Elizabeth Taylor won an Oscar for a real stinker


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According to legend, Elizabeth Taylor exclaimed, ‘It stinks!’ when she saw ‘BUtterfield 8’ for the first time. She is said to have hurled her shoes at the screen and stormed out of the room, using profanity. That’s how much she hated the film that would earn her the first of two Oscars.

Elizabeth Taylor believed it was a stinker right from the start. According to the book ‘Inside Oscar,’ she told Sol Siegel, MGM’s head of production, when she read the script based on John O’Hara‘s novel about a high-class call girl: ‘This is the most pornographic script I have ever read. I’ve been here for 17 years and I was never asked to play such a horrible role as Gloria Wandrous. She’s a sick nymphomaniac. I won’t do it for anything.’


But Taylor was forced to do the role to meet the terms of her contract. Later, she was glad she did -- when she finally won an Oscar after three previous defeats. (Read the story of how she prevailed: ‘Elizabeth Taylor had a love-hate fling with Oscar.’) Backstage, after the awards ceremony, her husband Eddie Fisher said to her, ‘Here, let me carry the Oscar. It must be heavy for you.’

‘It isn’t,’ she said. ‘I’ll carry it until it’s too much. I waited a long time.’

-- Tom O’Neil


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