Anorak | Elizabeth Taylor And Me: Victor Olliver Recalls His Three Meetings With The Great Dame

Elizabeth Taylor And Me: Victor Olliver Recalls His Three Meetings With The Great Dame

by | 24th, March 2011

ANOTHER sheet of my cultural wallpaper is stripped away with the death of Elizabeth Taylor; or, Dame Elizabeth as she called herself on Twitter. I had three encounters with her.

The first was remote. When I worked for the late old IPC cunties’ monthly  Woman’s Journal I had to ‘nogotiate’ an interview with her. She didn’t want a one-to-one it emerged but she agreed to a fax chat. The result wasn’t that interesting. The Dame rarely spoke the truth about anything, but like her pal Michael Jackson, adopted a breathless, semi-cosmic pose suggestive of a deity bothered by mundane inquiries. Her most admirable feature was a merciless contempt for the media and a shrewd wariness of the public. In one TV interview she gave a few years ago she teased a journalist with personal allusions: when asked the direct question she said with a smiling scorn you couldn’t fake: ‘Wouldn’t you like to know.’ Perfect old Hollywood.

Anyway, I’m not one easily put off. I contacted the Dame’s then agent Chén Sam in New York telling her the fax interview was crap. ‘Well, come over and I’ll talk to you,’ she said, as if I were a neighbour. So I got on a plane. Chén, an Egyptian I think, received me in her office and over 90 minutes knocked back a number of alcoholic drinks while leaving me dry. She spoke so frankly, and mostly off-the-record, that much of what she said was unusable. At one point the Dame phoned and Chén said: ‘Yes, he’s here.’ She replaced the receiver. All very unrehearsed. My eventual write-up was a masterly

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Posted: 24th, March 2011 | In: Key Posts Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink