Another big – in fact monster – star has passed away…
Elizabeth Taylor joins the long recent list with celebrities like Paul Newman and Dennis Hopper as, "Man, I can’t believe they’re gone" people.
The way Hollywood is today, it’s not likely there’ll be another Liz Taylor. Someone who literally owns the screen for decades as both a sex symbol and a great actress. I remember being in Miami, Florida as a little kid and my grandmother taking me to see CLEOPATRA with Liz and her husband Richard Burton. I hated seeing her die in the movie, but not so much him. Hah!
As I’ve said before, there are few movie stars that I didn’t meet, know or see in Hollywood during my 16 years there. And without doubt, Liz Taylor was at the top of my list, even though I only saw her once.
In 1982 I was in Malibu right on the water. My partner and I, Don Woodbeck, hung out at Alice’s Restaurant – the one from the movie and song of the same name. One slow night, it may have been a Monday or Tuesday, Don and I were at the small bar and sure enough, there seated near a window with her small group was Taylor. Even then she was a bit overweight and wearing a fur coat, although it was warm out.
Don and I were seated at the bar next to TV star Robert Conrad of THE WILD WILD WEST and BA BA BLACK SHEEP. He was taken aback as well. Liz was with what seemed to be a boyfriend, drinking, eating and doing "party material" pretty openly. In 1982, being in LA abd her being a star made that kinda OK. They looked to be having a good time. The three of us came to her table and introduced ourselves. And she spoke to us briefly. Liz was very cool, but not real interested in making any new friends.
Woodbeck was killed in a gun battle a few months later. Don’t know what Conrad’s doing now. And I never saw Liz again. With all that said, she was very impressive, even at that time.
We lost a great one.