Later at this time, at 12:45pm, Elizabeth Taylor stars within the epic 1963 film Cleopatra on BBC 2. This iconic Hollywood movie is the place Taylor met her fifth husband, Richard Burton. She stayed with the actor for ten years earlier than divorcing him (after which remarrying him and re-divorcing him a 12 months after that). However earlier than that ordeal, Taylor stole the husband of her greatest buddy, Debbie Reynolds.
Taylor and Reynolds had come up in Hollywood across the identical time. They have been each baby stars who discovered the ropes as starlets earlier than transcending into mature movie stars who took the world by storm. They reportedly double-dated and spent many evenings collectively hanging out and getting as much as no good.
Reynolds and her husband, Eddie Fisher, have been head over heels in love. He would introduce her on stage as “my princess” and worshipped the bottom she walked on. However all the pieces modified a couple of years into the wedding when Taylor’s third husband, Mike Todd, died all of the sudden in a airplane crash. Fisher consoled Taylor, and earlier than lengthy, their friendship blossomed right into a sordid affair.
One night time, whereas Fisher was away “working”, a lonely Reynolds referred to as the resort room of her greatest buddy, Taylor, for a chat. She was surprised when her husband picked up the cellphone.
“All of the sudden, a whole lot of issues clicked into place,” Reynolds recalled in 2010. “I may hear her voice asking him who was calling – they have been clearly in mattress collectively. I yelled at him, ‘Roll over, darling, and let me communicate to Elizabeth.'”
Fisher reportedly dropped the cellphone and ran house to face the music. He informed Reynolds: “I am sorry. Elizabeth and I are in love and I desire a divorce.”
Reynolds assured her soon-to-be ex-husband: “Should you marry her, she’s going to throw you out inside 18 months.” After all, she was proper. When Taylor joined the forged of Cleopatra she fell for Richard Burton.
However earlier than that, Reynolds didn’t need her marriage to be delivered to an finish. She informed the Day by day Mail: “I used to be very spiritual so I did not consider in divorce.” However the new couple insisted, giving her no alternative.
“They laid guilt on me that I used to be conserving them and real love aside,” she recalled. “So, I lastly let Eddie off the hook. I informed him to go.”
Reynolds was actually shocked and harm by the occasions. “Eddie had been greatest man at [Taylor and Todd’s] marriage ceremony and I had been a bridesmaid. We noticed a whole lot of one another and I by no means suspected that she was going to entice my husband away.”
Wanting again, Reynolds confessed she did not fully blame her husband for sneaking off with Taylor.
“I may not have been as stunned have been it anybody else. However the way it all occurred was reasonably scandalous in that they did not take extra care to keep away from hurting me,” she reminisced. “I perceive once I look again on it. Who would move by Elizabeth? No lady residing was as lovely as her. And Eddie had even tried to behave like Mike Todd, smoking large cigars.”
Reynolds knew there have been rumours within the press about her husband hanging round with Taylor after darkish – however she took no discover of them. She dismissed them as nothing greater than rumours.
Sadly for her, she was fallacious. She mentioned: “I used to be the final to search out out in regards to the affair. There had been hints within the papers and I had seen that once I turned up at capabilities or events alone my pals have been whispering. Though I did not need to discover out the reality, I needed to resist it. Even so, it was a terrific shock to search out them collectively. It left me shattered.”
Nonetheless, Reynolds had the final giggle. Her warning got here true: Taylor dropped Fisher when she met Burton, and so they hardly ever noticed each other once more for the remainder of their lives.
Reynolds, however, remarried a 12 months later, in 1960, to Harry Karl, a shoe retailer proprietor.