After watching all the Elizabeth Taylor coverage, I thought about my cute Elizabeth Taylor moment that I was lucky enough to have. It was ten years ago at Carrie Fisher‘s house. Carrie is known in the Hollywood inner circles for having the best dinner parties, and her annual Carrie Fisher & Penny Marshall joint birthday parties were THE party of the year in those days. Having worked for Carrie in the 90′s, I would coordinate them, and unlike any other celebrity party, these were so hush hush, no one besides the top 200 Hollywood A-Listers were ever invited. Invitations would not even go out, rather, we (Carrie, Penny & I, or whoever was working as the assistant as the time) would split up the list and make personal calls. Invitations are so bourgeois.
Everyone who was anyone was there, milling around the house in celebrity clusters, when all of a sudden the front door opened and a hush came over the room. Elizabeth Taylor walked in on the arm of Al Pacino. What, you might ask, as did we all, were those two doing together? “Hey, she needed a ride.” Anyhoo, she was seated in the main living room on the tan, chenille couch, and one by one, everyone at the party had their Elizabeth Taylor moment. We all wanted to pay homage to this magnificent legend. The other side of the couch became the musical chair. One by one Angelica Huston, Robin Williams, Marianne Faithfull, Lorraine Bracco, Ben Affleck, Nicole Kidman, you name it, they came by and sat next to La Liz for an allotted few glorious minutes to say hello, touch her garment, kneel in the presence of loveliness. From time to time she would fiddle through her peruse in what I knew was an attempt to sneak a pain killer. As a fiddler from way back, I could just tell. Right before my turn, the person before me, who shall remain nameless, asked Liz to see her famous 33.19-carat Asscher cut Krupp Diamond ring, the one that Richard Burton gave her in 1968. You know when a diamond ring has a name, it is not some Jappy, bridezilla, 3-carat nonsense. The person took Elizabeth’s hand, oohed and ahhed at the Krupp Diamond, and touched it. Liz pulled her hand away and snapped, “Hey, you’re got a finger print on my ring!” and immediately started polishing up the Krupp. You can tell that this ring meant a lot to her. And I don’t mean money. Then it was my turn. In what could have been an awkward moment, I quickly said, “What a maroon.” And she broke out in laughter. Yes, I, little old (and I use that term sadly) me, made Dame Elizabeth Taylor laugh. It was a glorious moment, one that I am sure she did not remember, but one that made for one of the best moments of my life.