There’s a photo of me, at around 16, sitting on the front stoop at my house in Queens. It’s summer and I’m wearing matching gold Bermuda shorts and a sleeveless top. I would scan the photo for you to see, but I have no idea where it is now. The reason I bring it up in the first place is because most anyone who saw it thought I looked like a young Elizabeth Taylor. Of course, I didn’t think so at all, but it made me happy when someone said it.
I loved watching “National Velvet” when I was a young girl. Elizabeth was so beautiful and happy. I wanted to be her.
I saw Cleopatra with my family the night before they dropped me at Syracuse University to start my freshman year. I wanted to be Elizabeth then, too. It would have been preferable to being left behind at Syracuse.
I saw Elizabeth on Broadway in Edward Albee’s psychological play, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Richard Burton played her husband. I wanted to be Elizabeth more than ever.
One of my all-time fave movies was the epic, “Giant.” If I couldn’t be Elizabeth, my life was a waste.
When Mike Todd died in a plane crash, I was 11, and was deeply sad for Elizabeth. I thought about it so much you’d think I lost someone close to me.
When Eddie Fisher left wife, Debbie Reynolds, I felt bad for her, but who could blame the guy? Once you fell under Elizabeth’s spell, you were destined to stay that way.
Sure, Elizabeth was a little nuts, married eight times, battled drug addiction, best friends with Michael Jackson. You’ve heard it all. But she never lost her innate grace or her self-awareness. “I’ve always admitted that I’m ruled by my passions,” she said. That’s precisely what made her so captivating, on and off the screen.