The love life of Elizabeth Taylor was full of scandal.
That’s how people felt in the 1950s and 1960s, at least.
The late actress was married to seven separate men eight times in her life, her most prominent relationship being with her co-star Cleopatra, Richard Burton.
Taylor married Burton twice and said in a 1984 essay that despite the heavy media coverage that followed their relationship, she would have married him a third time as well.
Their affair was so widely publicized on the Cleopatra cast that it attracted public condemnation from the Vatican.
And worse, because of the salacious scandal, an American congresswoman even sought to get the actress removed from the United States.
Elizabeth Taylor, before her affair with Richard Burton, was married to Eddie Fisher
Even before she fell in love with Burton, Taylor’s love life was thrown out of whack. The year her third partner, Mike Todd, died in 1958, Taylor had an affair with singer Eddie Fisher, the late Debbie Reynolds’ husband, and Carrie Fisher’s father from Star Wars.
Fisher ultimately left Reynolds for Taylor, which triggered a “mad feeding frenzy by the tabloids.” according to Carrie’s younger brother, Todd Fisher.
Taylor and Fisher married in 1959, although their relationship was “vilified” in the press, the same day the singer’s divorce from Reynolds was finalized.
And in their defense of their romance, the pair were very adamant.
A public comment was once made by Taylor about her new husband and his ex-wife (who, mind you, was one of her closest friends from high school).
According to InStyle, “Eddie is not in love with Debbie and never has been,” she said. “You can’t make a happy marriage break up.
With Debbie and Eddie, that was never the case.
By the way, Reynolds was never persuaded that Fisher was really loved by Taylor.
“According to Biography, “I was never bitter about Elizabeth,” Reynolds told People in 1983. “A man doesn’t leave a woman for another woman unless he wants to leave. When Mike Todd died, I sent Eddie to help Elizabeth. I don’t think she ever really loved Eddie. He was an interim interest during her grieving period.”
Her friendship with Elizabeth Taylor was “worth more” than Eddie Fisher, said Debbie Reynolds.
The affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton delayed the shooting of “Cleopatra”
Reynolds may have been right, given that during the shooting of ‘Cleopatra’ in Rome in 1962, Taylor fell in love with Burton. Although the singing career of Fisher was badly hit by the affair (his son said it “literally ruined his career”), Taylor and Reynolds were able to translate celebrity into higher wages.
For Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) – a film that is now considered the peak of Hollywood excess and drama on set, Taylor was paid a million dollars to star in Cleopatra.
The film had the feeling of being doomed from the beginning. There were two directors, the first of whom spent $7 million on the film creating accessible footage for just 10 minutes, and Taylor nearly died after contracting pneumonia, leaving the film almost without its leading lady.
Of course, Taylor recovered and then the movie was eclipsed by her intense Burton affair.
Since both were married at the time (Taylor to Fisher and Burton to Sybil Williams), reports of their romance prompted the paparazzi (who were at the time in their childhood) to smear themselves as extras on the set to grab pictures and the couple’s photos.
Another Hollywood icon warned Debbie Reynolds not to marry Eddie Fisher
Why was Elizabeth Taylor almost expelled from the United States?
Not only did Taylor and Burton not go to great lengths to conceal their affair (they hid all day in a trailer together while they were supposed to be on set), but when the affair took place, Fisher was with Taylor in Rome.
Fisher finally left Rome with his wife, as news of the affair circulated through the tabloids, giving tabloid readers the assurance they needed that Taylor and Burton were still together.
Their affair continued, and the tabloids kept publishing story after story about the pair as well. It was one of Hollywood’s most talked about scandals, which says a lot given that Taylor had one just a few years ago.
The coverage of their attempt became such a public concern that an open letter to Taylor was written by the Vatican claiming that