400-meter hurdles.
- Aug.29th. Michael Jackson, The King Of Pop is born.
- Sept.12th. US Supreme Court orders Little Rock Ark high school to integrate.
- Oct.9th. Pope Pius XII dies.
- Oct.28th. Pope John XXII succeeds Pope Pius XII as the 262nd Pope.
- Dec.1st. Our Lady of Angels School burns, killing 92-students & 3 nuns.
- Dec.28th. Yankee Stadium. The Baltimore Colts. The New York Giants. Johnny Unitas rally’s Colts with the 1st ever 2-minute drill. The 1st NFL playoff game ever decided in sudden-death overtime, and the only NFL Championship ever decided after regular game-time elapsed. The Colts 23 prevailed over the Giants 17 in what became “The Greatest Game Ever Played”.
In 1957 on:
- Sept.8th. Pope Pius XII published an encyclical on motion pictures, radio and TV.
- Sept.23. A white mob forces 9-black students who had entered a Little Rock high school in Arkansas to withdraw.
- Oct.1st. The 1st appearance of “In God We Trust” on U.S. $$$.
- Nov.10th. The Cleveland Browns’ Don Paul sets club record for longest fumble return with a 89-yard run (and TD), beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-0.
- Dec.12th. Jerry Lee Lewis weds his cousin Myra Gale Brown who was 13-years old while still married to his 1st wife Jane Mitcham.
- Dec.25th. Ed Gein found insane of murder.
Pointedly, aside from the parade of star births, Ice-T (Feb.16, and too this author’s birthday), Alec Baldwin (Apr.3), Michelle Pfeiffer (Apr.29), Drew Carey (May.23), Keenan Ivory Wayans (Jun.8), Kevin Bacon (Jul.8), The Material Girl Madonna and too Angela Bassett (Aug.16), Tim The Nightmare Before Christmas Burton (Aug.25), Andrea Bocelli (Sept.22), Tim Robbins (Oct.16), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Nov.17), “scream queen” Jamie Lee Curtis (Nov.22), and Cleveland Browns player Hanford Dixon (Dec.25); the state of these two years was one of reversals, tragedies, and unexpected events. Including a fury of bomb detonations, missile launches, nuclear fallout scares, and war preparation/space missions——juxtapose the introduction of the peace sign on the 21st of February “58; was the height of which a woman, or for that matter, any person could attain——sainthood, juxtapose one of the most shameful things a woman could do——break up a happy home. Yet still present is the want of understanding the mindset of Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor.
Being that celebrities do not have the luxury of the public evaluating their lives——separating events by dates of occurrence, and so the incident that occurred while Elizabeth filmed Conspirator (1949), where her bath robe mistakenly draped open briefly exposing her nudity; can be haphazardly placed in context with playing Leonora, a prostitute in Secret Ceremony (1968); and spoken of together saying——“…she meant to do it…she’s been married upteen-times…she’s a vamp, she was just waiting to pop pearls off her tits…just look at her! While these notes might be true, Elizabeth Taylor was a fifteen-year-old girl in 1949, and a grown woman of thirty-six years in 1968. How logical is it to say her intent was always the same——for both nurture and nature share equal rearing name.
So if the intentions of the woman become evident over time, only to arrive at a scandalous headline, does each life event that Taylor experienced, reinforce the desire, or serve as its’ hinderance? If someone were to say, that answer might depend on what the desire is. Inclined…I might be to agree.
So what was the desire of Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor? Did she ever achieve her desire? Did she ever lose it? If she ever attained her hearts desire, then what was it like? Furthermore, if she ever lost her hearts desire…what might she have done?
Liz & Dick
The story of Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor should be experienced from the perspective embodied by a character at the moment of realizing what must be done. Ideally, (due to the fact that a scandal erupted twice——first with Taylor-Fisher), the audience should be treated to this perspective, just prior to the Taylor-Burton affair. Elizabeth Taylor did achieve her hearts desire at twenty-four years of age, with her marriage to self-made millionaire/producer Mike Todd. Severely devastated with his death by horrific plan crash, on the night of March 22, 1958, and forced to experience a funeral/Super Bowl seven days later; Taylor was left clinging to the one man Mike Todd knew best…his best man, singing sensation Eddie Fisher. Scandal erupted, this woman bore Mike’s child, in who else’s arms could Taylor reside. The rebound relationship/need to be held, barreled straight into nuptials, despite Debbie ‘Saint girl scout’ Reynolds. A reaction, it seems to have been, for when Dick Burton came in, destined love would soon begin. Clearly, Taylor was after love, true love was her hearts desire, and marriage number five would soon transpire.
So to entertain a new public with such reversals of events, the audience should feel a slow ‘settling down’ after the Taylor-Fisher affair. A peace, a calm——like closing remarks in a show——the audience now feels the return to certain normalcy. The place to reinforce this, is Taylor’s brush with death. She then returns to her public, half-staggering on stage to receive her Academy Award. For all expectations, the scandal of the “50’s was done. Once more, the perspective gained by realizing what must be done, is one that arises out of response to a crisis. The audience/public has felt this just prior to the Taylor-Burton affair with the Taylor-Fisher scandal. They responded with rocks, picket signs of protest, and otherwise sternum-gripping aghast. Even the Klu Klux Klan sent hate mail. Her career should have been over, yet with help from none-other-than the grim reaper himself, Elizabeth Taylor emerged higher than a falcon——a phoenix in the sky. Though she admitted getting the Academy Award for staring death eye-to-eye.
Peace, love, and harmony fall upon the Earth again/the feeling that the show is ready to end…and then…the money shot(s)….Another Adulterous Affair.
“Men and women have long engaged in society-frowned-upon activities like extramarital affairs, but were fearful of the consequences if they were discovered; loss of prestige and loss of job were certain to follow,” observed Dr. Joyce Wike, professor of sociology and anthropology at Nebraska Wesleyan University. “Then along cam Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who were not only found out but readily admitted it. They didn’t change sexual standards overnight. However, they helped supply the needed impetus. Celebrity leaders——even those who don’t profess to influence——are very necessary. We reason, ‘if they can do it, why can’t I?’” (Elizabeth, by Taraborrelli pg.200)
So if we should happen to see, when tuning into the Lifetime Television premiere of Liz & Dick, staring pouty-mouth party-star Lindsay Lohan: Brawling and hemming and hawing, and ponytail swinging from Paris to Nice to Spain and London. Screaming ambulance sirens racing Taylor to the hospital, who miraculously pops up on the stretcher to apply make-up from her bag——only to fall out again before being wheeling away into the emergency room. Spewing out champagne from her un-corked throat after her life-saving tracheotomy. “I guess all I can do is say thank you, [for this Academy Award] thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Liz Taylor. Mob scenes of sheer fame in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Jet-setting from hospital to hospital in Rome, England, and Munich. An inquiry to sue the Vatican. “…[C]ockroaches ran rampant in the kitchen and pantry at night,” said husband Wilding. Engaged to be married no less than ten-times. A divorce and marriage on the same day. A divorce and re-marriage, and separation again less than four months later.
More brawling and hemming and hawing and ponytail swinging in Porto Conte, Puerto Vallarta and the island of Capri. Offering up herself in-place-of hostages during an Arab terrorist hijacking. Playing on Broadway from a wheelchair. More jet-setting from clinic to clinic in Copenhagen, Ceylon, West Texas, the UCLA medical center, and the Betty Ford Clinic. Cracking a bo over the head with the Krupp Diamond. Falling out into coma-like states with the deaths of, Princess Grace Kelly and President Bashir Gemayel, Peter Lawford, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, Halston, Malcolm Forbes, and the near-death of President Ronald Reagan. While popping the Taylor-Burton diamond, and la Peregrina pearl, and a host of sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds off her cleavage and into the air, while clanking Waterford crystal glasses of vodka, and being chased and courted by the royals, after a knock-down drag-out fight with Dick Burton on their yacht, the Kalizma anchored in paradise. We will know what we are seeing is Lindsay Lohan as Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Hilton, Wilding, Fisher, Todd, Burton, Burton, Wagner, Fortensky Taylor.
Liz & Dick: Passion. Biographical notes of discussion.
The following biographical notes inspired the commentary on how to portray the story of Elizabeth Taylor in film. They are intended to provide a beat-by-beat report on the life, and are taken from a variety of sources in attempt to identify how the person lived, and how the combination of talents and attributes aided or hindered. Amazingly, there appears to be no hinderance, as even negative qualities served to amplify the career and life into a state of myth. However, to empathize with the perspective of the player(s), a lengthy beat-by-beat account of the life is included to identify the mind-set of the person, Liz Taylor. Even if the life finds the myth to be true.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.1,2 Medical Report: Dec.5.1983, Elizabeth Taylor enters the Betty Ford.
- In 1990 California State Senator John K. Van de Kamp reveals results of an investigation on 3 of Liz doctors. Finds that during a less than 10-year period of time, Liz had been prescribed 24-different drugs.
- Pg.12 Birth: Feb.27.1932, at 2:00am, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor is born.
- Pg.13 Liz did not open her eyes for 10-days. This is told by her mother Sara Taylor, but denied by Themla Cazalet-Keir, one of the first female members of the British Parliament, and also Elizabeth’s godmother, who says, “It happened I visited the Taylor household the day after Elizabeth’s birth, and I can vouch for the fact that Elizabeth’s eyes were not only wide open; they were as blue as a summer sky.”
- Pg.15 Kurt Stempler, a German author met Sara Taylor and her husband, Francis Taylor (who was an art dealer), says, “They struck me at once as ill-suited for one another…. Sara came across as loud, brash and pushy, whereas Francis seemed quiet and introverted….”
- Pg.16 “One evening I accompanied Francis Taylor to dinner, and it was on this occasion he confessed he had homosexual leanings and often acted on those tendencies.”
- Of Elizabeth’s father, Thelma Cazalet-Keir says, “In the first place, he was extremely presentable—tall, lean, bespectacled. He had dark hair, bright blue eyes, wore the finest English three-piece tailored suits. He looked the part of the English gentleman, and he played it—he appeared debonair, sophisticated, and confident, an Oxford don type.”
- Pg.17 Observation: “Being the child of American parents residing in England at the time of her birth, Elizabeth enjoyed the advantage of duel citizenship, appropriate insofar as her early upbringing represented a solid combination of both her American and British backgrounds. “Ernest Lowy, a Viennese art dealer and friend of the family who was also living in London in the mid-1030’s, considered Francis Taylor “an Anglophile, [a person found of English, as well as British culture] and while Sara, too, tried to play up her Anglophilia, she came across as distinctly American. Basically, she seemed a social climber, very eager to rub shoulders with the British elite. She even affected a British accent so as to appear more polished.” …
- “Francis Taylor had a drinking problem. He drank too much, and his alcoholism became a major source of contention between husband and wife. “As for Elizabeth, she was a late bloomer; she was still crawling at fifteen months when her parent brought her to Florida to visit Howard Young. Finally, the child began to toddle around, and it was as if a gust of fresh air had blown into the Taylor household. From the onset, the tot seemed very independent; she was always going off by herself into some far corner of the house garden. [Ernest Lowy continues] I remember at age two—she had a large head and plump body. She already had those deep, dark blue-violet eyes framed by the thickest, darkest, and longest eyelashes I had ever seen. She had ringlets of brunet hair which drooped over her eyes, and it made her look far older than her years. Even in infancy, Elizabeth had a noticeably older visage.
- “Physically speaking, Elizabeth had only one major difficulty. She suffered from hypertrichosis, a glandular condition which can cause a heavy growth of body hair. Her arms, shoulders, and back were covered with a thick downy pelt. The infant looked like a little monkey.”
- Pg.18,19,20 Introduction of Victor Cazalet, Elizabeth’s Godfather the brother of Elizabeth’s godmother Thelma Cazalet-Keir. He, “…served as a onetime Conservative member of Parliament.” He stood 5 feet 3 inches. Victor introduced the Taylor family to the British royal class. He showered the family with gifts including a pony for Elizabeth, from which she fell on her first ride.
- Pg.19 Medical Report: Liz contracts infected abscesses in both ears. ——>Book spells abscesses, “abcesses”<——
- Pg.23 Observation: Of Francis and godfather Victor Cazalet, Charles R. Stephens, an English journalist and art critic remarked, “One of them would begin a sentence, and the other would deem to complete it. There were other little signs as well indicative of the intimate nature of their friendship. It became clear the two men were lovers.”
- Pg.25 Observation: Of Elizabeth, schoolmate Deborah Zygot says she looked, “like a Tiny porcelain figurine with perfect facial features and alabaster skin.”
- Pg.26,27 Taylor family receives phone call from the offices of Joseph P. Kennedy, the American Ambassador to the Court of Saint James’s, urging the Taylor family to return to America immediately.
Historical Note: Sept.1.1939 German WWI-era battleship commences firing on Westerplatte, a Polish army installation in Danzig, Poland. German troops had already taken over Czechoslovakia on March 15th. WWII had begun.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.29 May.1.1939: Sara Taylor and her two children arrived to her fathers house in Pasadena, California. Francis Taylor arrived later in December after closing out business with his art gallery in Great Britain. He sets up shop in the Beverly Hills Hotel. Greta Garbo as an early patron. Another high profile client was Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper who was a friend of Elizabeth’s godmother. She later reports to her readers about the new art gallery owned by Francis Taylor, then zeros in on, “beautiful eight-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.” Hopper suggesting that David O. Selznick, producer of Gone With The Wind (1939) cast Elizabeth as Bonnie Blue.
- Pg.30 Elizabeth’s father says no to acting.
- Pg.32 Now comfortably apart of Hollywood society, Sara Taylor secures an “informal audition” for Elizabeth to sing at MGM. “It was pathetic,” said Helen Rosen, a part-time MGM pianist.
- Pg.33 Sept.18.1941: Relentless with desire for her daughter to become a star, Sara Taylor secures a screen test with Universal Pictures who hires Elizabeth, and then fires her 6-months later——just before her 10th birthday, after Elizabeth played in There’s One Born Every Minute (1942).
- Pg.38 Oct.15.1942: Elizabeth signs first MGM contract. Her 1st film is Lassie Come Home (1943) with fellow child star, and forever-friend Roddy McDowall.
MGM Studio System:
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, “…Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was then the mecca of movie stars——the richest, the biggest, the best. Producing one full-length feature film every week, this fantasy factory boasted as its motto “More stars than there are in the heavens.” … “Acclaimed internationally for assembling the greatest aggregate of creative manpower, MGM was the world’s biggest entertainment enterprise——with the largest number of famous people ever controlled by one organization. Sprawling over 167 acres in Culver City, this magic kingdom consisted of parks and lakes and a private zoo. There was a red brick schoolhouse, a playground, a hospital, and a commissary…”. Pg.15
This fantasy world was the exclusive domain of Louis B. Mayer, a short Russian immigrant who loathed homosexuals, Communists, and intellectuals but loved children, especially little children under contract to MGM. They provided the magic that brought millions of people stampeding into theaters every week for movies of laughter and music and patriotism. It was the children who wove the spell of innocence and hope. They were the good, clean, wholesome elements of the folksy entertainment that was MGM’s specialty.” … [Contract player for MGM, Peggy Lynch, explains], “They really shaped our persona, our psyche, our selves. They chose the image they felt would be best for us; then they would fine us and take the money from our paychecks if we did not live up to that studio image.” Pg.16
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.39 Death: Jul.4.1943, Victor Cazalet dies in plane crash. He was 46 years old. Francis Taylor is devastated.
- This marks the first of 3-times that a death by plane crash alters the Taylor family life. The 2nd time was the death of Elizabeth’s 3rd husband Mike Todd. The 3rd was the death of Republican senator elect of Virginia, clearing the way for 7th husband, John Wagner, to become the Senator of Virginia.
- Pg.40 Hollywood Irony: Elizabeth plays Helen, a girl who dies from pneumonia, when Elizabeth is loaned out to Twentieth Century Fox to appear with Orson Welles in Jane Eyre (1943). Liz Taylor nearly dies from severe flu after signing with Twentieth Century Fox to film Cleopatra (1963).
- Pg.41 Observation: Actress Irene Dunne, when speaking of Elizabeth recalls, “She seemed to look straight through you. She was one of those mysterious children who could make any adult feel very insecure and ill at ease.”
- Pg.47 Elizabeth becomes a star at 12-years of age with National Velvet (1944).
- Pg.50 Elizabeth in her first outburst with a major studio head says to Louis B. Mayer, “Don’t you dare speak to my mother like that. You and your damned studio can both go to hell.” Mayer apologizes, and Elizabeth finally returns.
- Pg.52 Observation: “The view of Elizabeth Taylor as a great beauty, a youthful Anglo-American version Greta Garbo, became the shared opinion of nearly everyone who crossed her path. [Greta Garbo exuded a mysterious, untouchable allure.] It was not so much a question of visceral or sexual attractiveness at the pubescent age of twelve; rather, that she possessed a luminous, enduring beauty that set her apart from of others of her generation.” Under her mothers constant supervision, and rhetorical flattery, Elizabeth says, “I’m so bored by people telling me I’m beautiful.””
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly.
Elizabeth Taylor proclaimed the most beautiful woman in the world by a photographer. The claim sticks, even though Liz was 15-years old. Pg.30
“There was not one flaw on her face——the only mark was a charming mole on her right cheek. Weighing 110 pounds, she claimed measurements of 37-19-36 and lied about her height, saying she was 5 feet 4 inches tall when she was barely 5 feet 2.” Pg.50
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.53 Elizabeth’s formal education ends with National Velvet when she enrolls in MGM’s Little Red Schoolhouse.
- Pg.56 Publishes Nibbles and Me (1946).
- Pg.60 Observation: Elizabeth plays in film titled Cynthia (1947) the story of a sickly teenager who breaks her parents overprotective bond to prove she can be normal. Mary Astor, who plays Elizabeth’s mother recalls that Elizabeth was, “cool and more than slightly superior. There was a look in those violet eyes that was somewhat calculating, as though she knew exactly what she wanted and remained convinced of getting it.” In a subsequent interview Astor expanded upon her earlier comments: “I had the impression Elizabeth has already begun using sedatives, however mild, to calm her nerves. She appeared high-strung and brittle, frequently complained, and required more sick leave than any other performer in the film.””
- Francis Taylor starts a caring sexual relationship with MGM fashion designer Adrian, who was married to actress Janet Gaynor.
Peter Lawford…by James Spada. Pg.120
- “Judy Garland’s life at MGM was a paradigm of the downside of movie stardom. Viewed by millions as a wonderfully talented, carefree young girl reveling in the pleasures of stardom, Garland was in fact one of the first and worst victims of the studio system. Her seemingly effortless performances were achieved at great personal sacrifice. She worked eighteen-hour days on some of the gargantuan musicals she and Mickey Rooney were expected to carry on their diminutive shoulders, always at such a fever pitch that when she was allowed to rest she couldn’t sleep. MGM executives, thinking they had a new panacea at their disposal, gave Garland sleeping pills to help her rest, even if only for a few hours between scenes. When the cameras were ready for her again, she was given amphetamines to help her get back up to top form. It was a vicious cycle, and it turned the teenager into a drug addict. Metro treated its younger contract players like children, then became hostile when they acted like children. Many of the young people who grew up at MGM suffered arrested emotional development, while others rebelled against the studio’s strictures as they would a parent’s. Some felt the world owed them a living, and entered real life woefully unprepared to face its everyday demands. Elizabeth Taylor didn’t learn to write a check until after her second marriage ended.” [Elizabeth Taylor was 24 at the end of her second marriage]
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.61 Observation: Sara Taylor begins a romance of her own with director Michael Curtiz, whom she met while he directed Elizabeth in Warner Brother’s Life With Father (1947). Irene Dunne, stared in the film and said that Elizabeth was, “extremely agitated during the shooting of the film. She had continuous sinus problems and constantly frequented the set medic.”
- Pg.65 Medical Report: Elizabeth, “developed a severe case of mumps.” while filming Julia Misbehaves (1948).
- Pg.69 Observation: Mary Astor, who plays Mother March with Elizabeth in the film Little Women (1949) says, “I had never before encountered such a brazen attitude on the part of a child actor. Nobody in the company dared utter a word about it to Elizabeth despite her holding up the shooting schedule for weeks.”
- Elizabeth’s treatment at MGM——being given everything she wanted, occurred more so out of the studios lack of a counterpart. Pg.16 The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly reports that Peggy Lynch said, “I was supposed to be the girl-next-door type and act as a wedge against June Allyson not to let her get out of line, the same way Kim Novak was later supposed to keep Rita Hayworth in check.” “I said, ‘Look, there’s only one Elizabeth Taylor, and she takes advantage of it. If there were another Elizabeth Taylor, they wouldn’t make such a fuss over her.’” Said stage designer Samuel Leve.
- [Thoughts spurred from acknowledgment of there being only one Elizabeth Taylor (on Pg.224 of Liz...by C. David Heymann), can easily lead into a discussion of the “star” being the greatest asset of the studio system. Since stars are people, and people can get agitated——throwing tantrums, or causing general problems; it is a matter of logic to be prepared, as such moments cause expensive filming delays. However, what could a studio do if a star had no counterpart? Suspend the star, treating them the same as all the others, and thus loose out on profits? Or put up with it? So proliferates the brazen personality of a person who will casually ask for absolutely anything——with a straight face, and expect to get it. The fact that Lloyd’s of London, insures of the ill-fated Cleopatra, said that Elizabeth Taylor, due to absences, had become virtually uninsurable; illustrates the fact that the movie industry was never able to identify a suitable way of handling a one of a kind.]
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.72 Courting: Howard Hughes wanted to marry Elizabeth. When she shows no interest, Hughes sprinkles diamonds all over her belly, surprising her while she sunbathed. Elizabeth exploded saying, “Tell that madman to stay away from me. He bores me with all his talk about money. He reminds me of L.B. Mayer.” “A difficult man to discourage, Hughes met with Mr. Taylor and renewed his million dollar offer [to marry Elizabeth]. Although Francis Taylor assured the tycoon that his daughter “wasn’t for sale,” he later informed his friend Adrian that he had been sorely tempted to accept the proposition.”
- Pg.74 Engagement: Jun.5.1949, Elizabeth plans to wed William Pawley Jr. The engagement began with a 3.5 carat engagement ring.
- Pg.75 The Pawley family did not care for Liz being a star.
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, that the engagement, “…fell apart on December 15, 1949, when MGM announced that Elizabeth Tyalor had been “loaned” to Paramount for a highly dramatic role in A Place In The Sun (1951)…” … “Bill Pawley was not so thrilled. He phoned Elizabeth demanding to know the exact date they would marry and the exact date she would give up her career.” … “That evening Bill Pawley flew to California for a showdown with his fiancee and her family.” Pg.44
- Story con’d “He left California the next day and made the announcement to the press that his engagement to Elizabeth Taylor was broken. He admitted that her motion picture commitments “had something to do with it.”” Pg.45
- Hollywood irony: Elizabeth had been assigned to play opposite Spencer Tracey in Father Of The Bride (1950) at the same time she was to marry Bill Pawley. Instead of playing a young lady getting married, MGM sent Elizabeth to Paramount Studios to play a young lady whose love taken away in A Place In The Sun. Bill Pawley called off the marriage. Elizabeth later returned to MGM to resume her role in Father Of The Bride. Nicky Hilton proposes to Elizabeth. A marriage is on after all, and timed to the films release.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.76 Book Footnote: Spring 1949, Elizabeth becomes princess of Diamond Jubilee of the Jewelry Industry Council. She receives $22,000 diamond tiara.
- Pg.81 Elizabeth films A Place In The Sun with Montgomery Clift. A classic, directed by George Stevens. So begins her life-long intimate friendship with Montgomery Clift.
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, “Over Sara’s objections, Stevens insisted that Elizabeth do the scene. When she didn’t do it right, he made her do it over and over and over. Sara watched as Elizabeth ran into and out of the freezing water. At the end of the day she took Elizabeth back to the hotel and would not allow her to resume shooting for three days. [Co-star] Shelley Winters recalls Sara spending the rest of the time at Tahoe complaining that Elizabeth would never be able to have children because Stevens had made her go into the frigid lake in a bathing suit. For the next twenty years Elizabeth refused to work during her period and had the stipulation written into her contracts.” Pg.51
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.86 Engagement: Feb.20.1950, to Nicky Hilton.
- Pg.91 Medical Report: Elizabeth stricken with fever and sore throat the day before her wedding. She is treated with penicillin.
- Pg.92 Marriage: May.6.1950, Taylor marries Hilton.
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, “Several people tried to warn Sara that Connie Hilton’s oldest son was too spoiled to be responsible. “I told her myself that all Nicky ever did was drink until he was drunk and shoot craps with Glen McCarthy,” said former newspaper columnist Frank Farrell, referring to an oilman from Houston, Texas. “And Bob Considine tried to tell her too; but Sara wouldn’t listen to anyone. Nicky was heir to all those millions and therefore he was perfect.” Pg.62
“Despite the divorce of his parents, Nicky remained a devout Catholic all his life. He had attended Loyola College, but left at nineteen to join the Navy. From that point on he slept with numerous women, but insisted on marrying a virgin who was a Roman Catholic. He rarely went to church, but he would never have considered marrying outside his religion. He kept a rosary on his bedside table next to his pornographic books and pill bottles. Joan Collins, a lover in later years, remembers a crucifix lying on that table alongside his gun.” … [Elizabeth Taylor said,] “There is no doubt in my mind that Nicky is the one man I want to spend my life with,” she said. “I met him last October and in all that time we have never had one quarrel, one moment of misunderstanding. Every day I love him better. If this were not true, I would not be marrying him in the church of his faith which recognizes one marriage in a lifetime in the eyes of God.” Pg.63
Hollywood Irony: Being that MGM took over the wedding, turning it into a “publicity extravaganza,” says Taylor’s A&E Television Network Biography, is an unprecedented matter of commercialization. Although there was an official wedding, and Elizabeth Taylor was truly in love with Nicky Hilton, even if he did not return the same feelings, the presence, involvement, and exploitation of the event by a Hollywood studio seems to have lessened the seriousness of a life long commitment——just for money. Marriage was an institution not to be played with. So one fact of interest, as stated on Pg.65,66, in The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly, rises to the forefront: “Liz had signed all the papers necessary to marry a Catholic, but since she had yet to be baptized, there could be no nuptial Mass on the altar. Instead, the 5 p.m. ceremony would have to be performed outside the altar rail. Therefore, at least technically, Hollywood had not penetrated the sanctity of the altar——the official place of Catholic marriage.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.94 Nicky Hilton “…did not consummate his marriage to Elizabeth until their third night together.”
- Pg.96 Beaten: “Without a word, Nick suddenly slammed his fist in Elizabeth’s midsection; she fell to her knees, clutching her stomach while trying to catch her breath.” Nicky collapses into bed, drunk.
- Pg.97 Escape: While traveling during their honeymoon from Paris to Berlin, then to Rome, and then elsewhere, Nicky’s excessive drinking, and violent behavior toward Elizabeth continues. Elizabeth attempts to escape.
- Pg.98 Observation: “Whenever anybody asked Elizabeth for her autograph, Nicky would stomp off in a frenzy and wouldn’t be heard from for the rest of the day. He loathed the idea that she was the more recognizable of the two. Don’t forget, he was an heir to a fortune, and his family has clout. But Hollywood gave Elizabeth a magic appeal with which Nicky could not compete.”
- Pg.99 Fame: Sondra Voluck, a friend of Elizabeth’s recalls, “One problem we soon encountered related to her celebrity. We were literally mobbed wherever we went. Going to a restaurant or nightclub with her became an ordeal.”
- Pg.100,101 Medical Report: Sept.1950, Elizabeth began filming Father’s Little Dividend (1951). By Oct.1950 “Elizabeth had begun to suffer from high blood pressure, the result of ongoing tension in her marriage, too much work, and too many parties.”
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, “Mid-way through the film, in which she was having a baby in front of the cameras, she discovered that she was actually pregnant.” “It was an early pregnancy——she wasn’t very far along at all,” said her stand-in, “and one day she fainted on the set and had to be rushed home. Nicky’s uncle was an obstetrician and he came to the house, but Liz had already miscarried. She was in bed and wanted Nicky to stay with her, but he had already made plans to go deep-sea fishing.” He left for his trip that night. Pg.73
Elizabeth cried and screamed, “I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t take it.” Elizabeth’s parents, not being told by their daughter that she planned to divorce Nicky Hilton, learned of it in the Los Angeles Examiner. Sara Taylor called Elizabeth immediately to plead with her daughter to return and make the marriage work, stating, “We’ve never had a divorce in our family.” Elizabeth’s co-star, Marjorie Dillon recalls that, “Liz was hysterical during this time… We were shooting Love Is Better Than Ever  and she broke down and bawled on the set every day. She was in tears constantly. She was getting no help from her family, and she was so young at the time.” Pg.75
“I never want to see my parents again,” Liz announced, informing the studio that if Sara Taylor stepped foot on the lot she would leave and never return.” Pg.77
Romance: Elizabeth begins dating Stanley Donen, a twenty-seven year old married man, who was directing her in Love Is Better Than Ever (1952). On Apr.5.1951, Elizabeth attends the premier of Father’s Little Dividend (1951) on the arm of Stanley Donen. “Four days later, Jeanne Donen, filed for divorce, claiming alienation of affections and citing but not naming “another woman” as the cause of her marital breakup. At nineteen years of age, Elizabeth suddenly was notorious as “the other woman.” “Now ostracized from her family and involved in an affair criticized by everyone, she defensively tried to explain herself to the world….I’m just a normal girl with average faults and virtues, but being a movie actress I wasn’t allowed to develop on normal lines. I’ve been able to wear a plunging neckline since I was fourteen years old, and ever since then people have expected me to act as old as I look. My troubles all started because I have a woman’s body and a child’s emotions.” Pg.79,80
Sara Taylor and MGM successfully break up Elizabeth’s affair with Stanley Donen by sending her off to London for a film called Ivanhoe (1952). Pg.84
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.102 Divorce: Dec.1.1950, Elizabeth Taylor and Nicky Hilton announce separation. As noted by Robert Quain, a Hilton Hotel Corporation executive, “Elizabeth’s lack of domesticity drove Nicky to distraction. He couldn’t stop drinking, couldn’t get off heroin.” Elizabeth was continuously exposed to newspaper reports of her husband’s latest conquest. Including “Joan Collins, who blithely announced that Nicky was not just “a sexual athlete,” but between his brother Barron, his father, and himself, “the boys possessed a yard of cock.”
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, Nicky Hilton announces plans to marry nineteen-year-old actress and German countess Betsy Von Furstenberg. Although the engagement is called off, Elizabeth sobs upon hearing the news. Pg.78 [Engagement later called off.]
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.108 Courting: While filming Ivanhoe in London, Elizabeth almost immediately struck up a romance with [thirty-nine year] old British matinee idol, Michael Wilding.
- Pg.103 Medical Report: “Elizabeth spends a week in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles to recover from what her studio termed a “serious viral infection.” Elizabeth actually “suffered a nervous collapse and a second attack of high blood pressure.” [Due to issues with Nicky].
- Pg.103,104 Jan.30.1951, at eighteen years of age, Elizabeth obtains a divorce decree stating that her marriage to Nicky Hilton was “a disaster, a nightmare…”. Nicky Hilton later marries eighteen-year-old Patricia “Trish” Blake McClintock in 1959. He dies of heart failure on Feb.5.1969 at forty-two years old.
- Pg.107 Medical Report: Riff and sour negotiations with the Hilton’s for the terms of her separation causes Elizabeth colitis and another stay at the hospital. MGM tells the press its “a severe flu.”
- Pg.110 Courting: Filming of Ivanhoe completes Sept.14,1951. Liz remains in London while convincing Wilding to marry her.
- Pg.111 TABLOID: “LUSCIOUS LIZ TO WED BRITISH FLIM STAR MICHAEL WILDING!”
- Pg.114 Liz takes Wilding to see Hedda Hopper, “They were seated in Hedda’s living room, and Hopper says to Elizabeth——and this is just before they’re planning to be married——‘Did you know Mike Wilding’s homosexual, Elizabeth?’ And Mike’s perched there in a chair, of course, saying nothing while Hedda’s prattling on about him. What can you say? What can you do? “Elizabeth sits there and says nothing. She doesn’t defend Mike.” (Years later Michael Wilding sues Hedda Hopper for three million dollars. For various reasons, he collects some of the money but never the entire amount).
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, that after arriving in London, “Within six weeks Elizabeth declared herself madly in Love. Michael Wilding, like Stanley Donen, was still married but not living with his wife at the time. Elizabeth begged him to get a divorce and marry her. Anticipating agreement, she bought herself a huge sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds, plopped it on her left hand, and announced to the world that she was engaged to the British actor.” Pg.86
Elizabeth flies to New York city to celebrate with Montgomery Clift, their reviews in A Place In The Sun. “…when Michael Wilding finally joined Elizabeth in New York in the fall of 1951, he told the press he didn’t consider himself engaged to her. Nor was his trip to America solely for the purpose of seeing Liz.” … “His strongest argument against the marriage was money. He said he would be unable to support her in Hollywood.” Elizabeth went to Benny Thau at MGM with her problem. Pg.90
“He enjoys sitting home, smoking his pipe, reading, painting——and that’s what I intend doing,” said Elizabeth. “I just want to be with him, to be his wife, and to have a baby right away.” Having shamelessly chased a man, proposed to him, purchased her own engagement ring, and then secured a lucrative movie contract for him, Elizabeth now announced that she and Wilding would marry the minute their divorces became final.” Wilding, who had returned back to England, was astonished. He said, “Elizabeth’s announcement came as a surprise to me….” Pg.92
“Sara Taylor, wild that her daughter was leaving without a firmer commitment from her fiancé, voiced strong disapproval of his intentions. Elizabeth told her to got to hell. she arrived in England on February 11, 1952.” Pg.93
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.117 Marriage: Feb.21.1951, Taylor marries Wilding. [six days before her birthday].
- Pg.120 Birth: Jan.6.1953, Elizabeth delivers first child, Michael Howard Wilding, by cesarean, after umbilical cord changes positions and threatens to wrap around the baby’s neck.
- March 1953, Elizabeth replaces Vivian Leigh in Elephant Walk (1954). Leigh, the legendary heroin of Gone With The Wind, had suffered her own “nervous breakdown” during her tumultuous marriage to Laurence Olivier.
- Pg.121 Medical Report/Freak Accident: On the set of Elephant Walk, Elizabeth sustains injury when a minuscule splinter of steel from an over head wind machine sheers off during a scene and pierces her cornea. Although doctor’s successfully remove splinter, her newborn son mistakenly strikes his mother’s eye, requiring additional treatment, and a two week in the hospital.
- Pg.122 Medical Report: While in Copenhagen, with Wilding, Liz contracts influenza, complicated by pericarditis, an inflammation of the outer heart muscle. She recuperates in New Zeeland, spoon-feed chicken soup by her husband.
- Elizabeth later, walks out on a bullfight in Madrid, “because it was too bloody. Poses for Vogue Magazine in Italy, on the island of Capri, and publicly reprimands Wilding for his “heavy drinking”. Wilding later confesses in his biography, “I had nothing else to do.”
Travel to Madrid
- Pg.123 Observation: Taylor’s co-star in Beau Brummell (1954), Stewart Granger says, “I remember our first day on the set… . There I am and here comes Elizabeth Taylor. She looked splendid in her usual voluptuous way——big tits, big ass, big violet eyes, and her tiny rosebud mouth. I took one look at those bosoms and said, ‘Whoooa!’ The camera crew cracked up… . In the course of making the film, I learned something about Liz. She had this ‘I don’t give a shit attitude which I found rather endearing.”
- Pg.125 Birth: Feb.27.1955, Christopher Edward Wilding, Elizabeth’s 2nd child, is born by cesarean, on her 23rd birthday.
- Pg.126,127 Taylor-Wilding marriage on the rocks. Wilding reprimands “Elizabeth for her perpetual lateness and domestic slovenliness. For example, he complained that cockroaches ran rampant in the kitchen and pantry at night. [In addition], “Elizabeth is never where she’s supposed to be at any given hour….” [Wilding also said,] “She spends two hours dressing and making up and another hour fussing with her hair. It isn’t that she’s purposely late, only that she daydreams too much. She inhabits her own plateau of time. She’ll sit in an airport lounge sipping Blood Mary’s, yet somehow expect the airplane to wait for her——to adapt to her schedule. She doesn’t necessarily possess a movie star’s sensibility. She resides in a fantasyland of her own creation; she’s our modern-day rendition of Alice in Wonderland.”
- Liz films Giant (1956), another classic directed by George Stevens, with Rock Hudson and James Dean. She develops passionate relationships with both her co-star’s, despite their homosexual leanings.
- Pg.128 Liz and Rock invent “the chocolate martini.”
Chocolate Martini recipe
- Pg.131 Death: Sept.30.1955, James Dean dies, [when he slammed his silver Porsche 550 Spyder sports car into the side of another vehicle. The iconic legend was born on Feb.8.1931. He was 24 years old.]
- Pg.132 “Taylor encountered Stevens in the studio parking lot. “He had it coming to him,” Stevens lectured. “He drove like a maniac. He had an obvious death wish.” The twenty-three-year-old actress’s eyebrows arched as she stared at the seasoned director. “Go to hell, George,” she hissed, turning away and heading for her car.”
- Medical Report: Liz “subsequently hospitalized (Oct. 1-10, 1955) at St. John’s for a variety of ailments——infected bladder, intestinal obstruction, lung congestion, leg pains, migraine headaches.
- Pg.133 MGM cancels Wilding’s contract Jan.1956. Liz grows intolerant of Wilding. Public feuds continue.
- Pg.134-136 Adulterous Affair’s: Husband catches wife in bed with Victor Mature. Mature later apologizes to Wilding, which he accepts, and Wilding flies to Liz, in California, to reconcile, only to find Liz in another adulterous affair, this time with Frank Sinatra. The Sinatra affair is short lived——Frank calls it off.
- “Without identifying sources or providing dates, celebrity biographer Kitty Kelly makes the unbelievable assertion in her 1986 biography of Frank Sinatra, His Way, that the performer impregnated Elizabeth but instead of marrying her paid for an abortion…. Fearing a lawsuit because of Kitty Kelly’s unsubstantiated abortion charge, Simon & Schuster excised the gossip item from her 1981 biography of Elizabeth Taylor (The Last Star). She later included it in her 1986 Sinatra biography, published by Bantam, which let it stand.”
- Wilding attempts reconciliation. Liz intolerant——feeling treated as a child, throws herself into yet, another adulterous affair. This time with Irish screenwriter-cinematographer, Kevin McClory. Kevin McClory was working as unit director and chief cameraman for producer Mike Todd in Around The World In 80 Days (1956). Mike Todd was successful in deterring Kevin McClory’s affair with Liz.
- [A gentleman, Mike Todd would later marry Elizabeth Taylor, although he would not begin courting her until MGM announced the disillusion of Taylor’s marriage to Wilding. Once announced, Mike Todd told Elizabeth he intended to marry her, and expressed this to her the day after her separation.]
- Pg.138-141 Car Accident: On the night of May 12,1956, after a small dinner party, thrown by Taylor & Wilding during the filming of Raintree County (1957), staring Liz and Monty. Montgomery Clift leaves the Taylor home with actor/friend Kevin McCarthy, who said, he lead Monty on a short cut home down, “…a dangerous road with a lot of hairpin turns.” Alarmed when seeing Monty’s headlights disappear from his rearview mirror, he backtracked and found Monty beneath his dashboard——face crushed to a pulp by his steering wheel, and trapped inside his car, when it careened down the hill, and wrapped itself around a tree. In a state of panic, but unable to get to him, and with no help in sight; McCarthy returned to the Taylor home shouting, “Monty’s been in a horrible accident, we need and ambulance and a doctor.” Liz, upon hearing the news, raced to Monty’s side, arriving at the scene first. “By sheer force of will, she somehow managed to open one of the back doors a crack. Slithering in, she crawled over the front seat and positioned herself next to Monty. Cradling his mangled head in her lap, she removed a pink silk scarf from around her neck and used it to stanch the flow of blood. Still alive but unable to breathe adequately, Monty pointed to his throat. His nose had been broken in two or three places and his upper two front teeth had cracked off and become lodged in his windpipe. Knowing instinctively what to do, Liz reached between his blood-splattered lips, placed two fingers down his throat, and yanked out the teeth.” [Before medical help arrived],“Like a den of hungry wolves, a pack of photographers swept down the slope, snapping pictures as they approached.” “‘Get those goddamn cameras out of here,’ she snarled, blocking Monty’s face with her scarf and hands. When the photographers failed to relent, Liz let loose another roar: ‘Get the hell away or I’ll make certain none of you ever works in Hollywood again!’ This time they relented en masse.”…“According to the medical reports, the actor suffered a crushed jaw and sinus cavity, split lip, broken nose, severe concussion, broken teeth, perforated eardrum, four fractured ribs, and acute facial lacerations.”
- Pg.142 Jun.30.1956, Mike Todd charters a 117-foot motor launch for a weekend cruise to Santa Barbara with friends, including Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding. He ignores Taylor, indirectly courting her. Also present was character actress Evelyn Keyes, Todd’s fiancé.
- Pg.144 Divorce: Jul.19.1956, MGM announces Elizabeth Taylor’s second divorce.
- Pg.146 The first Mrs. Todd, “the mother of Mike Jr., died in 1947 as the result of a self-inflicted stab wound incurred while chasing her husband around the house with a steak knife. According to Earl Wilson, their nearly twenty-year marriage teemed with violence. His 2nd marriage ended in bankruptcy.
- Pg.149 Book footnote: “Despite growing attraction to Todd, she had developed a strong sexual interest in Lee Marvin, who had been given a minor supporting role in Raintree Country. According to Terry Moore, a good friend of Lee’s, Elizabeth approached the actor on the set on one day and said, “I hope you don’t consider me too forward, but I’d like to go to bed with you.” Marvin thanked her for the offer but promptly declined.”
- Pg.150 Engagement: Oct.1956, Todd gives Liz 29.4 carat diamond engagement ring. [Taken off the finger of x-fiancé].
Mike Todd later gave Liz this tiara which she wore to the Oscars the year his film Around The World In 80 Days (1956) won best picture. Liz said it was a Saturday night present.
- Pg.153 Medical Report: With Todd onboard a yacht, Liz looses her footing one morning and landed flat on her back. Test revealed that Elizabeth had ruptured two spinal disc and impacted a third; all three had to be removed and replaced with human disc supplied by the hospital’s bone bank, reinforced with connective tissue taken from the patient’s hip and pelvis. The complex surgical procedure proved only partially successful. Experiencing severe pain, Elizabeth spent weeks convalescing. Her body had to be rotated by nurses every twenty minutes to ensure proper blood circulation.
Acapulco Travel http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/newport.cfm?ID=112
- Pg.156 Marriage: Feb.2.1957 Taylor marries Todd in Acapulco, two days after her divorce from Wilding, and [one day after Liz engagement announcement to Wilding five years earlier and 25-days before her 25th birthday.]
- Pg.162 Observation: “Of all Hollywood actresses, only Elizabeth Taylor attained such grandeur in Paris. Two others——Rita Hayworth and Grace Kelly——were accepted mainly because Hayworth became Princess Aly Khan, while Kelly was ordained Princess Grace of Monaco. Elizabeth Taylor stood out as an anomaly and became a sole exception to the group’s insularity. “Elizabeth Taylor was a great star, a star of stars, and the role she personified (and personifies) best is that of prima donna——herself: Elizabeth Taylor. She plays a brilliant Elizabeth Taylor, onstage and off——it’s her single greatest role.”
- Pg.163 “Unlike other affluent clients, Liz rarely pulled rank on us. [Dior]. To the contrary, she was cordial, polite, easy to please. She never insisted, for example, that we reserve a particular model exclusively for her. On the other hand, she refused to attend the fashion shows at Dior, preferring to deal with us privately. If she demonstrated on negative quality, it had to be her acquisitiveness; she adored receiving presents. Over the years, she purchased a hundred separate outfits from Dior, but whenever she bought anything, she always expected an accompanying gift… . Our tacit understanding became that each time she purchased an outfit at Dior, she would acquire the accessories without charge.”
Designer wear screen shothttp://www.bluefly.com
- Pg.165. Observation: “I remember seeing Elizabeth for the first time,” [says, Spanish-born fashion designer, Miguel Ferreras, whom was commission by the actress to create a maternity wardrobe], “She sat before a large plate-glass window which looked out on Fifth Avenue.” [New York]. “She had a striking face, exquisitely beautiful——and those eyes! I thought her most cordial, unusually polite, the consummate geisha, a term which amply describes her temperament and principle social role in life. She was and is and will always be a geisha whose primary interest is to please a man——and thereby herself.
>Elizabeth Taylor’s A&E Television Biography
Of Mike Todd, Columnist Liz Smith says, “He was a very rebellious sort of guy who always went against the grain, and he taught her to be that way. She was quite different after she was married to Mike Todd. He said audacity makes the star and she began to live by that motto.”
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.167 Birth: Aug.6.1957, Elizabeth (“Liza”) Frances Todd is born. [Taylor’s 3rd cesarean, and final childbirth.]
- Pg.169 Medical Report: Oct.31.1957, one night before traveling to promote Around The World In 80 Days (1956), Liz slips on a bar of soap and re-injures her back.
- Pg.171 Observation: Truman Capote says that, “I must admit I admire Liz. She’s one of the most misunderstood and underestimated people of our time. Judging from her publicity, one would never have any idea of the real character of his incredible multifaceted woman. She has an unusual sense of humor and is extremely loyal; she loves to clown around; she is unusually bright, a voracious reader of little-known novels despite the rumor that as a teenager she read nothing but comic books; and, most interestingly, she fears nothing. She will risk everything, yet at the same time worries about some of the most trivial matters; she has the utmost courage, yet the merest trifle can throw her for a complete loss.”
- Pg.172,173 Mar.2.1958, Liz began filming Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958) with Paul Newman and Burl Ives. “The only weakness I detected in her performance involved her inability to sustain a true southern drawl. Although that failing would have marred almost any other actor’s performance, it became insignificant in her case. People thronged to the movie theaters to witness Elizabeth Taylor enacting the role of Elizabeth Taylor. She was so magnetic, so beautiful, nobody gave a damn about her acting ability.”
- Pg.174 Medical Report/Hollywood Irony: Three weeks into filing Cat On a Hot tin Roof, Liz comes down with head cold. Mike had been named Showman of the Year, and would be presented an award at the upcoming Friars Club International Dinner, a twelve hundred guest event at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. “He and Elizabeth had planned to fly to New York onboard the Liz, a twelve-seat, twin-engine Lockheed Lodestar, which Todd had recently leases for one year…”. “Elizabeth’s head cold, coupled with a high fever and a bronchial infection, necessitated a last-minute change of plans.”
- Pg.174-176 Death: Mar.22.1958, at 2:40am, due to ice accumulation, and the plane being 2,152 pounds over weight, Mike Todd died, when his plane, the Liz, crashed in New Mexico. Elizabeth has a nervous collapse. Sedated, Liz wakes up screaming through the night, and for days afterward.
Elizabeth…by Alexander Walker.
- Funeral/Mob Scene/Fame, pg.196: “The next morning, 25 March 1958, the cortège set off, escorted by two Chicago police cars. Helen Rose had helped dress Elizabeth in mourning: a black suit trimmed with broadtail fur, a black cloche hat in velvet, black leather gloves, a black mink wrap and a veil that left only her lips visible. What had been intended as a quiet family affair had, of course, got as wildly out of hand as Todd’s Madison Square Garden mêlée. It was a ‘spectacular’ with no one to direct it. Movie resemblances had been highlighted by the plan to place a nine-foot, two-ton marble replica of the Oscar statuette at the gravehead. Fortunately, this idea was vetoed, after Mike Todd Jr’s unavailing protests at such vulgarity, by a threat from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to sue if its ‘Oscar’ symbol were pirated. An estimated 21,600 sightseers had come, the biggest turnout since the rites for the St Valentine’s Day massacre victims in 1929. They climbed on gravestones, shinned up trees, opened lunchboxes, spread picnics on burial turf, strewing beer cans and litter all over the place. It was like a movie premier, but with a body, not a film, to draw the crowds. Elizabeth’s limousine came to a halt half a dozen times as it neared the cemetery. Crowds pressed around it like a black-fly plague. Women held their babies up to the smoked-glass windows. Photoflashes penetrated the gloom within, showing eerie outlines of the occupants. Gypsy violinists——Todd’s distant family was rumored to have Romany roots——had been working the waiting crowds and, with the widow’s approach, their dance tunes turned to dirges as they perambulated alongside the slow limousine. Even more ghoulish, an Eddie Fisher fan club, regardless of the mournful purpose of the day, chanted messages of calf-love to the passing crooner. Like some show-business Calvary, every ritualistic element of star-worship was converted into its cannibalistic extreme.”
Liz…by C. David Heymann
- Pg.179,180 Debbie Reynolds, the wife of Eddie Fisher wrote, “He was…perfect for her. He had been Mike Todd’s best friend. He had slowly begun to pattern himself after Mike. He was almost as grief-stricken as she was. They could share that grief like no two other people. He was her only link to Mike. I knew that, and I was glad my husband could be of comfort to her.”
- Funeral/Mob Scene/Fame: “Eddie Fisher described the funeral “as agonizing ordeal, a repeat of the situation that had prevailed outside Elizabeth’s home in Beverly Hills.” … “Thousands of fans lined the sidewalks and streets of Forest Park. At the site of the cemetery, cars were double-parked. A mob of teenagers and housewives scampered across tombstones for a better view of the aggrieved widow.” … “As we left the tent, the throng surged forward with a roar. Somebody ripped away Elizabeth’s black veil; others attempted to tear off her hat and coat. The ground was littered with crumpled potato-chip bags and empty Coca-Cola bottles. The police helped us get back to our limousine, but we were instantly set upon by a mob intent on catching a final glimpse of Elizabeth’s tear stained face. They surrounded the car and began pounding on the windows.” Elizabeth had been married to Mike Todd 413 days.
- Pg.183 Medical Report: Liz has tonsillectomy.
- Pg.185 Eddie and Debbie, the American Sweethearts, had already begun taking divorce when Debbie learned she was pregnant with daughter Carrie——in born 1956. Their son Todd was born in Feb. 1958, one month before the death of his namesake, Mike Todd.
- Pg.186 Turning Point: Summer 1958. Debbie Reynolds invites Liz to Las Vegas, Nevada where Eddie had begun a 6-week run at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Affair begins to boil.
>Elizabeth Taylor’s A&E Television Biography: “When Eddie moved out from Debbie and their year old daughter Carrie, the scandal of the ’50’s born.”
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.191 Liz tells Hedda Hopper, “Mike’s dead and I’m alive…. What do you expect me to do——sleep alone?”
- Pg.193 “Debbie Reynolds chose to tackle the situation in her own inimitable manner. She stepped outside her house and faced reporters camped on her front lawn. In her best “Girl Scout” mode——no makeup, her hair in pigtails, and a row of safety pins fastened to her white lace blouse——she informed the press she still loved her husband.”
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, “After reading those comments Elizabeth threw down the newspaper. “That little bitch!” she exclaimed. Knowing that Debbie had filed for divorce twice in the past, Elizabeth was incensed that she was now pretending otherwise, and she said as much to Hedda Hopper later. “You can’t break up a happy marriage….” Pg.154
The public turns against Liz, cheers Debbie, and NBC cancels Eddie’s popular television show, [Coke Time, Pg.197,Liz]. “Publicly denounced as a “home wrecker,” Elizabeth suddenly went from an object of sympathy to a target of contempt.” Pg.155,156
“She certainly knew what it was to be vilified. She and Eddie were so ostracized that they were forced to spend most of their time secluded in the Bel Air home she rented from Linda Christian. With their publicity-conscious agents advising them not to be seen together, they lived for months in isolation and employed security guards around the clock to protect them, and especially Elizabeth’s children, from rock-throwers and religious zealots who wanted to preach to them on their front porch. The guards also were their to protect them from reporters and photographers. Pg.158
“In February——eleven months after Elizabeth became a widow and six months after Eddie left home——Debbie marched into a Los Angeles courtroom. Without mentioning Elizabeth by name, she told the judge that her husband had become interested in another woman. Inside of five minutes she was granted a divorce that would be final in a year.” Pg.159
- This serves the 2nd time Elizabeth Taylor had been “un-named” as the “other woman” in divorce proceedings.
Marriage: May.12.1959, Elizabeth Taylor marries Eddie Fisher, three hours after Eddie obtained his Nevada divorce. “I’m so happy, so very happy,” she said. “Eddie and I are going to be on our honeymoon for thirty or forty years. And as soon as my contracts run out I want to retire and devote my life to being a wife and mother.” … “A couple of reporters wanted to know why she always announced her retirement with each new husband. Elizabeth ignored the question.” Pg.162,163
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.194 Liz emerges from scandal, as most sought after actress with signing of two films both $500,000 against 10% of the gross.
- Pg.195 Religion: Mar.27.1959, Liz converts to Judaism in Temple Israel.
- Pg.197 TABLOID: “L’affaire Liz” “…on April 2, 1959, Eddie Fisher began a new six-week engagement at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. The stint provided much-needed income. [For divorce settlement and attorney’s]. Other problems soon arose. Hate mail (among them notes from the Ku Klux Klan) arrived for Eddie and Liz in so much volume that Fisher began carrying a loaded gun——“not that I know how to use it,” he ventured. When Elizabeth appeared at the Tropicana for Eddie’s opening night, she was greeted by dozens of pickets waving placards that read Liz Leave Town! and Liz Go Home! She stayed…”.
- Pg.199 Eddie Fisher said, “She did try to help me with my drug problem, and she was beautiful, of course. But to keep her happy you had to give her a diamond before breakfast every morning.” Liz & Eddie ——>Gifts, gifts, gifts!<——
- Pg.200 While producing Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) Sam Spiegel, “…lent Liz and Eddie his 120-foot yacht, the Orinoco, for a honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean. The boat featured a full crew and a service staff comprised of French maids and a Belgian chef. Stormy weather cut short their journey.” While in London filming Suddenly, Last Summer, “For their comfort and privacy, Sam Spiegel gave them the keys to a fifteen-room estate next door to Windsor Castle.”
- Pg.201 Snubbed: Eddie said, “Elizabeth couldn’t bring herself to admit it,” remarked Eddie Fisher, “but we were royally snubbed. Nobody in British high society would either invite us to their homes or visit us in ours.” … “Unaccustomed to being so thoroughly rebuffed, Elizabeth insisted on leaving the country estate and moving instead into the Dorchester Hotel in London proper.”
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, “Gore Vidal had written the screenplay, which concerns a brain surgeon, played by Montgomery Clift, Who is summoned by an imperious Southern lady, played by Katharine Hepburn, to perform a prefrontal lobotomy on her beautiful but hysterical niece, played by Elizabeth. Mercedes McCambridge was cast in the role of Elizabeth’s greedy, babbling mother. The plot revolves around a homosexual man, Sebastian——never shown on screen——who uses his mother (Hepburn) as a decoy to attract men for his sexual pleasure. He discards her when her beauty fades, trading her in for his exquisite cousin (Elizabeth), whom he takes to Spain. There he buys her a revealing white bathing suit which supposedly turns transparent when wet. She wears the suit swimming, a provocative act that attracts a horde of urchins. As she watches in horror, they turn in fury on Sebastian, clawing and tearing at his body and then, in a frenzy of cannibalism, devouring him. Traumatized by the sight of her cousin’s dismemberment, the young woman arrives home babbling incoherently about Sebastian’s grotesque death. Her aunt institutionalizes her and arranges to have her lobotomized to prevent her from ever recounting the macabre scene and thereby defiling the memory of her beloved son. The film reaches its dramatic peak when the brain surgeon engaged to perform the psychosurgery assembles the family in a desperate effort to help the young woman unblock her memory. The doctor’s plan works, prompting a gushing forth of the unspeakable recollection in a nonstop monologue which some critics felt was the best acting of Elizabeth Taylor’s career.” Pg.165,166
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
———> Suddenly, Last Summer, marks the third Academy Award nomination for Elizabeth Taylor. Her first was for Raintree County (1957), her second Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958). With her fourth nomination for BUtterfield 8 (1960), Elizabeth Taylor received her first Oscar.<———
- Pg.202 Medical Report: Liz has compacted wisdom tooth removed during the filming of Suddenly, Last Summer.
- Pg.204 Evelyn Keyes, Mike Todd’s fiancee before Elizabeth, remembers, “Elizabeth and I were seated at the dinner table drinking glass after glass of red Spanish table wine. All at once, she lifted her blouse and twisted her torso, revealing a jagged six-inch surgical scar that ran down the middle of her back. ‘That’s where they performed the spinal fusion,’ she said. Then in a chameleon-like manner, she briskly returned to the subject of Mike Todd. ‘You’re lucky, Evelyn,’ she notes sadly, ‘You knew him during his best years.’”
- Pg.205 Mary Jane Picard, a British socialite says, “I was told they attended a dinner party at the home of some Spanish aristocrat. The other guest were all titled Spaniards. Elizabeth arrived an hour or two late, decked out like a Christmas tree, with necklaces, bracelets, rings earrings——everything in diamonds. The real aristocrats were understated in their choices of jewelry. The world of European royalty went beyond Elizabeth’s understanding. She and Fisher came off like a pair of flashing neon signs——a couple of uncouth American’s.” [“New money”]. “Mary Jane Picard appended a postscript to her appraisal of Eddie Fisher: “I noticed a certain sadness in his eyes, as if he sensed his marriage to Taylor couldn’t endure. What I didn’t know until later is that he played an ‘extra’ in Suddenly, Last Summer, appearing as one of a group of street urchins hungrily begging Elizabeth for a morsel of bread. The role seemed painfully appropriate given the reality of their relationship.”
>Elizabeth Taylor’s A&E Television Biography: “By 1960 Elizabeth Taylor had evolved from innocent child star to seductress with an attitude. There was something tough and queenly about her as she entered the new decade. The scandal, and public hostility over her affair with Eddie Fisher, seem to sharpen her nerve, deep her will to live her life on her own terms. She seemed to carry herself with a kind of pervious freedom, unafraid of her own desires, and unwilling to compromise them. All told, she bore a striking resemblance to another queen. While honeymooning with Fisher in Europe, Elizabeth received a transatlantic call from 20th Century Fox, that would drastically change her life.”
[Roddy MacDowell, interviewed for the A&E Biography, recalls], “Walter Wagner said to Eddie Fisher, ‘I was wondering if your wife would like to play Cleopatra?’ And he conveyed the conversation over his shoulder to Elizabeth, and she said, ‘Tell him I’ll do it for a million dollars.’ It was a joke,”
[explained MacDowell], “and they said yes.” The ‘joke’ made Taylor the highest-paid actress in motion picture history. In addition to the 1 million, Fox agreed to pay Liz $3000 dollars a week in living expenses as well as $1500 a week for Eddie.”
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.206 Producer Walter Wagner had approached Liz to be Cleopatra on 3 separate occasions. The 1st was during her marriage to Mike Todd, at which time she showed little interest. After Todd died, Wagner contacted Liz again during Nov. 1958. He wondered if Liz had a change of heart. His last attempt, which she accepted——provided a 1 million dollar pay out and 10% of the gross, came on Sept.1,1959, less than 4 months after Taylor married Fisher.
- Pg.207 “According to her latest contract with Metro, Elizabeth owed the studio one last film performance, and MGM meant to enforce her contractual obligation. Before she could sign with Wagner to appear in Cleopatra, she would have to agree to a single film contract with the studio that had weaned her since childhood. To make matters more difficult, MGM wanted Elizabeth to play the female lead in the film BUtterfield 8, which was based on a John O’Hara novel, itself inspired by the intriguing saga of Starr Faithful, a notorious call girl of the 1940’s and 1950‘s.” The character is renamed Gloria Wandrous. Elizabeth moans, “The leading lady is nearly a prostitute.”
When Liz met Dick…by David Kamp.
*Pg.2 Jul.28.1960, Liz signs with 20th Century-Fox: Cleopatra. Directed by Rouben Mamoulian.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.209 “Elizabeth began taking three and four baths a day,” noted Eddie, “to relieve pains in her back and series of acute headaches which she continued to suffer for the remainder of our marriage.”
- Pg.210 Medical Report/Odd: Shortly after they began shooting, Elizabeth came down with what doctors diagnosed as double pneumonia. “She had been so heavily sedated at the hotel,” said Fisher, “that she was out cold in the ambulance that rushed her, lights flashing and sirens wailing to the Harkness Pavilion. As we approach the emergency entrance, Elizabeth suddenly regained consciousness, sat up on the stretcher, removed a compact from her pocketbook, and start powdering her face. ‘Get my lip gloss,’ she said, handing me the bag. I found it, and
- Story con’d pg.211: she apply it to her lips before being wheeled away.”
- Pg.211 BUtterfield 8 co-star, Laurence Harvey recalled, we would schedule an 8 A.M shoot, and she will show up at two in the afternoon.
- Pg.212 Observation: Director, “Daniel Mann remembered an episode on the BUtterfield 8 set when, true to form, Liz arrived hours late accompanied by her usual entourage of secretaries publicist hairdressers and lackeys, whose only responsibility involved carrying Taylor’s daily supply of wine to her dressing room.”
- Pg.213 “Following a studio presentation of the rough-cut version…”. Liz hurls a drink at the movie screen in protest of BUtterfield 8.
- Pg.217 Fame/Scene/absolutely absurd!: Jun.20.1960, Liz and Eddie, “joined the capacity crowd of fifty thousand at the old Polo Grounds for a heavyweight championship bout between Floyd Patterson and Swedish-born Ingemar Johansson. Johansson, an acquaintance of Taylor’s, had provided her with a pair of ringside seats. Another boxing fan at the Polo Grounds that night, Tania Grossinger, hadn’t seen the Fishers since their premarital visit to Grossinger. Her titillating account of the fight appeared in her book Growing Up at Grossinger’s: Crazy things happened. We were seated a few rows behind Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher, she in a revealing low-cut blouse that left nothing to the imagination.
- Story con’d pg.218: Suddenly, out of nowhere a gentleman walked over, plucked a breast out of her top, held it up for all to see, and shouted: “Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you. Isn’t this a beautiful sight?” All agreed it was that, and Elizabeth completely nonplussed, majestically put it back where it belonged….”
- Fame con’d: “In August 1960 Eddie and Elizabeth sailed to Europe with her children on the maiden voyage of the Leonardo da Vinci, arriving in Rome in time to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Accompanied by Eddie Fisher, Dr. Rex Kennamer, Art Buchwald, and former New York State Lieutenant Governor Charles Poletti, Elizabeth entered the stadium late and drew the same general crowd reaction she had encountered at the Polo Grounds. Arch Buchwald, who had attended several additional Olympic events with Liz, noted that “the crowds instantly recognized her and surged forward. They began pinching whatever part of her anatomy they could reach. The four men in the party, myself included, formed a phalanx around her to ward off the multitude of the wandering hands. The situation grew increasingly bizarre. At the water- polo semifinals, not only the spectators but also the officials and even the athletes were reaching for Elizabeth’s rump and breasts.
- Pg.219 Observation: Eddie Fisher said, “In the course of the average week she often consulted with as many as a half dozen of London’s leading physicians. Not want to produce a specific diagnosis. “Elizabeth’s problems in 1960 work basically the same as they were 1990,” said Eddie Fisher. “She had become addicted to every pill on the market——pills to help her sleep, pills to keep her awake, pills to dull her pain, pills and more pills.”
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, “On the first day of shooting Rouben Mamoulian, the director, received a phone call saying that Elizabeth was not reporting to work because of a sore throat. The next day she had a cold. The following day she had a 100-degree fever complicated by hysteria touched off by Eddie’s decision to return to New York for a few days.” … “By the end of the month apologetic executives estimated the studio was losing $121,428 a day, with a total loss of well over 2 million.” … “In her bed Elizabeth was reading the British newspapers, which claimed that the delays in filming were all her fault. She was enraged by the stories because she knew that sets were still being constructed and the script rewritten. In addition, there were two technicians’ strikes the first day of shooting. Even with the extra time provided by her illness, the production remained disorganized.”
“By November 18 she was still too sick to work. Production was closed down until she recovered. Her sickness had so far cost Lloyd’s of London $2 million, and the insurance company demanded that she be replaced by Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak, or Shirley MacLaine.” … “No Liz, no Cleo,” vowed Walter Wagner.” “Collecting 50,000 a week in salary, plus $3,000 for expenses, Elizabeth cheerfully went back to her bed in the Dorchester.” Pg.177-179
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.220 Medical Report: Nov.13.1960, Liz struck with meningitis. Headaches so piercing that Lord Evans, physician to Queen Elizabeth II was summoned to the Dorchester Hotel, where Liz was staying. An ambulance was called, and Liz was examined at London Clinic.
- Meningitis is the inflammation of the outer layer of brain and spinal-cord membrane.
- Pg.222 Medical Report: “In February 1961, Eddie and Liz took the Orient express from Paris to Munich to attend the annual Winter Carnival. Two days into their stay, they argued. “I was tired and needed some rest,” said Fisher. “Elizabeth wanted to go to a nightclub. I told her I had enough. ‘I’m going to leave in the morning,’ I yell. “‘You’re leaving in the morning,’ she echoed. ‘Well I am leaving now.’ Impulsively she grabbed a bottle of Seconal, opened it, and began pouring the tablets down her throat. I tried to wrestle the bottle away from her. She ran into the bathroom, where she stumbled and fell. A physician had to be hastily summoned and paid off to revive her in the privacy of our hotel room, thereby avoiding the embarrassment of facing an inquisitive hospital staff and possibly the press.”
- Pg.222 Medical Report: Liz contracts Asiatic flu. Eddie Fisher said, “‘Following the Munich incident, I understood that Elizabeth was capable of almost anything,’ he explained. A few minutes after midnight on March 4, 1961, the newly hired nurse discovered that her charge was gasping for breath. She picked up the hotel telephone and asked the operator at the Dorchester front desk for a doctor. The employee knew that a few floors away a stag party was being given for a medical student soon to be married. By chance, one of those present was and lung specialist. The man, dressed in tales, rushed to Elizabeth’s room. Examining her, he lifted Taylor by the heels and shook her vigorously an effort to dislodge the congestion that had suddenly blocked her lungs. When she failed to respond, he jammed two fingers down her throat to make her gag and spit up. He then tried to break up the congestion by pounding
- Story con’d pg.223: on her chest. When all failed, he took his thumb and began gouging first at one eye and then the other. The sharp pain forced her finally to take a deep breath. The ambulance arrived, and she was transported, yet again, to the London clinic. Semiconscious when she reached the hospital, Elizabeth Taylor (with Eddie Fisher in tears) was wheeled into the operating room. A team of surgeons performed a tracheotomy, a relatively elementary procedure which entails making an opening in the windpipe. A tube is then inserted through the incision and connected to an electronic breathing device which pumps premeasured amounts of air into the lungs. According to the hospital’s medical experts, the twenty-nine-year-old actress was suffering from staphylococcus pneumonia, with severe lung congestion. Per Eddie Fisher’s assessment, Liz’s respiratory collapse resulted from her overuse of sedatives, including Seconal, and a heavy intake of alcohol.”
- Reporters hold death-watch outside the London Clinic. “Several newspapers went so far as to run front-page obituaries of the star.”
The Last Star, by Kitty Kelly states, “Newspaper, radio, and television newsman flocked to the hospital, which issued health bulletins every fifteen minutes. The world was on alert that Elizabeth Taylor might die. Outside, the streets were jammed with sobbing fans holding rosary beads and prayer books. Flowers and gifts poured into the hospital as well as cables and telegrams, including a sympathetic wire from Debbie Reynolds and her new husband, Harry Karl. A telegram from Seattle, Washington, read: “SIX THOUSAND OF USE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU AT THE BOEING PLANT.” Eddie Fisher, still recovering from an emergency appendectomy two weeks before, looked worn and haggard. Refusing to eat or sleep, he stay at his wife’s bedside praying for her recovery while she remained in a coma. Although Elizabeth was receiving blood transfusions and being fed intravenously through an incision in her ankle, she was not responding to the antibiotics. Finally she stop breathing completely, and the doctors took Eddie aside to tell him that it looks hopeless. At that point the thirty-one-year-old singer broke down. Pg.181
“For the next four days and nights Eddie never left Elizabeth’s side. Occasionally she regained consciousness, once scribbling a note to ask, “Am I still dying?” At another point she wrote, “I love you.” Then she became delirious and whispered, “I want my mother.” “Elizabeth’s physicians immediately summoned Sara Taylor…”. Pg.182
Past Imperfect…by Joan Collins.
The following is an account of Joan Collins being asked to play Cleopatra. It is included to aid the illustration of just how much Taylor’s life pulled on those around her, even if she did not know it at the time.
- Pg.186-188 Joan Collins writes: “The phone in the rented house of Sunset Plaza Drive rang, waking me out of a deep sleep. I picked it up, noticing it was barely nine o’clock. Our friends knew better than to call before ten. “Joanie, it’s me,” said the anxious voice of my agent. “Can you be packed and ready to leave for London by the end of the day?” “Oh, no, not again!” I sat up and searched fruitlessly for my eyedrops. “I’ve only been home a couple of weeks, whatever is all the rush for?” “It’s Elizabeth. They think she’s dying. They want you to replace her in Cleopatra,” he said tersely. Dying! Liz Taylor——God, I don’t believe it——this is a ghastly joke. My eyes snapped open. I nudged Warren awake. “It’s not a joke, sweetheart,” the agent went on. “I wish it was. She’s so ill they don’t think she’d going to make it. All the sets are finished at Pinewood. The cast and crew are already on payroll. It’s costing them thousands of dollars a day while she’s in the clinic. If she dies they’ve got to shoot with a new Cleopatra within three days. Fox are way over budget already. They can’t afford to screw around any more.” I listened horrified. I couldn’t believe the heartlessness of the Fox moguls. All that mattered to them was money——and power, of course. This was dollars and cents. What did they care if Elizabeth Taylor was dying of pneumonia? All that mattered was that the show must go on. Get someone, anyone, to take her place. Alter her costumes, put her wigs and makeup on the replacement——light, camera, action——instant Cleopatra——just like Nescafé. It was awful. It was Hollywood. Except that it was happening in London and Elizabeth was fighting for her life in the London clinic across the street from Harley House where I had spent mush of my life. I looked at Warren, who had awakened and was trying to listen to what was going on. “I can’t——I couldn’t do it——I know Elizabeth…I would feel too ghoulish stepping into her shoes like this.” It was true——my whole body had turned to goose bumps during this conversation. However desperately I had wanted the part in Cleopatra last year, the thought of finally playing it because the favored choice had died was appalling. “Sweetheart——don’t get so emotional,” said my agent, trying to calm me down. “Let’s hope she doesn’t die——on the other hand, think of your career! This is Fox’s biggest movie of the year——it’s going to cost over six million. It’ll make you a Big Star. Besides which, if you don’t do it, you;ll go on suspension again,” he said flatly. “I’ll call you in a couple of hours after the next medical report.” He hung up and I stared at the receiver numbly. “What do you think?” said Warren, getting up and jumping into his jeans. “It’s horrible,” I said lying back with my arms folded behind my neck and starring at the ceiling, “really horrible.” “It’s show biz, baby,” said he, pulling a crumpled blue Brooks Brothers shirt out of the eternally half-unpacked suitcase lying open on the floor. “As in there’s no biz like it.” He looked at me seriously, his unspectacled eyes squinting slightly. “I think it’s horrible too!” “God, I hope she doesn’t die,” I said. “She won’t,” he said confidently, going out to the kitchen to squeeze fresh orange juice and take the fifteen mysterious vitamins he fortified himself with. “She’s got nine lives, that woman. Don’t worry about it, Butterfly. All you have to worry about is making breakfast.” He disappeared into the kitchen. I refused to pack as much as a powder puff until I heard any official news. On the other hand, my agent hat told me not to leave the house and to be instantly available. I prowled around unhappily, chain-smoking, biting my nails and fervently wishing for Elizabeth’s recovery. We talked on the phone to friends who had the “inside” track on her condition. All the radio and TV news reports seemed to differ. Some said she had pneumonia, other, a chest infection. Some said three doctors were in attendance, some said there were nine doctors, including the Queen’s personal physician. I imagined myself in Elizabeth’s place. Hovering between life and death in a sterile hospital room, tubes in my throat and in my arms——what must she be thinking? Did she live her life fully enough? Or did she feel cheated of many more decades? Did she know she was possibly dying? Or was she doped up? The last time I had seen her she was married to the English actor Michael Wilding, and Arthur Loew and I had dinner with them at LaRue in Hollywood. She was extraordinarily beautiful: deep blue eyes, hundreds of black eyelashes, and a heart-shaped face. She was down to earth. We chatted and gossiped animatedly all evening, practically ignoring Michael and Arthur. She was dying? It seemed unbelievable. At six o’clock my agent phoned, gave me permission to go out to dinner but to leave a message on the service where I could be reached. Warren and I munched on a nut, celery and carrot salad at the Aware Inn and gloomily discussed the situation. The next morning my agent called bright and early. “Good morning, sweetheart,” he said cheerily. “You’re off the hook. Liz is going to make it.” I heaved a deep sigh of relief. “Good,” I breathed. “She does have nine lives after all.”
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.224 Eddie Fisher’s agent, Milton Blackstone, “…brought along some twenty vials of a clear medication (identified in the press as staphylococcal bacteriophage lysate, commonly used in the late 1960’s as an antigen to pneumonia) which he planned to deliver to Elizabeth Taylor’s doctors in London.”…“Residing at the Dorchester Hotel during the same period as Fisher and Taylor, he [Truman Capote] had been one of the first to visit her at the clinic. “It was a major media event,” Capote began. “The streets around the hospital clogged not only with newspaper reporters and television crews but with thousands of tourists and fans waiting and praying for Elizabeth’s recovery. I had the impression she must be desperately ill. But when I saw her, I realize she wasn’t quite as sickly as she might have wanted people to believe. She seemed pale and a trifle thin, but she looked wonderful and gave me a big hello. ‘I’m so glad you came,’ she gurgled. She was alone, no Eddie Fisher insight. She had just had her tracheotomy, but they’d removed the breathing tube. She had what looked like a silver dollar in her throat, some circular metal device. It was simply stuck in there. I couldn’t figure out what held in place, and it surprised me she wasn’t bleeding or oozing.”
A young Truman Capote
- Story con’d pg.225: “A few days later, I went out to dinner with Eddie Fisher. The following morning, Elizabeth said to me, ‘You won’t believe it, darling, but my husband thought you were making a pass at him!’ At that moment she play to trick on me and yanked the plug out of her throat, spurting champagne all over the room. I thought I was going to pass out. I probably turned a few shades of green as I burrowed into my coat.” … “The publicity resulting from Taylor’s “moment of truth,” as Eddie Fisher labeled her purported life-and-death struggle, had one benefit: It enable the actress to regain much of the public sympathy lost when she married Fisher.” … “In the end, her illness cost Lloyd’s of London, the insurer of Cleopatra, some $2 million to cover the cost of Taylor’s unavailability.”
- Taylor left the London Clinic on Mar.27th, 30-days after her birthday——accepts Oscar Apr.17.1961.
When Liz met Dick…by David Kamp.
**Pg.3 “I was pronounced dead four times,” says Taylor. “Once I didn’t breathe for five minutes, which must be a record.”
“Taylor’s public image was overnight transformed from home-wrecking pariah to heartstring-pulling survivor; the London Clinic received truckloads of flowers and sympathetic fan mail, even a get-well telegram from Debbie Reynolds. “I had the chance to read my own obituaries,” says Taylor. “They were the best reviews I’d ever gotten.”
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.226 Debbie Reynolds. “Hell,” she told a reporter, “even I voted for her.”
- Pg.227 Medical Report: Liz later returned to Los Angles to have plastic surgery to remove the tracheotomy scar at Cedars of Lebanon.
- Pg.228 Eddie Fisher said, “I never stop worrying about Elizabeth. Within days of her tracheotomy, she was back on pills and alcohol. Once, after doing both, she simply passed out in the middle of a sentence. On another occasion, when she had far too much to drink, I caught her in my arms just as she was about to tumble down a flight of stairs. I began to feel rather foolish trying to help her when she did little to help herself.”
- Adulterous Affair: “Liz made little secret of the fact that during their marriage she had engaged in an on-again, off-again romance with another man. The man, Max Lerner, thirty years her senior, was a syndicated political columnist and a professor of American civilization at Brandeis University.”
- Pg.229 Romance: “Elizabeth called Lerner “My Little Professor” and compared their strange liaison to the alliance between Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti——“the perfect complement of brain and beauty.” He described her in print as an “extraordinary, enchanting, passionate, exasperating, impossible woman.””
- Pg.232 Sept.1961: While in Rome shooting Cleopatra, Mel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn met Liz and Eddie for lunch. “Midway through the meal, an immense fellow appeared with what looked like a police nightstick in hand and began
- Story con’d pg.233: fanning the bushes with it. Elizabeth reassured her astonished guessed that “Lucky,” one of the Fishers’ security guards, was just beating the hedges to chase away the paparazzi.”
- Pg.233,234 Adoption: Liz & Eddie adopt a little girl, but did so just before their divorce. Yet the child had a serious birth defect, a malformation of the pelvis. If not corrected, the child would be permanently crippled. The defect, which had first gone undetected, was operated on, leaving the child in a full body cast for 2-years. The child eventually recovered.
- Pg.234 Nov.10.1925 Richard Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins Jr. in Pontrhydfen, South Wales. He was a star of the theater when the ‘scandal of the century’ began, after he left Broadway to takeover the part of Mark Anthony, in Cleopatra, when 20th Century Fox re-casted the fated film. In the same year (1961), he received the Tony Award for best actor in a musical for playing, none-other-than King Arthur in Camelot——the signature representation of chivalry——the very idea, he would soon defaced with Elizabeth Taylor. Additionally, Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table, is associated with The Kennedy Presidency. Chivalry is an idealism that promotes respect, integrity, and most of all ‘honour’.
[Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Chivalry. Davis, Alex (2004). Chilvary, and Romance in the English Renaissance. Woodcock, Matthew.]
- The Knight’s Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars in the Middle Ages. Knights not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenceless. Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and “noble bearing”. Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honour of women. Knights not only vowed to protect the weak but also vowed to guard the honour of all fellow knights. They always had to obey those who were placed in authority and were never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Knights lived by honor and for glory. Knights were to fear God and maintain His Church. Knights always kept their faith and never turned their back on a foe. Knights despised pecuniary reward. They persevered to the end in any enterprise begun. The main vow from the knights was that they shall fight for the welfare of all.
Liz…by C. David Heymann
- Pg.234 He was the twelfth of thirteen children. Richard married Sybil Williams in 1951. She gave up her own acting career to support his and their two daughters Kate and Jessica.
- Pg.235 Eva Gabor said, “He had pockmarks all over his face and back——very bad skin——and stood no more than five feet six. But her had a powerful torso, rugged features, hypnotic blue eyes, and a compelling voice. I’m one of the few ladies he didn’t try to take to bed.”
- Pg.236 Liz says, “Since I was a little girl, I believed I was a child of destiny, and if that’s true, Richard Burton was surely my fate.”
Richard Burton…by Cottrell and Cashin.
- Pg.214 Leading up to the affair: “Fox had paid $50,000 to buy him out of Camelot ahead of time. He was needed urgently, they said——and no, he couldn’t take a restful sea voyage to Italy.” [But] “Not until late January, 1962, was he to have the pleasure of working with the legendary Miss Taylor.”
- Personal Observation: [Richard Burton was bought out of his Camelot stage play contract early because 20th Century-Fox Studios couldn’t wait. Therefore, the affair that was soon to be, occurred under a state of emergency. Furthermore, states of emergency breed the greatest moments of passion and tragedy.]
- Pg.289 Richard Burton on love: “Richard: “Falling in love isn’t an instant thing. It is an accumulation of detail. A slow storing up of knowledge about someone. That’s how it was with Elizabeth, anyway. I knew it would cause havoc in my private life. With my wife and children and sisters. But there it was, finally, painfully, unavoidable.”
Elizabeth…by J. Randy Taraborrelli.
- Pg.147 Lately, whenever she looked at Eddie, she saw Mike’s ghost standing behind him, as if taunting her to recognize the truth of her fourth marriage. Or, as she later told her friend, the producer Joseph Mankiewicz, “I somehow believed that I could keep Mike’s memory alive through Eddie. Instead, I now find that all I have is Mike’s ghost. How can I be his wife,” she asked, “when I am still married to a ghost?”
- Pg.163 Four-time Academy Award winner Joseph Mankiewicz, takes over the direction of Cleopatra.
- Pg.165 “Elizabeth’s deal for the movie was a masterwork of negotiation on her and her agent’s part. It contained some of the most startling concessions given to an actress by a studio up to that time. Of course, she was the biggest star in movie, it could be argued, and deserved whatever she asked for from the studio——her million-dollar fee was broken down into about $125,000 a week in salary, as well as other financial disbursements along the way. She also got $3,000 a week in living expenses, plus food and lodging, and first-class round-trip airline tickets to the movie’s locations for herself, three other adults, and her three children. She required two penthouse suites at the Dorchester in London, plus a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Limousine at her disposal at all times. Her contract said that the movie had to be made in Europe, not in the United States, for tax purposes. Elizabeth also demanded that it be shot in Todd-AO, rather than 20th Century-Fox’s own trademark widescreen process, CinemaScope, so that, as owner of that company——she inherited it from Mike Todd——she would derive royalties from its use. (Expansive sets had to be built to fill the widescreen process, which accounted for a lot of the movie’s budget.) She actually also owned a third of Cleopatra through her own corporation, MCL,Inc (the initial of her three children Michael, Christopher, and Liza). She would also receive 10 percent
- Story con’d pg.166 of the film’s gross receipts. In the end, Elizabeth would make a fortune from this movie——more than $7 million, and in the early sixties that was a lot of money. Richard Burton put it best to historian Brad Geagley when he said, “Elizabeth taught me how to squeeze the studio executives by the balls.”
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.237 Fred Oates, Liz butler gave a startling interview about Liz. He characterized his employer as a, “dictatorial empress, a true-to-life Queen of the Nile who treated her husband like a virtual slave, rejected telephone call from her parents, inviting guests for supper and then refuse to dine with them.”
- Pg.238 Liz hated weakness in men.
- Pg.243 Cast of Cleopatra enjoys a late-night dinner party at Bricktop’s, an underground jazz club in Rome owned by an ageless black woman from Harlem named Bricktop.
- Pg.244 Richard Burton announces that he nailed Liz in the back seat of a Cadillac.
- Pg.247 Burton’s 2 favorite pastimes were drinking womanizing.
- Brawling: In Rome, on the set of Cleopatra.
Hemming and Hawing
- Pg.248 Vulgar Scene: “Burton entered the house and demanded to see Elizabeth. She appeared while Eddie Fisher, who had been resting in an upstairs bedroom, emerged to investigate the commotion. He stood at the top of the stairs, dressed in a blue terry-cloth robe with matching terry-cloth slippers; both robe and slippers had Fisher’s initials embroidered on them. ‘What are you doing here?’ he inquired of Burton. ‘I’m in love with that girl over there,’ growled the actor as he pointed to Elizabeth Taylor. Fisher responded: ‘But you have your own girl; you have Sybil. Why are you trying to ruin my marriage? Go away; go home.’ Determined to assert his masculinity, Burton turned the confrontation into a total drama. ‘Sybil and Elizabeth are both my girls,’ he ventured. Gazing at Taylor, he said: ‘You are my girl, aren’t you?’ Before replying, a terrified Elizabeth Taylor looked first at Fisher and then Burton, ‘Yes,’ she answered. “Burton wasn’t done. ‘If you’re my girl,’ he said, ‘come over here and stick your tongue down my throat.’ In front of Fisher and her dozen dinner guest, Taylor went to Burton and gave him a long passionate kiss. Fisher turned around and walked slowly back to his room.”
[J. Randy Taraborrelli gives rendition of story on page 188 & 189 in Elizabeth.]
- Pg.249 Eddie calls to Liz at home while he is in Florence and is startled to her Richard answer the phone. “What’re you doing in my home?” asked Fisher. “What do you think I’m doing? Burton responded. “I’m fucking your wife.”
- Incident of Recklessness: “During Eddie Fisher’s absence, John Valva had spent a weekend trying to look after Elizabeth Taylor at her Roman villa. “She was inconsolable,” said Valva. “Richard Burton had pulled another of his guilt-trip departures, romancing Elizabeth and then returning to Sybil. Liz and I were sitting on her bed discussing the situation when, without a word, she rose and ran toward a plate-glass window over-looking the garden below. The plate glass was hidden behind drapes, and Elizabeth smashed into the center divider and bounced back, sustaining a number of cuts and bruises.”
- A few weeks later, while on a weekend trip with Burton, she did try to commit suicide by swallowing some thirty sleeping pills. She had to be taken to the hospital to have her stomach pumped. Twentieth Century-Fox tried to cover up the incident by announcing that Taylor had endured a severe case of food poisoning. During her two-day hospital stay, Eddie Fisher again reappeared, looking more in need of health care than Elizabeth.
A Woman Named Jackie…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.315 Eddie Fisher emasculated: “Ken McKnight recalled a visit Max Jacobson paid to the White House in early 1962 which coincided with the breakup of the Eddie Fisher-Elizabeth Taylor marriage. “Elizabeth Taylor had dumped Eddie Fisher for Richard Burton, and Eddie suffered a complete collapse,” said McKnight. “He had just returned from Rome. Max was looking after him, shooting him up to keep him calm. He was afraid Eddie might jump out a window. The press was everywhere, and we had to keep moving Eddie around, ending up with him in a suite on the 38th floor of the Hotel Pierre. The telephone rang constantly, and Eddie wouldn’t talk to anybody, certainly not to reporters. He wouldn’t even talk to old friends like Jack Benny or Eddie Cantor. He was desolate, totally distraught. He was deeply
- Story con’d pg.316: in love with Elizabeth Taylor, and she had just simply emasculated him in public.”
How to Be a Movie Star…by William J. Mann.
- Pg.303 “If Elizabeth thought that she’d endured the height of public scrutiny during the affair with Eddie, she quickly discovered otherwise. On the night April 15, five hundred torch-bearing university students packed the road outside her villa, chanting for “Liz”. Rumors flew that they wanted to kidnap her. A few nights later Elizabeth broke down in tears when the paparazzi cornered her on the Via Veneto. The constant attention, until now so carefully tended and tolerated, has simply become too much for her.”
Grace of Monaco…by Steven Englund.
- Film star Grace Kelly’s experience of fame was much the same, if not worst.
Princess Grace on wedding day
- Pg.255 Fame: “Grace hoped and believed that once out of the movie business, her celebrity would gradually diminish. It did not. On the contrary, Princess Grace remained, if anything, more publicized than Grace Kelly——one of the seven most popular women in the fifties and sixties (along with Marilyn Monroe, Princess Margaret, Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Queen Elizabeth). The presence of the press was less inhibiting in Monaco, where in winter (the “off” season for tourists) Grace could walk in peace with her children. But the moment she left the Principality, hell broke loose. On the Grimaldis’ Italian trip of 1957, the paparazzi turned out in such swarms as to require large police detachments to surround Grace and Rainier. Later, in Corsica, the Prince cut short their vacation because the police weren’t able to provide enough “insulation”.” … “In New York City, six mounted policemen stood guard from morning to late night just to hold back the crowds in front of the Grimaldis hotel. In Ireland in June 1961, Grace was frequently brought to tears by the mob scenes that greeted them wherever they went. Between overzealous fans and overactive police, one hundred
- Pg.256 casualties were sustained in Dublin alone on the day of the Grimaldis arrival.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.250 By March 19th both Fisher and Sybil had left their respective mates. Liz & Dick together at last! Affair flames! “The bottom line,” said Stephanie Wagner, Walter’s daughter [Wagner the producer] and regular weekend visitor on the set, “is they were deeply in love. It was the real thing, and everybody knew it. As a couple, they fit well together. They had a rapport, and all Camelot ought to have been for Jack and Jackie Kennedy.” … “At first the romance struck some people as too campy, too Hollywood to be true,” observed Stern. [Bert Stern was a photographer hired by 20th Century Fox.] “I remember telling my editor at Life about Liz and Burton. ‘There’s a love story here,’ I said. ‘What’re you talking about——they’re merely having an affair,’ he countered. ‘No, I said. ‘It’s a real relationship.’ ‘Don’t be absurd,’ he told me. “I used to hang out with Burton and Taylor, and frankly they didn’t go to extremes to keep their liaison a secret. I took that notorious photographic series of them in their bathing suits while they smooched on the deck of a boat. Elizabeth wore the briefest of bikinis and looked very sultry and bosomy, but not in the same trashy way as somebody like Jayne Mansfield.” The publication of Stern’s revealing photographs of Dick and Liz initiated a wave of public speculation, culminating in the Vatican’s denunciation of Elizabeth Taylor as “a women of loose morals.”
- Pg.251 “Elizabeth couldn’t have cared less what the Vatican said about her,” asserted Roberts. [Meade Roberts was a playwright, and guest of Richard Burton’s.] “It wasn’t Taylor but rather Burton who lacked total commitment to the relationship. Whatever feelings Richard had for Liz, he remained confused and guilt-laden. He was in awe of fame and impressed by money, but he similarly understood the enormity of the decision he presently faced. He was almost schizophrenic about the entire episode and didn’t know what to do. “Of the two, Elizabeth seemed the assertive one. She was the pursuer; Burton, the pursued. In addition, Twentieth Century-Fox wanted to hold her personally responsible fot the company’s financial losses. Initially, they had been delighted by the scandal; then they began to worry. Elizabeth had recently received a telephone call from Hurt Frings, who had just gotten a call from Peter Levathes at Fox.” … “In substance what the letter said was: Suggest Elizabeth desist involvement with Richard Burton, or Fox will sue on the basis of a violation of morals clause in her contract.” “Her response to Frings: ‘You tell Mr.Levathes to save himself a stamp. If that letter gets shoved under my door, I walk. If I walk, I’ll never work again. I’m not going to starve if I never work again. I’ll be sued, but Mr. Levathes will lose his empire, and Twentieth Century-Fox will crumble. Cleopatra is three-quarters done, and it’s too late for them to replace me, and if I walk out of here, Fox is as good as dead.’ Then she added: ‘Nobody tells me who to love or not to love, who to be seen with and not to be seen with.’”
- Pg.254 Richard’s many various nasty comments about Liz had an affectionate undertone. Liz appearance made people nervous, and talking down to her help to make everyone feel calm. It also turned Liz on in the same way that Mike Todd did.
- TABLOIDS: “A London tabloid, Tempo, called Liz “an avaricious vamp who destroys families and devours husbands.” The Daily Mirror described her in equally unflattering terms: “The lady is one long eruption of matrimonial agitation.” In the Unites States, Life magazine ran a feature story containing photographs of Liz’s children under the cruel heading “Please…Who’s My Daddy Now?”
- Pg.256 Every newspaper contained photo stories of Liz & Dick, calling it the romance of the century. Making them more newsworthy than King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Only the future nuptials of Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy would create the same degree of public excitement.
Furious Love by Kashner & Schoenberger.
- Pg.46 “Zanuck took over the final edit and produced one four-hour epic, served up with an intermission. Its price tag, including distribution cost: “$62 million ($434 million today), the most ever spent on a Hollywood movie at that time. The final cut ran slightly over four hours, making it the longest film ever released. It was not just the longest, it was the heaviest: each print of Cleopatra weighted six hundred pounds. Even the publicity kit weighted more than ten pounds. Finally, when all was said and done, Wanger sued 20th Century-Fox for breach of contract, and the studio sued their two stars for $50,000, claiming that the bad publicity of their “scandalous conduct” had harmed the value of the film. They countersued, and the lawsuit was eventually dropped.”
Liz…by C. David Heyman.
- Pg.258 Medical Report: Liz suffers “…from torn cartilage in her knee…”. Burton gets whipped in bar fight; suffers black-eye and facial lacerations. All while filming The V.I.P.s (1963).
- Pg.259 Destroyed family: Richard’s wife never again spoke to Richard and his daughter Jessica, at 3-years of age, was diagnosed as catatonic by child psychiatrists and other experts in the field. “The only word she uttered——then and subsequently——was “Rich,” her father’s nickname.
- Pg.262 Meade Roberts recalled, “One evening the three of us were going to dine at Puerto Vallarta’s ramshackle Oceana Hotel restaurant. Richard and I were relaxing with aperitifs in hand at Casa Kimberly. We were waiting for Elizabeth, who remained upstairs applying her makeup. She was known always to be late, and she always was late. Burton gradually lost his patience. He suddenly bellowed upstairs. ‘Goddamn it, Elizabeth, will you please get down here,’ and the funny thing was, she came scampering down the stairs with lipstick on her upper lip but none on her lower lip. I pointed this out to her. She shrugged and said, ‘Who cares. We’re in Puerto Vallarta.’”
- Liz Taylor’s fried chicken recipe: “‘…what’s so difficult about frying chicken? You simply take a pan, pour some oil into it, place the chicken parts in the pan, and turn on the heat. I don’t understand the big deal all these people make about cooking.’”
Paula Dean’s Fried Chicken recipe
- Pg.263 Exchange: “Ava Gardener and John Huston were Indian wrestling. Totally inebriated, Ava began complaining about the uncomfortable boat ride she had to take each morning. Elizabeth Taylor was also on the set, and she remarked, “You know, Ava, you love to water-ski. You ought to water-ski from Puerto Vallarta to Mismaloya and back. Maybe you;d love it.” “Why don’t you water-ski back and forth?” Gardner responded. On this note, Liz raised her blouse and turned, revealing the surgical scar that ran halfway down her back. “I can’t water-ski,” said Taylor. “If I could, I would.” Ava felt contrite and embarrassed. “I’m sorry, Elizabeth,” she said. In fact, she began water-skiing to and fro, one hand clutching the towline, the other hand holding a half-filled highball glass.”
- Pg.263 Liz calls Dick out for being a opportunist.
- Pg.266 Author Stephen Birmingham, a close friend of Ava Gardner said, that it was hard to figure Liz out. She once told him that she had spend the most wonderful night with Richard. We sat up all night reading Shakespeare.”
- Pg.270 Brawling: In Los Angeles, before KTLA Channel 5 news interview. “‘Fuck you!’ screamed Burton. ‘Go fuck yourself!’ Elizabeth responded.” TV crew forced to cut sound feed.
Elizabeth…by Alexander Walker.
- Pg.273 “Far from diminishing public attention, their marriage only increased it. They now possessed the dynamic appeal of an official duo——‘the Burtons’. This denoted more than a union of celebrities. It was to become a label for a life-style. Elizabeth and Richard were not just loving consorts; they were inordinate consumers. They ordered without reflection, wolfed down the fare, signed the bill without a glance at the total. The Burtons were extravagant by nature and arrogant by inclination. They lived life on a scale few hereditary rulers except the despots of Africa or Arabia would have thought prudent for either their people to witness or their treasury to support. On screen, under a succession of different names, in different films, they played characters who were in many respects representations of themselves. Time was past when Elizabeth drew on the fiction of her films for what she hoped would be her experience of life. Now her life was lived on a grand scale. Her activities were publicly reported (whether truthfully or not) and in followed (whether approved of or not). It was more tempting than ever to surrender to the lure of a screenplay which invited her and Burton to bring their public images into its plot, characters and incidents.
Liz…by C. David Heyman
- Pg.271 Marriage: Mar.16.1964. Toronto, being a province of Ontario, Canada, did not recognize the fact that Elizabeth Taylor had obtained a Mexican divorce. Liz & Dick got married in a hotel suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal, a province of Quebec.
- Fame: Richard Burton was to star in Hamlet. “Days before taking the play to Boston, the producers learned that U.S. representative Michael Feigham, Democrat of Ohio and head of the House Subcommitte on Immigration and Naturalization, had demanded that the State Department investigate the validity of Richard Burton’s visa. The reason for the inquiry, according to Feigham,
- Story con’d pg.272: was his intention to spare the American public “all this discussion of morals.” Within a week’s time the State Department concluded that the investigation had produced no grounds for the revocation of Burton’s visa. The newlyweds joined the Shakespearean troupe at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston. In anticipation of their arrival, a crowd of over a thousand filled the hotel lobby. Squeezing through and around the mob with the help of police, private guards, and hotel employees, Elizabeth sprained a shoulder. One desperate onlooker went so far as to yank out a handful of hair from Taylor’s scalp. The following morning, Richard Burton went to a gun shop in Roxbury, a rundown section of Boston, to purchase a .22-caliber pistol and a supply of ammunition.”
Jude Law on Broadway
- Fame: “The Boston crowds were benign compared to what awaited the Burtons in New York. The play’s appearance at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on West Forty-sixth Street created major traffic jams. Streets and avenues had to be sealed off, and dozens of cops in full riot gear, many on horseback, were deployed to control the swarms of humanity that greeted the star couple each evening as they left the theater. The half-mile ride from the Lunt-Fontanne to the Regency Hotel, where they were staying, often took up to an hour. Burton reveled in the attention; Elizabeth claimed she could do without it.”
Furious Love by Kashner & Schoenberger.
- Pg.36 “In America, a U.S. congresswoman from Georgia named Iris Faircloth Blitch called on Congress to make “Miss Taylor and Mr. Burton…ineligible for reentry into the United States on the grunds of undesirability.” Congressmen in New York and North Carolina joined the fray, blaming the nation’s “moral slide” on the Taylor-Burton affair.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.274 Liz changes citizenship repeatedly. Says, “It is not true that I love America less, but I love my husband more.”
- Brawling: “Chaos reigned. Altercations between the Burtons were commonplace. Richard charted the arguments and outburst of violence in a series of leatherbound notebooks——a daily diary——portions of which formed the framework for a biography of the actor by Melvyn Bragg. “He would flip into black moods, viciousness, sarcasm with anyone and most of all with Elizabeth,” noted Bragg. “He flayed her….She, though grand and large enough to absorb the shocks of his battering ram of an ego, would fly back at him, often physically ‘beating him,’ and he had the greatest trouble in not returning the blows. He did once ‘and I didn’t hear very well for a month,’ she said.”
- Pg.276 Hollywood Irony: For the film The Sandpiper (1965), a life size Redwood carved sculpture of Liz was carved. Although she refused to pose for the 3-month labor of art, it was carved completely nude. The artist Edmund Kara asked to have the work years after it languished in an MGM storage room. MGM agreed, but wanted half the proceeds if the work was sold. Edmund did not want to sell the life-size sculpture but instead wanted the bust. He intended to reuse the rest of the wood for new artwork. When he cut the last part of the wood down the middle about the vagina, thousands of Big Sur army ants came marching out. They had been living in the goddess uterus. The artist later admitted that the episode had a mystical and legend quality to it.
- Pg.278 Medical Report: Liz runs into kitchen cabinet and blackens both her eyes. Richard calls her incident prone.
- Liz “…developed a serious and painful intestinal ailment…”
- Pg.281 Medical Report: Liz breaks tooth and later injures an eye both causing production delays in filming Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (1966).
- Pg.283 Burton’s life long goals had been Oxford Chair, knighthood and the Academy Award. He received neither of them.
- Pg.284 Medical Report: Liz has back surgery in Rome.
- Pg.285 Brawling: In Rome, on the set of The Taming of the Shrew (1967).
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Liz Taylor Has Brush With Death.
The following article was found by happenstance during a microfiche search while forming the factual parts for The General, a football story about a fictitious game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburg Steelers. It is included because I have never found the account in any biography or heard of the incident before.
- Accident: Oct.8.1967. “PORTO CONTE, Sardinia (AP)——Actress Elizabeth Taylor had a brush with disaster yesterday. Her dressing room trailer plunged over a 150-foot cliff into the sea moments after she left it. The $10,000 mobile dressing room was lost. Movie company officials said the trailer was parked on a slope, slipped its brakes and rolled over safety blocks.” http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187880-d314321-Reviews-Hotel_Portoconte-Alghero_Province_of_Sassari_Sardinia.html
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.286 “Set designer Robert Christedes recalled Dick and Liz arriving in Dahomey in a airplane packed with trunks. “We watched as three trucks were filled with about eighty suitcases.”
- Pg.287 The Kalizma: Liz & Dick purchase the yacht for $200,000. It arrives in Feb.1968.
- Pg.289 The Krupp Diamond: May.1968 Burton purchased for Liz, the 33.19-carat stone at auction for $305,000. Then, the largest amount ever paid for a diamond ring. The stone had been named for its previous owner, “Vera Krupp, the widow of the German steel magnate…[the] emerald-cut diamond was (and is still) considered one of the world’s most perfect specimens.”
- Pg.290,291 Medical Report: Liz undergoes partial hysterectomy.
- “André Besancon, for many years Burton’s gardener at Céligny, had committed suicide by hanging himself.”
- Burton’s brother Ifor is paralyzed.
- Burton admits homosexual experience, “I tried it once,”.
- Pg.292 Death: Nov.22.1968 Liz father dies, after stroke.
- Feb.5.1969, 1st husband Nicky Hilton dies, less than 3-months later.
- The death of Francis Taylor and tough family matters with both Liz & Dick causes Liz to sink into a deep depression exhauster-bated by complications from her earlier partial hysterectomy.
Furious Love…by Kashner & Schoenberger
- Pg.259 “La Peregrina”: In January 1969 Richard out bid Prince Alfonso de Bourbon Asturias for the “…extraordinary, pear-shaped pearl that had been given to Mary Tudor, first daughter of Henry VIII, by King Philip of Spain in 1554. The pearl’s provenance was so distinguished it came with its own biography, beginning with its discovery by a slave in the Gulf of Panama (which won his freedom). It made an appearance in two paintings by Velazquez, the great painter of the Spanish court: worn as a broach by Queen Margarita (the wife of Philip III), and suspended from a long necklace around the throat of her daughter-in-law, Queen Isabel. The next famous owners of La Peregrina were the Bonapartes in the early 1800’s.” Liz loved it dearly by could not share her joy with Richard, being in one of his “Welsh moods”. Elizabeth Taylor lost the pearl! She later found it in her dogs mouth. “La Peregrina” weights 203.84 grains had cost Dick $37-grand.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.293 Brawling: In Paris, Gstaad and London.
- Pg.295 Brawling: Onboard The Kalizma.
- Pg.296 Affair: Richard romances Rachel Roberts, married to Rex Harrison. Richard romances Genevieve Bujold.
Instead of Sotheby’s or Christie’s auction houses, try http://www.ebid.net Online Auctions. But you won’t find the Taylor-Burton Diamond.
- Pg.298 The Taylor-Burton Diamond: Richard purchased the famed 69.42-carat diamond from Robert Kenmore, the Chairman of the Board of Kenmore Corporation, the owners of Cartier Inc., who out bid Richard for the stone to the tune of $1,050,000. Richard contacted Kenmore after the auction and purchased the diamond from him provided, that the D-color flawless jewel be displayed by Cartier. Liz debuts the stone at the 40th Birthday party of Princess Grace Kelly.
- Pg.299 Medical Report: Liz heavily addicted to Seconal. Enter Cedars Sinai Hospital for hemorrhoid operation May 1970. Doctors make an effort to take Liz of excessive drugs to no avail. While recuperating she begins to bleed profusely and is rushed to the hospital again where it is found that one of her stitches had broken loose.
- Pg.307 Richard’s brother Ifor dies. Richard never the same.
- Pg.309 Accident: Taylor slips and breaks index finger. Taylor slips around swimming pool, falls and severs artery in left forearm.
- Pg.310 Brawling: Taylor and Burton begin filming Divorce His, Divorce Hers (1973). The appropriately titled film would be the last film project the couple would appear in together.
- Arrival: “Suddenly, in the middle of a scene, there was an uproar in the distance——hooting horns, flashing lights, a caravan of cars. Elizabeth had just arrived in Rome surrounded by police and paparazzi.
- Pg.314 Alberto De Rossi, make-up artist on of Liz & Dick.
- Pg.317,318 Hollywood Irony: Liz films Ash Wednesday. Historically, Ash Wednesday is a religious event 40-days before lent, where one gives up something they love for 40-days. Liz, at her end gives Richard, but only for a short period of time, as they would later remarry.
- Pg.321,322 Liz begins dating used car salesman Henry Wynberg, and reserves a separate bedroom for him adjacent to her $40,000 per month 7 bedroom suite.
- Pg.322 “Ocean”, Richards pet name for Liz.
- Pg.323 Affair: Burton strikes up a caring relationship with Italian actress and 2-time Academy Award winner Sophia Loren.
- Pg.325 Medical Report: Doctors suspect the presence of a malignant tumor. Liz enters UCLA medical center on Nov.27. 1973 for exploratory surgery. Wynberg takes hospital room next to hers. Tumor (ovarian cyst) later found to be benign.
- Liz calls Burton who was still in Italy at the time filming The Voyage. Dick flies to her side, “Hello, Lumpy,” greeted Burton, and Liz responded, “Hello, Pockmark.” Wynberg knew enough to step aside. Liz & Dick attempt to reconcile.
- Pg.326 Affair: Burton strikes up a romance on the set of next film, The Klansman, a story about the racial south. Although he says he did not remember making the film, he did become involved with young African-American Jean Bell. In 1969, Jean had become the first African-American center fold in Playboy magazine. He strikes up an affair with Kim Dinucci, a 19-year old beauty queen, who dumped her boyfriend to be with him for what amounted to a few weeks. Richard then falls for Anne DeAngelo a married 33-year old hotel receptionist.
- Pg.327 Liz returns to Wynberg, telling him that it did not workout between her and Dick.
- Divorce: Jun.26.1974, Liz & Dick divorce in Saarinen, Switzerland. Liz returns to Wynberg.
- Pg.328 Dick gets engaged to Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, whose ties extend into the British Royal Family, and romantically linked to John F. Kennedy. Then re-launches affair with Jean Bell while on the set of the movie Jackpot (1975). Tabloids run pictorials of the two together prompting an call-off. The Princess arrives two hours late to meet Burton and ends their engagement.
- Medical Report: Liz back gives out days after hearing news of Richard’s engagement to the Princess. She had to be put into traction with a 20 pound weight tugging at her spine.
- Pg.330 Medical Report: Liz contracts amoebic dysentery after arriving in Russia to film The Blue Bird (1976).
- Co-star Jane Fonda’s acting poweress eclipses Liz. pg.331
- Pg.333 Jean Bell sees Dick through some of his heaviest drinking bouts. His hands now shake with arthritis.
- Liz tells Wynberg that she must try to give Dick another chance.
- Pg.336 Liz & Dick rekindle their love and fly to Israel for a benefit concert where Liz was set to read the story of Ruth and Dick, to read the 23rd Psalm. After Brawling on the Israeli-bound jetliner, they touch down in Tel Aviv and spend a week at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
- Fame: “During their stay, their presence at the Wailing Wall in the Old City causes such a mob scene that one American tourist was heard to proclaim” “The Messiah has come.”
The Wailing Wall
- Pg.336,337 Re-marry: Oct.10.1975 Liz remarries Dick. She held no reservations about remarrying Burton. She wrote letters to him that became public, “I know we will be together forever, in the biblical sense.” Richard Burton’s housekeeper of more than 2 decades Marguerite Glatz saids, they courted and argued simultaneously.
———>Liz says, “We’re stuck like chicken fingers to tar for love always”.<———
- Pg.339 Affair: Burton launches onto affair with Susan Hunt, estranged wife of British race car driver James Hunt.
- Pg.338 Burton refuses to accompany Liz to hospital for back trouble.
- Pg.340 Brawling: During a party, Liz cracks her new bo, 37-year old advertising executive from Malta, Peter Darmanin, over the head with the Krupp Diamond. Hurt and rejected Peter nurses a gashed eyebrow. He returns to Liz in later years, 1982.
- Brawling: In New York, after Liz ditches Peter to answer Burton’s call. She had few details and thought he might be ill. She flew to his side in Feb.1976 with all intentions of nursing him, and their love back to strength again. When they met. Dick said he wanted a divorce. A row begins, Liz says, “You mean you called me all this way to tell me that,” screeched Taylor.
Pg.341 Divorce: #2 takes place Aug.1.1976.
- Pg.342 Liz returns to Wynberg, but Wynberg leaves Liz when she offers him friendship only.
- Pg.343 Romance: Liz begins dating Harvey Herman who says, “My sense is that it was difficult to be with Elizabeth Taylor. She couldn’t walk down the street of any city in the country without being instantly noticed. While she probably enjoyed that instant-recognition factor, there’s something eerie about not being able to go to a drugstore and buy a comb without being surrounded by a mob.” … “I had no desire to become either her factotum or another Mr. Elizabeth Taylor.”
- Pg.344 Liz Hires famed clothing designer Halston.
- Pg.346 Liz Snubbed: At the Nalvaran Palace, a royal summer residence, “Liz, decked out in gold and diamonds, couldn’t take her eyes off the empress, Farah Diba, a real-life star. Farah, lean and elegant, towered over the short, stocky figure of Liz Taylor.” “Assuming she would be received first, Taylor positioned herself at the head of the receiving line; purposely subbing Elizabeth, the empress started at the end of the line, saving Taylor for last.
- Liz tries unsuccessfully to marry Ambassador Firhooz Zihedi.
- Pg.347 “In June 1976, when Arab terrorist hijacked an El Al airliner, which was then used as a bargaining chip between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Elizabeth jumped into the fray, offering to substitute herself for the predominantly Jewish hostages being held by Idi Amin at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. On July 4, Israeli soldiers raided the airport and rescued the hostages.”
- Liz parties at Studio 54*
- Pg.348 Courting: Jul.8.1976 Liz arrives at a Bicentennial ball in honor of the queen of England at the British embassy in Washington, on the arm of up-and-coming republican politician John Warner.
- Pg.354 Superstar Standoff!: “During the intermission of the ballet that night, [the New York debit of the Austrian Ballet held at the Lincoln Center] Liz, Mitchell, and Barton encountered Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, with her escort, art critic Henry Geldzhler, in the VIP reception lounge. “The ladies stared at each other,” said Mitchell, “so I introduced them. Taylor seemed curious, but neither of them said anything. Superstars rarely do.”
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassiss
- Pg.356 Engagement: Oct.10.1976, to John Warner.
- Pg.358 Marriage: Dec.4.1976, Liz marries Warner. Arrives hours late to ceremony.
Liz & John
>Elizabeth Taylor’s A&E Television Biography:
Liz shakes so many hands she pops 2 blood vessels in her wrist.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.359 Liz weight balloons. Tabloid press along with Joan Rivers flays her.
Joan Rivers as Liz
- Pg.361 Medical Report: “Liz had been in and out of the hospital at summer’s end with bursitis but managed to make appearances in a wheelchair.”
- Jan.6.1978 Warner announces candidacy for Republican senator from Virginia. Liz aids his aspirations.
- Pg.362 Irony: “Despite Elizabeth’s participation in her husband’s campaign, on June 3, 1978, she watched helplessly at the Richmond Arena as Warner’s incumbent opponent, [a man who’s name just so happens to be Dick,] Dick Obenshain, won the nomination by a narrow margin. Warner was still nursing his loss when, [amazingly] ten days later, Obenshain’s small plane crashed near his home in Chesterfield, Virgina, killing the nominee. Promising to assume Obenshain’s campaign debt, Warner was nominated as his party’s senatorial candidate.
- The marks the 3rd and final time that a death by plane crash alters the Taylor family life.
- Pg.364 Medical Report: Liz weight balloons again, to as much as 180-pounds. Her unsightly looks become the subject of a parody when she swallows a chicken bone and had to have it removed by a surgeon after being rush to the hospital. John Belushi dressed as Liz in a Saturday Night Live sketch embellishes the occurrence in a skit where he swallows a chicken leg.
- Pg.368 Warner wins Senate seat Nov.7.1978 and is sworn in on Jan.16.1979——with less than 1% of the vote.
- Jul.16.1979, Liz flies to England for the funeral of her 2nd husband Michael Wilding.
- Pg.369 Liz films Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d, in England 1980.
- Pg.371 Career Totals: By 1980 Liz had appeared in 54 films.
- Marriage to Warner sours after John gets into office. [Already being called senator Taylor, Warner banished Liz from Washington D.C. in attempt to create a name of his own.]
- Pg.373 Liz rescues her beauty at Florida spa dropping 40-pounds.
- Liz rescues her career, staring on Broadway in The Little Foxes, May.7. 1981.
- Pg.376 Mar.30.1981. Liz cancels show the day of President Reagan’s attempted assassination.
- Pg.377 Medical Report: Liz collapses backstage in May 1981 and is hospitalized for 9-days with respiratory infection and torn rib cartilage from coughing.
- Pg.378 Liz misses as much as 11 performances costing the insurer $330,000, who had earlier, (pg.374) taken out $125,000 worth of insurance with Lloyd’s of London.
- Fame: “One day Elizabeth went into Bloomingdale’s to pick up a lipstick. Word of her presence quickly spread, and soon she was surrounded by a mob. The police hat to be called to her her safely out of the store. In August, firemen making a routine inspection at a West Forty-fifth Street restaurant had to rescue Elizabeth, Senator Warner, and a bodyguard from a crush of about a hundred autograph seekers outside the Martin Beck Theatre. “It looked like a riot scene,” the fire company’s lieutenant said. “I think my dog almost had a cardia arrest,” Elizabeth countered.
- Pg.383 Liz performs in 5-episodes on General Hospital.
- Pg.384 Divorce: Dec.21.1981, separation from Warner announced.
- Medical Report: Liz subsequently hospitalized on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles with chest pains.
- Pg.386 On Feb.27.1982, friends and family celebrate Liz birthday. Richard Burton arrives. He has had back surgery, and was in constant pain. His health deteriorated rapidly. He is still drinking.
- Liz & Dick rekindle their relationship as a friendship, now realizing why they must be together, but also knowing that they cannot.
- Pg.387 Burton expresses love for estranged wife, Susan Hunt.
- Pg.388 Richard strikes up a romance with 34-year old production assistant, Sally Hay.
- Because of Liz hospitalizations, Lloyd’s of London issue a million-pound insurance policy against absences or Liz not completing the 16-week run of The Little Foxes, opening in London.
- Medical Report: Liz sprains ankle, and plays from wheelchair.
- Pg.389 Liz & Dick reunite in Noel Coward’s play Private Lives. audiences loved it, critics hated it. Play sours once public learns of Richard Burton’s new wife Sally Hay.
- Pg.390 Romance: Nov.1982 Liz began dating Licenciado Victor Gonzalez Luna, a wealthy Mexican attorney with strong political connections. Stylist Zak Taylor, as well as other friends become convinced that Luna was as eager for publicity as was John Warner.
- Double Tragedy: Dec.1982 Liz announced, “I want to create peace between Israel and Jordan…”. A tour was organized by Phil Blazer, publisher of the Los Angeles based newspaper Israel Today, the same kind of trip he arranged for Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jane Fonda, and Sammy Davis Jr. Liz had intended to attend President Bashir Gemayel’s inauguration, but on Sept.14.1983, President Gemayel was assassinated, and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco was killed in a car accident.
- Pg.391 Liz sustains leg and neck injuries in a car accident while in Israel.
- Pg.393 Frank Rich remarked in the New York Times, that both Taylor and Burton looked, “whipped and depressed.” Taylor’s weight during the Private Lives run balloons to 167 pounds.
- Pg.393 Producer of Private Lives, Bufman, takes out 3.25 million in coverage against Liz & Dick cancelations; a record breaker.
- Taylor cancels 20 performances for many ailments, prompting one Lloyd’s of London underwriter to remake that she had become uninsurable.
- Pg.394 Marriage: Burton marries Sally Hay, the production assistant, in Las Vegas.
- Liz announces her own engagement to Victor Luna.
- Medical Report: Several days later Liz collapses with respiratory infection.
- Liz throws engagement party with Luna, but never announces a wedding date.
- Pg.395 Brawling: Liz & Dick argue throughout Private Lives.
- “I’ve always told her her biggest problem is people ‘yes’ her to death. [Says hairstylist Zak Taylor] Because she’s Elizabeth Taylor. That’s probably how she got into that terrible problem with the drugs and the drinking. If you’re just sitting around with Elizabeth, she says, ‘You know what? I’ve got to tell you. Pass me my tummy pills. Would you make me a Jack
- Story con’d Pg.396 Daniels? With nine cubes of ice.’ That was very good. ‘With at least nine cubes of ice.’ Five minutes later: ‘You know, I’ve got a headache. I need a headache pill.’ Well, who’s gonna say no?” Zak Taylor said he had seen one of Elizabeth’s doctors “handing her coke. “She was living in a world without day or night. What does a woman like that do, especially if you’re not working? How often do films come up? In between, what’s a person supposed to do with her life? “There were scary nights at her house when we thought she was dying, where she’d slip into these states from all the drugs. It would be like hyperventilating. The drugs would stop her breathing. We’d have to call the doctor.”
- Medical Report: Finally emotionally and physically, Liz collapses. Enters Betty Ford Clinic.
- Pg.400 Separation: Liz breaks off engagement to Victor Luna, Jul.1984. After the close of Private Lives, she splits her time between home in Bel Air Los Angeles, as well as a home in Gstaad, Switzerland——not far from Burton in Céligny.
- Death: Aug.5.1984 Richard Burton dies. “According to Burton’s brother, sportscaster Graham Jenkins, who liked Taylor, Burton “was calling Sally, his wife, ‘Elizabeth’ all the time” in the months before he died. Jenkins said Burton told him that he and Elizabeth spoke on the phone every day.” … “On August 4, 1984, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage at his home in Céligny and died the next day in the hospital, at only fifty-eight years old. At home in Bel-Air, Elizabeth fainted when she got the news.”
- Pg.401 Burton’s wife Sally Hay, asked Liz not to attend the the funeral for fear of the paparazzi. Liz arrived before dawn and kneeled silently behind a shield of bodyguard protecting her from the immediate gaze of the photographers——obviously expecting her.
- Pg.405 Engagement: Liz gets engaged to Dennis Stein, a frequently abrasive joker, a man opposite of dignified, who looked like he should be driving a cart down the street. Liz says he made her laugh. She receives a 20-carat sapphire ring.
- Romance: Liz romances with Carl Bernstein, who along with Bob Woodward at the Washington Post, broke the Watergate scandal. http://www.washingtonpost.com
- Later Liz dissolves her engagement——thinking Dennis Stein liked the press too much. This marked the 2nd dissolving of an engagement in a 6-month period of time.
- Pg.406 Death: Dec.24.1984 Peter Lawford dies. Liz had flown to his aid before his death. She was fueled by remorse for having missed the death of Burton.
- Pg.408 Rock Hudson becomes ill with AIDS. Liz races to his side.
- Liz learns that her daughter in-law is HIV positive.
- Death: Oct.2.1985, Rock Hudson dies.
>Elizabeth Taylor’s A&E Television Biography.
When speaking of Elizabeth Taylor’s passionate A.I.D.S activism, Columnist Liz Smith reports that Elizabeth Taylor said, “The girl had been married to her son Christopher, they weren’t married anymore but Elizabeth said to me, “Liz, this girl is like my own child, and she’s the mother of two of my grandchildren. How can I do anything, except everything I know to try to save her life.” She said, “I’m going to save her.” (Narrator) “To that end, Taylor made the disease a major focus. Perhaps the major focus of her life. Co-founding the American foundation for A.I.D.S Research.”
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.410 Plastic surgery: Liz denies anything more than a chin tuck.
- May.9.1986, Liz testifies before a congressional subcommittee on behalf of emergency AIDS finding.
- Liz continues to perform in television movies, [i.e. Malice In Wonderland (1995), Poker Alice (1986)].
- Pg.412 Liz plays the host to many gatherings. Including one in 1987, in Miami called An Extraordinary Evening with Elizabeth Taylor and Friends.
- Pg.414 Taylor receives the Legion d’honneur, France’s highest civilian award, for her humanitarian efforts. She appears in Washington again in front of Congress in Sept.23.1987.
- Pg.415 Art historian Robert Rosenblum gives account of a night at Sotheby’s auction house were, for the AIDS benefit, guest lined up to greet Liz, “Venus had come down from the skies.”
- 3-months later Sotheby’s host “the Passion Party,” and the premises were draped in purple for the promotion.
Liz…by C. David Heymann.
- Pg.417 The Passion advertisement campaign was released in 1987, backed by a 10-million dollar add campaign.
- Pg.423 Liz returns to the Betty Ford Clinic.
- Pg.424 Begins dating construction worker Larry Fortensky.
- Pg.425 Liz launches White Diamonds in 1989.
- Pg.430 Death: Mar.26.1990, designer Halston dies of AIDS.
- Medical Report: Liz collapses from viral pneumonia and is hospitalized for 9 weeks.
Pg.432 Michael Jackson creates a shrine to Liz Taylor in a room at the Neverland Ranch.
- Death: Roger Wall, secretary to Elizabeth Taylor, committed suicide because he had AIDS.
- Engagement: Jul.1991 Announces engagement to Fortensky.
- Pg.433 Marriage: Oct.5.1991 Taylor marries Larry Fortensky at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Michael pays for the $1.5 million dollar wedding. The wedding was rescheduled from October 6th to the 5th to suit Nancy Reagan.
- Pg.435 Prenuptial agreement: On behalf of Fortensky: Liz signs agreement to give $3 million dollars to Larry if they divorce.
Liz marries Fortensky
Michael Jackson…by J. Randy Taraborrelli.
- Pg.352 Liz Michael story: “One song planned for the album [Bad] was a rhythm and blues tinged number intended as a duet, ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’. Michael wanted Barbra Streisand to cover the song with him, but she turned him down. ‘I can’t believe she would turn me down,’ he said. ‘Doesn’t she know that this is going to be the biggest album in history?’ Michael suggested that ‘my people’ get back in touch with ‘her people’ and ‘tell her she’s about to make a big mistake.’ Barbara explained she wasn’t interested because she was worried that the age difference between them would make the lyrics seem unbelievable, plus she didn’t like the song. Frank Dileo was unfazed. ‘I knew the song was a hit with or without Barbra Streisand,’ he said. ‘Forget her,’ Michael responded. ‘Let’s get Whitney Houston.’ However Whitney wasn’t interested either. ‘Believe me, I didn’t lose any sleep over it,’ Frank Dileo said of Houston’s decision. Someone suggested Diana Ross. ‘No way. Bad idea,’ Michael responded, straight away. Michael didn’t explain that Diana was angry with him for a recent misunderstanding. He had made plans to go to dinner with her at a Hollywood restaurant called LeDome. However, Elizabeth Taylor telephoned and invited him to a meal that same evening. Wanting the best of both worlds, Michael asked her if she would like to join him and Diana.
- Story con’d pg.353 Elizabeth, who must be the centre of attention, accepted his offer, as long as Diana met them at the restaurant. In other words, Elizabeth did not want to join Diana’s party. She wanted a party of her own. Michael didn’t understand the ego game involved in her decision; he just thought she was being friendly. Anyway, the only thing on his mind was how ‘magical’ it would be to have Diana Ross and Elizabeth Taylor sitting at the same table with him. Once he and Elizabeth arrive at their dome, Michael telephone Diana and asked her to join them there. Diana was not pleased. She had been under the impression that she was supposed to be his date that evening. ‘This is not the way to do things, Michael,’ she scolded. She told him that the two of them would have to dine some other time, and not with Elizabeth Taylor. She was angry, and Michael knew it; she wouldn’t return his calls. It wasn’t the right time to ask Diana to record a duet with him. Instead, Quincy recruited singer Siedah Garrett to do the song with Michael, and it would in up the first single released from Bad. (A few years later, in 1990, Michael did the same thing to Elizabeth Taylor that he had done to Diana Ross. He was scheduled to have dinner with Elizabeth at the Hotel Bel Air restaurant in Bel Air, California. However, he left her waiting for more than an hour. She ate Sevruga caviar, drink Cristal champagne, waited and became increasingly infuriated. When Michael finally showed up, he explained that he had been in the parking lot in his Rolls, talking on his cellular telephone to Jackie Kennedy Onassis. According to the maître d’ who Michael to her table and was still standing beside him, Elizabeth said, ‘I will not play second fiddle to any woman, not even that woman. How dare you do this to me, Michael?’ Michael protested. ‘But, Elizabeth, I have a gift,’ he offered in his own defense. From his vest pocket, he pulled out a pair of earrings that appeared to be two ovals of turquoise embellished with diamonds. They weren’t even in a box. Without a word, Elizabeth grab the earrings. She then donned her fur wrap wrap and sunglasses at (night!) and flounce out of the restaurant, leaving Michael standing there with the maître d’. He couldn’t help but break into laughter; it had been one of the best exits he’d ever seen. ‘Oh my God! I can’t believe she just did that,’ Michael exclaimed, his face lit with delight. ‘Did you see that? Wow.’)”
- Pg.364 “In a short time, according to the tabloid press, Michael had asked Elizabeth Taylor to marry him and said, ‘I could be more special than Mike Todd. I could be more attentive and generous then Richard Burton, but she turned me down.’”
- Pg.454 “On 10 February 1993, Michael gave an internationally televised interview interview to Oprah Winfrey. During it, Michael and Oprah gave the world a nighttime tour of Neverland and Michael then revealed, for the first time, he suffers from Vitiligo. He also spoke of his ‘girlfriend’ Brooke Shields. When Oprah pushed to learn if Michael was still a virgin, he clarified that he was ‘a gentleman. You can call me old-fashioned, if you want.’ When asked about plastic surgery, he said he had ‘very little. You can count it on two fingers.’ Elizabeth Taylor made a surprise appearance, as if just passing through, to declare that Michael ‘is the least weird man I have ever known.’ (Michael later presented her with a $250,000 diamond necklace to thank her for the compliment.) It was a terrific, ratings-winning broadcast, drawing an audience of more than ninety million; the fourth most-watched entertainment show in US TV history.”
The Most Beautiful Woman In The World…by Ellis Amburn. Pg.290.
***Final Hollywood Irony*** Elizabeth Taylor’s last theater shown movie was The Flintstones (1994). Although she would play in several made-for-television-films, for a woman who’s life could easily be portrayed as an over-the-top cartoon, the film was the perfect choice.
- Death: Sept.11.1994, Elizabeth Taylor’s mother, Sara Taylor, a woman who biography’s state would never let it be forgotten that she once performed on Broadway in The Fool, (so we won’t forget her now) died at 99-years of age…A wonderfully full life. Pointedly, the same year of her daughter final year of movies.
>Elizabeth Taylor’s A&E Television Biography.
At Sotheby’s Passion Party, thrown to promote Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion perfume, Elizabeth Taylor answers questions from her audience. One patron asked Liz a question concerning passion and time. Elizabeth repeats the question for clarity——guised with a hint of disbelief that the question was even asked, and with an inflection as if to say “of course——but I thought everyone already knew”, Elizabeth Taylor says, “How long can a woman hope to have passion? For as long as she lives.”
^Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor. by C. David Heymann. A Birch Lane Press Book Published by Carol Publishing Group, New York, NY 1995.
^Elizabeth Taylor: The Last Star. by Kitty Kelly. Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, NY 1981.
^A Woman Named Jackie: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. by C. David Heymann. A Lyle Stuart Book, Published by Carol Communications, New York, NY 1989.
^Elizabeth: The Life of Elizabeth Taylor. by Alexander Walker. Published by Grove Wiedenfeld, New York, NY 1990.
^Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton And The Marriage Of The Century. by Sam Kashner & Nancy Schoenberger. Published by Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY 2010.
^Elizabeth. by J. Randy Taraborrelli. Published Rose Books. Warner Books. Hachette Book Group USA. New York, NY 2006.
^Grace of Monaco: An interpretive Biography. by Steven Englund. Garden City, New York Doubleday & Company, INC. 1984.
^How To Be A Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor In Hollywood. by William J. Mann. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, New York, NY 2009. Mariner Books; Reprint edition April 1, 2010.
^Michael Jackson: The Magic, the Madness, the Whole Story, 1958-2009, Updated with New Chapters on the Star’s Last Years and Last Days. by J. Randy Taraborrelli. Published by Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY 2009.
^Past Imperfect: An Autobiography by Joan Collins. Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, NY 1984.
^Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept The Secrets. by James Spada. Published by Bantam Books, New York, NY 1991.
^Richard Burton: Very Close Up. by John Cottrell and Fergus Cashin. Published by Arthur Barker Limited. England, 1971.
^The Most Beautiful Woman In The World: The Obsessions, Passions, and Courage of Elizabeth Taylor. by Ellis Amburn. Published by Harper Collins Publishers Inc., New York, NY 2000.
World Wide Web:
Liz Taylor Denounced By Vatican Newspaper. Article as per the, Vatican City (AP). Published in The Victoria Advocate, April 12, 1962. website: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=861&dat=19620412&id=2zlOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XEsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4475,1506306
Taylor and Burton, Timeless Romance. Photo essay. Time. http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2001368_2160282,00.html
When Liz Met Dick: The Making Of Cleopatra. by David Kemp. Magazine article published by Vanity Fair 1998. website: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/features/1998/03/elizabeth-taylor-199803
Elizabeth Taylor A&E Biography. 1993. VHS Home Video. Hosted by Peter Graves.
*This authors’ personal understanding of the spoken, but mainly unspoken desires of the public; and ability to streamline and or taylor stories, thoughts and ideas in-order to present a satisfying image by way of a scripted story*