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How Elizabeth Taylor Went From Widow to Tramp to Oscar Winner in 30 Eventful Months


In the most recent excerpt of the excellent podcast You Must Remember This by Karina Longworth, the legendary beauty Elizabeth Taylor is the subject. With material this good, it's best to just get to the text: 

"Debbie Fisher had been a virgin who lived with her parents when she and the TV star Eddie Fisher got married in 1955. Eddie was … not a virgin. There have been reports that Eddie and Debbie’s marriage was arranged by MGM, who had no problem selling the couple as America’s Sweethearts. But Debbie seems to have thought it was a real relationship—at least, for a while. But after she gave birth to her first child, Carrie, Eddie never seemed to be around. Debbie desperately wanted another kid, but she couldn’t get her husband to sleep with her. Finally one night on vacation in Italy, Debbie got Eddie drunk enough that he performed his husbandly duties. One time was the charm, and nine months later Debbie gave birth to their son Todd.

Elizabeth Taylor and producer Mike Todd, and when Debbie heard in 1958 that Mike Todd had died in a plane crash—his private jet Liz plummeted to the ground in New Mexico—she went over to Liz’s house and offered to take care of Elizabeth’s three children while she grieved. Over the next few weeks, while Debbie was occupied taking care of a total of five children, she knew Eddie was spending a lot of time at Elizabeth’s house, but she wasn’t worried—after all, Eddie had loved Mike, too.

On the eve of the release of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Debbie knew Elizabeth was in New York. She thought Eddie was away on tour, and alone in the house with her kids, Debbie was lonely. She called Elizabeth at her hotel to chat—and Eddie answered. 'Roll over, darling,' Debbie said, 'and let me speak to Elizabeth.'”

Read the captivating full text at Slate. 

Thanks to Neatorama reader Edward for recommending this episode.  

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