Catch up on shows with The Coast On Demand
Friday, May 18, 2012
A photo of 'the monster' Elizabeth Taylor, has surfaced after 40 years in a private collection.
The shot was taken by famed society photographer Cecil Beaton, who admitted he loathed the film star and called both her and Richard Burton,' vulgar, common and crass'.
The black and white shot was taken by Beaton at a lavish black-tie ball in 1971. Elizabeth Taylor was then aged 39.
She wore a couture Valentino dress with a Van Cleef and Arpels necklace entwined in her hair.
A short time later Beaton gave the photograph as a gift to friend Brian Hammond, who owned the famous Gerry's Club in London's Soho. The picture hung in his club until Hammond's death earlier this year. His family are selling it at auction.
In Beaton's diaries that were later published, he wrote a damning opinion of Taylor and Burton following the brief photoshoot.
He wrote: 'I have always loathed the Burtons for their vulgarity, commonness and crass bad taste, she combining the worst of U.S. and English taste and he, as butch and coarse as only a Welshman can be.
'She wanted compliments. She got none. I felt I must be professional and continued, but not without loathing at this monster.
'Round her neck was a velvet ribbon with the biggest diamond in the world pinned on it. On her fat, coarse hands more of the biggest diamonds and emeralds, her head a ridiculous mass of diamond necklaces, sewn together, with a snood of blue and black pom-poms and black aisprey aigrettes. And sausage curls - Alexandre the hairdresser had done his worst."
Ouch! It's a testament to Beaton's professionalism that the photo shows his subjects looking their best!
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