Priests in the Attic

The Official Blog for Elaine A. Small

Memories of Elizabeth Taylor

Elaine à la Elizabeth Taylor c. 1965

Yes; today, like others world-wide, we, Boomer/Zoomers in particular, mourn the death of Elizabeth Taylor. In our day she was it...and we all wanted to look like her (see my rendition). And again, today, like so many other mourners, looking back on her life (and mine) I have a personal story to relate. It takes place in 1965, at the King Edward Sheraton Hotel, in Toronto, Canada.

I was performing at the “King Eddy” around the time when Liz Taylor and Richard Burton married each other for the second time. (Their first marriage lasted ten years.) They stayed over at the hotel on their way to Montreal (where the marriage vows were proclaimed) and I well remember the buzz of excitement that pervaded the hotel…and why not? Toronto, at that time, was not considered the “world-class city” as we know it today.

“Dressed to the nines,” in my stage make-up, my stiletto heels and my heavily beaded gown, I gingerly stepped onto the elevator to go down to the Oak Room, one of the two elegant supper clubs in the city at that time. (The other one, large enough to host stars of the day such as Tony Bennet and Peggy Lee was the Imperial Room at the Royal York Hotel.) As it happened, I shared the elevator with only one other person—a short stocky man who stared up at me as we slowly descended three floors before he loudly blurted out:

“Well…are you Elizabeth Taylor?” A pregnant pause followed as the elevator doors slowly opened….

“Not exactly,” I murmured over my shoulder as I took my leave, turning just in time to see his puckered, puzzled look. And that’s as close as he or I got to Elizabeth Taylor that day.

PS. I hope you’ve enjoyed this reverie and the “wannabe” picture above—now 45 years old!

Yes, I did see the real Elizabeth Taylor the next day; she was much shorter than expected—but absolutely stunning!

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