Lights Camera love. This weekend. It's the Oscars and we are celebrating all things glitz and glamour with a Hollywood romance that spans Ancient Egypt to Henry the a pop some popcorn and pop in your air pods. We've got some Academy Award lovin' for you today. I'm Alicia Rai.
And I'm Sarah Wendell. Welcome to lovestruck daily where we shine a very flattering spotlight on true love stories each and every weekday. I'm in love with that I'm in love with you, Alicia. The Oscars are this week.
I know I'm excited.
I did not realize how much I missed the absolutely off the wall going for it fashion of some award seasons where you would see people taking incredibly glamorous risks with what they were wearing. And like I miss seeing Billy Porter on a red carpet. And I didn't know I missed that. I didn't know that. Now there's been the BAFTA is and the CCA is and all these other award shows where it's like, Oh, that's right. Looking at incredibly intricate design is a thing that we used to do regularly when it was award season. And I think the Oscars are going to be like off the chain and
I cannot wait. I'm really excited. I think I'm the worst fashion critic ever because I appreciate everything on everybody. So I'm like wow, they really made that salon costume work for them. You know, like I'll find something to like about everything but I think fashions really cool from like a outsider standpoint in that I could never do it. I don't really know what I'm ever wearing at any point in time. I am excited. I'm excited for some of the films in the animated category.
Listen, that's my category. I would watch for that one and then I would turn it off what I like year
this has been for animated feature films. I mean, we got in Konto we got Mitchell's versus the machines, which I think is very underrated. I love that one that made Kai realize that like not to freak out about having kids. So he's very like he, he watched it. He was like, Oh, I love how, you know the dad just tries his best. And that's enough. Yeah, that is the message.
Do you know somebody told me to separate people actually, who do not know each other said, Sarah, you remind me a lot of the mom and the Mitchells versus the machines. Yeah. And she is a bad ass I was very flattered a lot of fun.
She's like a fun mom. She's Yeah, you have the same you've got definite Fun Mom energy. And
then there's Raya and the last dragon yeah and Luca. Yes. I mean it's incredible.
It's it's a it was a good year for me it feels maybe part of that is because everybody was stuck at home. And so the animators just like when
people wanted something that they knew would end happily which is Yeah, a little bit about speaking of bigger than life and real life imitating art. We have some deep dive into one of the most famous Hollywood romances of all time, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Now, the person who brought us this story is our in estimate Lee wonderful researcher Jesse Epstein. And she was so excited about Elizabeth Taylor. We we asked if she could just come on the show and tell us about it herself. Please. Welcome writer, actress Rockstar member of the lovestruck team Jesse Epstein. Welcome Jessie. So this is this is your love story. Your favorite of all of them, right?
I mean, it's right up there. You'd be hard pressed to find a love story in Hollywood. That's more interesting. It's insane. It's I'm actually sad. We only have a short time. It's like are they've written many books about these people? Yeah.
I mean, Elizabeth Taylor alone. How many times was she married?
Nine. So many? Seven. She was married seven times. And he was married five. Yeah.
That's so exhausting sounding.
Oh, just wait, tell us
all about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, please.
In honor of the Oscars. Just to start off, she was nominated five times one twice. He was nominated seven times and never won. They were both like very high. I know. It's an it's it's honestly a shame because he was considered the great Shakespearean actor of his generation. And she was obviously Elizabeth Taylor's, like she you know, child movie star grew into a successful adult movie star and like, obviously, very celebrated for her beauty but also very celebrated for her talent like she was regarded as a it sounds like kind of silly to put it this way, but she was regarded as a serious actress which in the heyday of like, 50s Hollywood was not a given, especially if you were the paragon of beauty Elizabeth Taylor. Yeah. And it's actually interesting, okay, because the first time they meet these two is at a party, of course in Hollywood. And he sees her journals about it later, like a sad boy. And he's like, he says she was so beautiful. He says she was fire, famine and plague in short, she was too bloody much.
Oh, yeah, that is very sad boy, but also amazing. It
is. Yeah. And they're very intense. Yeah, they're like, they're both so intense. So these like passions, what made them great actors, right? But they're both like, it's these two massive personalities, and then you like, throw them together, and it's volcanic. So she made but when she meets him, she's like, okay, because he had a reputation for being very much the Playboy like he was from Wales. He was new to LA. Like she, you know, he had this big reputation as a playboy. And she was like, that's nice. Okay, goodbye. Like she was not impressed, basically. And but then nine years later, they made on the set of Cleopatra, which obviously, lovestruck listeners know all about Antony and Cleopatra. Yeah. And, and they meet for the second time and they're on set, right? And he says to her, this is the first thing he says to her. He goes, has anyone ever told you that you're a very pretty girl. And she was like, You're the Great Prince of Wales. And this is the line like, this is how your we're gonna play this seriously. He bought he
brought like his like his cute. Like, not even an A or a B, like that was.
Well, and she agreed, because she was like, Okay, nice. Yeah, no, no one's told me that that's a that's
the most vital make a move in like, I live at the time. Yeah,
exactly. Okay, so that's how so that's their like, first little meeting on set. And the next interaction they have is the first scene that they're filming together. And he couldn't remember his lines because he was so like entranced by her. The director described it as he was like drunk in her presence because he was so like mesmerized by her. This is what endears her to him as she's like, Oh my god. This is this incredible actor who is so celebrated, who like is Laurence Olivier's successor on stage and screen, and I am going to help them I'm going to help him with his lines. And then they film their first kiss. For the movie, it's in Cleopatra's boudoir. They're obviously playing Antony and Cleopatra, and they like won't stop making out like, while there's the director, he calls cut, and like they keep going. And then then he's like, Do you guys mind if I call cut, like, and they keep going? And he's like, are you interested that it's lunch now? Like, it's like, very obvious, pretty early on. And this precedes to, like, kick off this insane affair that they have. They're both married at the time when they are on this set. Right? And so there's, there's certain things that I probably can't say on air that they famously said to other people's to their opposite spouses, basically, because they're, like, pretty brazen, with their affair. And this movie is at the time, sort of being pitched as like the great Oscar blockbuster, like it's going to sweep the awards. It's going to win everything. It just not.
People would learn not to do that, right. Yeah, the minute you're like this, is this, okay? No, it doesn't usually work that way.
It really doesn't. They kind of Jinx themselves. And the studio actually later tried to sue them for how bad it was because they were like, well, your affair gave us really bad publicity. So it's on y'all that we that we didn't make it yet. Then they proceed from there after they've like taken Rome by storm where they're filming there. They get married after they divorced their respective spouses. And they decide that like Hollywood is too small for the glamour that they too, are to enjoy. And so they go to Europe and start hanging with like royalty, oil tycoons. He famously outbids Aristotle Onassis, who was like the oil kingpin of the time of the 80s and 90s. He's like, richer than God is, you know what they would say about him? He outbids him for the diamond that the king of India who built the Taj Mahal for his bride gave to her he buys for Elizabeth Taylor, for I believe it was $70 million. So it's
a very scandalous, dramatic diamond on multiple levels.
Oh, yes, there's this is a diamond with a story. Yes. Oh, yikes. Aha. And that's Just like that's just how they roll. She like buys mangoes for him.
i Oh, yeah, most low key low drama couple. Can you imagine like being their neighbor? It's funny that
they were very famous for how they fought. Like they were very performative in the way that they fought so much so that if someone heard they were in a hotel, they would book the room beneath them so they could hear them argue. And they kind of enjoyed that. Like they were like, Well wait. So again, like the studio tries to sue them for their bad publicity. They were like they, like reveled in it, because they were like, we're always one step ahead of you guys. We know that you want us to be this dramatic. We know that you love that we're like this, that we're fighting like this, that we're these big personalities like Cleopatra and Anthony, and we're gonna do it. And then they make this movie for which Elizabeth Taylor does win an Oscar Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which is film adaptation of the play by Breadalbane,
which is basically a big fight. Yes. It's basically a three act fight. It's the act of fighting. Yes.
And they do it in front of these people, they invite over for dinner. So it's like this sort of allegory of the press of everyone who's watching them and seeing them and everyone said, when it came out, they were like, Well, isn't this just their relationship? Like, isn't this just how these two are? Yeah. And they famously said, after the movie, that they had a hard time actually getting out of these characters like this was around the time that they divorced for the first time.
So the first time they divorced, it was like this second time was like,
exactly, they get the divorce, and then they remarry a year later. And then they divorce again, less than a year later. Oh, my God. And it's again, it's all the like, it's the it's just what he said the first time he sees her it's too bloody much. And they both said that she said on her deathbed. I never ever could have loved anyone like that again, like it was too. It was literally too much too much. It was like that all consuming. You know, like these characters we love Right? Like the people in history like Cathy and Heathcliff and like all these big crazy love stories. They were that like, they lived that out. And they
felt that that sounds utterly exhausting. Well, even they couldn't do it. The Burton Taylor fight does your or the fight of the hour, it could be every five minutes,
they would give the Kardashians arrived for their money.
Oh my gosh. I mean, part of it.
I sometimes I think Oh, especially with the Kardashians, I think they deliberately create controversy to for PR reasons.
But this Listen, the devil works hard. But Kris Jenner works artistically,
but but this feels like, they just happen to be very famous people who couldn't get their emotions together when they were with each other. Which is when it kind of it was to the detriment
of their careers like this, right? This was a huge again, it's like they're both very well respected separately, and they get great work their whole careers, but because they like couldn't handle this one relationship. Yeah, they were also they were like simultaneously the butt of the press, always like they were the most talked about Hollywood couple of all time.
My favorite thing about Elizabeth Taylor is that, and I don't tend to put people on pedestals because you know, we're all flawed and messy. And I mean, I think Elizabeth Taylor would say herself that she was capital and messy. But anyway, Elizabeth Taylor, it was like, first of all, what are you going to do to me, I'm Elizabeth Taylor. I'm going to put my name on fundraising on behalf of AIDS research. So you have this person who walks in a room and commands attention, suddenly calling out the President calling out Reagan who needed to be called out and saying, why are you not doing anything about the AIDS crisis? And like the director of communications in the White House said something like, well, we don't respond to actors. And someone brought that quote to her and she said, Well, I wasn't talking to him. I was talking to the president. I'm gonna say it again. Why aren't you doing anything about this? Who was also an actor? Yeah, I've just been exactly. Her ability to say, I'm going to monetize and leverage my fame and my name on behalf of this cause that is killing my friends that no one is paying attention to. I absolutely love it. When a person says, What are you going to do to me? I'm Elizabeth Taylor. What are you going to do? You can't you can't do anything to me, but I can make you pay attention to me. And then millions and millions of dollars and a lot of attention were paid to AIDS crises around the world because of Elizabeth Taylor. I love that. So how did how did Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's relationship end and like the end end, not the first end, but the end end,
the end and which is contested by his last wife, because he was married on his deathbed to a woman that was not Elizabeth Taylor. Three days before he dies? He writes her letter, and he says, You have always been my home. Oh, yeah. I just got chills.
And his last wife contests that
that it was written. She was like, I was caretaking for him he had there was no money. He was not well. And like, you know, of course no, it's like that's deeply embarrassing for that. Yeah, for that woman and of course, but I mean, all indicators like, like this man journaled about this woman like you wouldn't believe. And like the letters he wrote to her, like throughout their life. In my opinion, it all points toward like this being real. And so that is the quote unquote, and and is just before he dies. And he also famously said, he's like, we should have gotten married a third time, we would have gotten it right. Like, third and final third time's the charm. I don't know.
Maybe, maybe if they'd both been allowed to age, you know, maybe at some point, it would have worked out. But that's a lot of that's a lot of fire.
I love old stories like this. First of all, I love vintage gossip, because everyone's dead, you can't hurt anybody. Also, the way that celebrity narrative was constructed at that time is so different. And the fact that they had so much control over their celebrity narrative is very different from the like, that was the studio era where the studio controlled the publicity about you and they controlled a lot of the publicity about Elizabeth Taylor, I have a question that what has this story taught you about love? Are you this firing dramatic on in your own relationships? Is there like a kaftan and a big diamond? Not yet. Fingers crossed?
I am more grounded in love myself. But I mean, I consider myself a pretty passionate person. And I think this is a great example of just because you can doesn't mean you should
Yes, but take away. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I very much agree with that. Do you
want to give a shout out to where people can find you on the internet's? Oh, sure.
I am at fab tablets. cute name.
Thank you. Awesome. This was amazing. Well, thank you, Jesse. Thanks, guys. So many people have a favorite celebrity couple like that question. Like you have no warning. You have to give a TED Talk. What's your topic? Yeah, people who have a particular vintage celebrity story. Fun. I love vintage gossip. It one the stories never changed to everyone's dead. So it's fine. And three. It's a completely different type of celebrity than what happens now. It's so fascinating. Yeah.
What is your love to go for this story, Sarah, what do you want our listeners to take with them for their day?
Jazz? He said it perfectly. Just because you can does not mean
you should. Amen? Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes
you got to dial it back. Especially if like me you value tranquility. Speaking of things that we want you to let go of, we want you to let go of that love story you haven't been telling us and tell us in an email please. lovestruck daily at Frohlich dot media. And you can follow us on Twitter on Instagram. Guess where at lovestruck daily, and you can leave a review and tell other people about the juicy celebrity vintage gossip that we serve up especially because we want Jesse to come back and bring us more. Our researcher is Jesse Epstein. Our editor is Jen Jacobs. We are produced by Abigail steckler and little Scorpion studios and Gillian Davis with executive producer frolic media. This is an I Heart Radio Podcast. On behalf of everyone here we wish you an absolutely fabulous stunning fashionable happily ever after. I'm in love with that I'm in love with you. I'm in love with you