Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A True Story About Elizabeth Taylor

It's not much, but it's mine: in the late 80's I was running a movie theatre in Westwood. We had an exclusive run of Moonstruck that winter and it was a surprise hit, so we were selling out every night. And Westwood is Beverly Hills adjacent, so it was the closest theatre to that little hamlet.

Anyway one night I was making the rounds outside the building, checking the line for the next show, which was going to be standing out in the cold for at least an hour. There, about 60 people down from the door, was Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowell. My policy with celebrities at the time was to never treat them differently. Earlier that week Martin Short had begged me to let him into a sold out show ("Hello, I'm Martin Short" he had said redundantly) and I turned him down, on the grounds that there are fire laws.

But Short would have approved of my breaking the rules for Liz Taylor, because she was royalty. "Listen", I murmured so the rest of the line wouldn't hear, "if you guys would like to wait in the lobby it's not a problem."

Taylor glanced at McDowall and said, "We'll be fine here, thank you."

And so I left them in the chilly SoCal winter, exposed to the elements and boredom and fans.

My limited experience with celebrities is that the bigger they are, the more they prefer the normal things. Tom Cruise, at the height of his fame, used to always stand in the popcorn line, even though he was buying for an entourage that included his own personal assistants.

Like I said, not much of a story. Better than none though!

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