With the permission of the family, journalist Kate Andersen Brower interviewed those closest to the late actress and had access to the legend's personal material from Hollywood
Actress Liz Taylor, who was married seven times, died in March 2011 in Los Angeles at the age of 79, a victim of heart failure
She died on March 23, 2011 at Cedars- Sinai from Los Angeles one of the last great movie stars: Elizabeth Taylor. She was 79 years old. After seven decades in the world of cinema and more than 50 films behind her, Taylor was not only the leading actress in unforgettable productions such as Cleopatra or Suddenly, last summer, < /i>but she was also a woman who drew everyone's attention for her private life: she had seven husbands and eight marriages. In addition, she was addicted to alcohol and drugs.
In the first authorized biography of the artist , Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & amp; Glamor of an Icon, which has just gone on sale in the United States, the journalist Kate Andersen Brower offers unprecedented information on this woman who dazzled in the big screen.
With the go-ahead from the family to explore the actress' archives and personal material (including 7,358 letters and notes) and interviews with 250 of Taylor's closest loved ones and other acquaintances, the author sought to document the life of the legendary star talking to the people who knew her best off set.
Demi Moore, Carol Burnett and Colin Farrell, were some of the personalities who agreed to give their testimony for the book. The four children of the actress and even some of Liz's former loves, such as George Hamilton, Robert Wagner and her latest husband, Senator John Warner b>, who died in May 2021, also allowed the journalist to inquire about Taylor's past.
Liz Taylor and Richard Burton on their wedding day in March 1964
With statements from those close to her and Taylor's files, the writer was able to tell the story of an actress who struggled with addiction, that she was a victim of abuse or that she was an advocate for AIDS patients in the 80s.
“She said that her whole life had been a struggleBrower explains. “Her resilience from him was refusing to be a victim. Once his father beat him up, and he hit him because he was intimidated because his 12-year-old daughter made more money as a child star than he did,” the writer details.
“He was They reconciled when she was 20 years old, but the fact is that she did not allow herself to be victimized. But she got up again, like when she almost died at age 20 because she had pneumonia, and she went on and on. She was one of never giving up”, she adds in her book.
Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in 1963 under the direction of Joseph (Getty Images)
“To be able to go through his life, read his inner thoughts and find out how he was working psychologically on the things that were happening to him all the time. And also how empathetic she was with other people, how she fought to be a working mother of four children, she fought for love… I think there was much more to her than we could see,” Brower said in an interview for the magazine < i>People.
The book also reveals a flirtation with director David Lynch, which happened at the Oscars after-party in 1987, where they shared a kiss: “I leaned in slowly, getting closer to her lips, but mesmerized by these violet eyes”, recalls the director. “I saw those eyes close as we kissed and then mine close. We enter a dream. I will never forget it.”
Elizabeth Taylor and John Warner
Their addictions are another of the great revelations of biography. Taylor opened up in numerous letters to various people about her struggle to overcome her addiction to her drugs. She is one of her children, Chris Wilding , the fruit of her marriage to the English actor Michael Wilding , who has spoken of some of the most dramatic episodes during the 1970s, when his mother was on a medication called Demerol, which was administered intravenously: “Her son recounted that Elizabeth had her gaze completely empty as she handed him a syringe so that he could administer the dose”, explains the journalist in the interview with People. “ There was always a void that she was trying to fill.”
“Elizabeth said that her whole life was like a fight,” reveals Brower.
He also refers to episodes of abuse he suffered from his partners; one of her most violent was her during her marriage to actor Eddie Fisher, her fourth husband, who pointed a gun at her temple. “Don't worry, you're too beautiful to kill yourself,” he told her. Elizabeth recounted that being married to him was “like slow suicide,” Brower explains, “so she needed to go. She got out of these abusive situations throughout her life, but I think the thing about her is that she always thought she was better when she was married.”
According to the journalist, The actress's children have thanked her for her work, although they have acknowledged that they have found episodes difficult to digest, “but they have also learned things from their mother by reading it, because her life spanned so much that no one was there to see it all.”
A fascinating love story over the phone
Colin Farrell provided details of his “romantic relationship” with Liz Taylor
The biography also reveals further details of his affair with Irish actor Colin Farrell, 44 years his junior her.
Although she doesn't like to talk about her love affairs and conquests, Farrell opened up about the platonic relationship she had with the legendary actress in the last days of her life.
The story -narrated by the actor- was like this. At the end of 2009, when he was in the Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles because he had been the father of Henry, her second son, he learned that the legendary actress was hospitalized for a heart problem. She did not hesitate and she sent him a bouquet of flowers. He was convinced that the diva did not know him. But he was wrong. Liz returned his attention with another bouquet and a note written in her fist and her handwriting. That's how it all began.
After a brief meeting, the actor spoke to Taylor's agent to request a private tour of the star's home: “Elizabeth was intrigued,” writes Brewer . “Her Irish accent and her hipster reputation reminded her of her beloved Richard Burton .”
Their first meeting was at Taylor's Bel Air mansion, where Farrell brought a copy of Yeats's poetry as a gift. “She told him that if she ever wanted him to come back and read her poetry, he would be happy to oblige,” according to the biographer. Taylor then wrote to the actor: “What a pleasure it was to meet you…You remind me of so many good things…so many happy things. Thanks for being so real.”
“He went over and over again, reading to her,” Brewer says. “She would sit in an armchair by his bed and she would occasionally put on recordings of Richard reading poetry.”
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A decade later, in 2013, Farell revealed some details of their relationship during an interview. “That was the beginning of a year and a half or two of a very special relationship ,” the interpreter confessed when she was on the Ellen DeGeneres show in 2018.
“She was a spectacular woman. For me it was, at least in my head, the last romantic relationship I ever had. Although it was never consummated”, expressed the actor, who explained that both had long telephone conversations until well into the early hours of the morning.
“We talked about everything. Poetry, food, travel… Not so much about cinema. To the despair of my friends, I never asked him about James Dean or Montgomery Clift. She didn't sleep much at night, like me, so at two in the morning she would call her. I would sit in my garden and we would talk for hours,” recounted the Irish actor, who was 34 at the time.
“I loved her, I still do, and I was lucky enough to to be his friend for the last two years of his life. It was a beautiful friendship that fell from heaven”, said the actor about the iconic Hollywood star. “I wanted to be husband number eight, but we ran out of time”.