Back in 2001, my husband and I had big plans to participate in the Taos Talking Picture Festival because we would be meeting Elizabeth, who was that year’s Maverick Award winner. Unfortunately, those plans fell flat. Actually, I’m the one who took the fall by tripping over a rug in the bathroom, then ending up with head and arm injuries. When I broke the news about not being able to cover the festival because of this clumsy accident, one of my editors said, “Just make something up!” So I did, and here’s an excerpt from the article I submitted:
Never underestimate the power of imagination. That’s how, while recuperating from injuries, I took a magic carpet ride to Taos, New Mexico, for the April film festivities there. Of course, dinner with a Hollywood legend emerged as the highlight of this trip. Everyone knows Elizabeth Taylor is the last of the Great Movie Stars, so it was a thrill to see her receive a tribute for her incredible acting career. Although Liz already has two Oscars (one for Butterfield 8 and the other for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and was dubbed Dame Elizabeth by Queen Elizabeth, she deserves as many awards as she can get after over fifty years as a Hollywood leading lady.
Immediately following her Festival tribute, Larry and I joined Liz for dinner at the Holiday Inn Don Fernando. She looked lovely in a white jacket that contrasted dramatically with her dark hair and famous violet eyes. After congratulating her on such an amazing film career, I told her about what my mother did when MGM was searching for a child to star in National Velvet. "She sent the studio a picture of me riding a horse," I said.
"I wonder how many other mothers did the same thing?" Liz mused. "But I think you’re lucky you didn’t get the part. I hurt my back during filming National Velvet, and that was probably the beginning of all my health problems."
Larry pointed to my cast and added, "Betty Jo has had her share of those too. Looks like both of you are real survivors."
"And YOU are a real sweetheart," Liz tossed back at him flirtatiously.
Suddenly it dawned on me that Liz is between husbands now. No wonder I breathed a sigh of relief when dinner was over. After all, this is my fantasy, not Larry’s.
Rest in peace, dear Elizabeth. Your fans all over the world will miss you. Thanks for leaving us so many terrific performances to enjoy!
(Listen to “Elizabeth Taylor Remembered” by clicking on the BlogTalkRadio site below.)