September 24, 2010

"Only Eddie Fisher, as a boyhood friend of the frantic playgirl, seems like something dragged in from left field."

"He plays a music writer who lives in a dark room in Greenwich Village and acts as if he wishes they would all go away and leave him alone."

From the 1960 NYT review — by Bosley Crowther — of "Butterfield 8," the movie Elizabeth Taylor won an Oscar for playing "the slut of all times" in. Fast-forward to 2010 and Eddie's dead.
When Eddie Fisher's best friend, producer Mike Todd, was killed in a 1958 plane crash, Fisher comforted the widow, Elizabeth Taylor. Amid sensationalist headlines, Fisher divorced Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959.

The Fisher-Taylor marriage lasted only five years. She fell in love with co-star Richard Burton during the Rome filming of "Cleopatra," divorced Fisher and married Burton in one of the great entertainment world scandals of the 20th century.

Fisher's career never recovered from the notoriety.
Eddie, like Todd and Burton, is now dead. He made it to 82. What did he do after Liz? Did anyone pay attention to anything other than Liz? Even now, the old man finally gone, we hear of his death, and we think — don't we? — of the goddess Elizabeth Taylor.

63 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

I never got the facination with Liz Taylor.

Debbie Reynolds however...she is just amazing.

Salamandyr said...

Honestly, I thought of Carrie Fisher.

ricpic said...

Rumor has it Eddie Fisher and Tony Curtis were Siamese twins separated at birth.

Ann Althouse said...

"I never got the facination with Liz Taylor. Debbie Reynolds however...she is just amazing."

Here's a clue: sex.

Scott M said...

So...you dump America's sweetheart for a serial nuptialist and we're supposed to feel bad that your name will never be up there with the other crooners?

Sorry...nope.

Ann Althouse said...

"Rumor has it Eddie Fisher and Tony Curtis were Siamese twins separated at birth."

Watch "Some Like It Hot" and then imagine it with Eddie Fisher in the Tony Curtis role.

Dogwood said...

So...you dump America's sweetheart for a serial nuptialist and we're supposed to feel bad that your name will never be up there with the other crooners?

Sorry...nope.


Nope, and he doesn't even get an Eddie Fisher tag in a blog post about him. Tough audience, harsh world.

Original Mike said...

I never got the facination with Liz Taylor.

Me neither.

Scott M said...

If you like your irony served up by someone who trained his voice by screaming in subway tunnels, check out Robert Plant's "White, Clean, And Neat" on his album Now And Zen. Between the chorus and over the bridge there is a typical 50's-esque announcer describing the marriage of Reynolds and Fisher with the exclamation "they're married to stay!".

I always thought it was a sideswipe at Plant's parents who were supposedly into the whole American whitebread thing.

AllenS said...

When I think back to that era, I always wanted to bang Brigitte Bardot, however Liz Taylor would have been ok too.

MrBuddwing said...

Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds co-starred in a 2001 made-for-TV movie, "These Old Broads." Didn't see it, but apparently there's an in-joke scene in which they jointly poke fun at their marriages to Eddie Fisher.

Word verification: forildoc.

Matt Brown said...

How many of Liz's exes are still living? Larry Fortensky?

ironrailsironweights said...

Fast forward to 2010 and Eddie's dead

Eddie's dead, thats what i said.
Let the man read, the plan, said it singing home
But his home was a rope and he should've known.
Everybody's misused him, ripped him up and abused him.
Another junkie plan, pushin' dope for the man.
A terrible blow, but thats how it goes.
An Eddie's on the corner now.
If you wanna be a junkie wow.
Remember Eddie's dead.


Oh wait, that was Freddie, not Eddie. Never mind.

Peter

traditionalguy said...

The weak Eddie Fisher played the role of women's pet. He showed no aggressive male tendencies, but he let a strong women guide his life for him. Therefore he never go the credit...the strong woman did. Yet, if a woman like Liz tells you that she wants you, then most men would also take that chance to live with Liz until she throws him out with the trash. Therefore, in romantic sexual interractions, the women have always held the cards. IMO the Patriarchy was always a balancing of those equities

MrBuddwing said...

How many of Liz's exes are still living? Larry Fortensky?

And Sen. John Warner.

Word verification: heations.

dbp said...

I'm with Fred and Mike: Debbie Reynolds was way better looking than Elizabeth Taylor. Plus, the impression I have is that Taylor would be hard to live with while Reynolds was really sweet.

Scott M said...

...while Reynolds was really sweet.

I used to think the same thing of Betty White until I saw her roast William Shatner. She was brutal and deliciously filthy.

The Crack Emcee said...

"The goddess Elizabeth Taylor"

Tired.

"Here's a clue: sex."

here's another one: shallow.

deborah said...

I always thought she was overrated and that she over-acted. The only movie I ever thought she actually acted in was 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' A magnificent movie for both her and Burton.

deborah said...

Well, she was sweet in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.'

Fred4Pres said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I never got the facination with Liz Taylor. Debbie Reynolds however...she is just amazing."

Here's a clue: sex.

9/24/10 8:25 AM


Okay, does Liz have a reputation for being a lioness in the bedroom? Does she have skills to many any man swoon?

For me Liz has always been meh. Now young Debbie, she is really attractive.

I guess I am just a morning person. And btw do you really think she just talked the whole night through?

lohwoman said...

That Debbie-Eddie-Liz scandal was a celebrity highlight of my youth. You had to take sides. I was a third-grade girl. I chose Debbie's side. Eddie later married Connie Stevens.

deborah said...

I'll wager Reynolds was very high maintenance.

dbp said...

Betty White, also quite hot in her prime, has a long reputation for playing conniving parts. Her work in the old Mary Tyler Moore show was a brilliant example. She played a cooking show host who was sickly-sweet, but as soon as the cameras were off, she would twist the knife (in her victim's back) with a smile.

traditionalguy said...

The predictable reactions show up here today...the women can see nothing worth while in such a bad actress that all of the men swooned over, and for NO reason. I say that if you cannot see Liz Taylor's dramatic acting skills, then you are blinded by envy.

Fred4Pres said...

Blinded by envy? Liz Taylor movies are mostly unwatchable. Is she is good actress...yeah she is good, but I never liked her roles or the movies she was in.

Was Reynolds high maintenance? Who knows. I liked her screen persona.

It is said it is impossible to be depressed while you are tap dancing. It will lift your spirits every time.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

Speaking of bombshells, Coates is testifying in Congress today on the NBP case.

Fred4Pres said...

Sixty grit, Isn't the correct Althouse way to spell it "teat" and pronounce it "tit"?

edutcher said...

If you were 13 at the time the Liz-Eddie-Dick thing was going on, you had no doubt what the fascination with Liz was. As Sixty observes, big bosom combined with a pretty, though not particularly interesting, face. Lousy voice for acting, also.

PS Eddie went on to get Connie Stevens in the family way, thus killing her sweet, perky image. You think back on it and he was every bit the swashbuckler (or unbuckler) Burton was.

PPS Fred is conditionally right about her movies, although I have to agree with those critics who panned acting ability. After Butterfield, certainly, she never made a good picture.

PPPS As someone noted in the heyday of All-Men-Are-Pigs, Women-Are-Superior-Beings feminism, Liz was the survivor.

former law student said...

Even now, the old man finally gone, we hear of his death, and we think — don't we? — of the goddess Elizabeth Taylor.


Put me in the Carrie Fisher -- Debbie Reynolds camp. Everybody should rent Mother with Albert Brooks.

traditionalguy said...

Fred4Prez....Re-watch Giant in which Taylor played an excellent man supporting good woman. And contrast that to her playing a perfect man hating bad woman in Butterfield 8. She could switch hit among persona to please who ever she wanted to please...that is what an acting talent extraordinaire is really made of. If Taylor's breasts had been as small as kathryn Hepburn's, then I believe people could see her acting talent better.

former law student said...

If Taylor's breasts had been as small as kathryn Hepburn's

Weren't they Hepburn-small in National Velvet? She did a good workmanlike job there -- no tour de force.

Scott M said...

Katherine Hepburn and "tits" just don't compute. I can never get past the On Goldend Pond head-on-a-slinky Hepburn.

Yes, I'm aware of the sacrilege involved in that statement...

Christopher said...

As far as Taylor's concerned, "tits" more or less covers it, with "National Velvet" and "Woolf" the only two of her movies where she's an actress rather than a personality. "Cleopatra," which I happen to be one of the five people in the world who adore, is again, personality, but blown up to monstrous size (and, again, with Liz's tits). Claudette Colbert was a much sexier Queen of the Nile, a walking wet dream through the movie.

And Scott, put me down as one who also doesn't understand the Kate Hepburn adulation. Shrill, ball-busting, full of herself and an annoying witch / bitch persona - and that's just in her movies. If you go by her autobiography, "Me," she comes off as an absolutely horrible woman, always expecting the world to worship at her feet. Hell, if I were Spencer Tracy, I'd drink myself to death, too.

Ann Althouse said...

I can't believe people are unwilling to credit Liz Taylor as an extraordinarily beautiful woman. Debbie Reynolds is pretty. Liz crushes Debbie in a beauty contest.

rcocean said...

"Debbie better looking than Liz", my Gaydar is picking up signals.

Scott M said...

I can't believe people are unwilling to credit Liz Taylor as an extraordinarily beautiful woman. Debbie Reynolds is pretty. Liz crushes Debbie in a beauty contest.

Sorry, Ann. Serial nuptialist negates good looks, however extraordinary.

rcocean said...

Watch Liz is "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" or "Place in the Sun" and then tell me Debbie was better looking.

Ann Althouse said...

Look how beautiful Liz is here.

Scott M said...

Ann, she's 12 years old in that clip. She had already been married 15 times.

Sorry...not cute.

deborah said...

Tradguy, trust me, it's not jealousy. I just never thought she was that lovely, and that she overracted, and as someone mentioned has had an odd voice.

A woman can state an honest opinion about another woman, without it resting on jealousy.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

rcocean:
" "Debbie better looking than Liz", my Gaydar is picking up signals. "

And I see it exactly the other way. Not that there's anything wrong with that, rc.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

Do women ever grow up enough to stop considering their looks as validation for anything?

former law student said...

I can't believe people are unwilling to credit Liz Taylor as beautiful

She was interesting-looking -- a blend of Loretta Young, Vivien Leigh, and Cher -- not beautiful.

You know how if you see a beautiful woman out of the corner of your eye, your neck will snap as you reflexively take a good look?

Liz Taylor is not neck-snappingly attractive.

traditionalguy said...

I know that the world needs all of the opinions to see the whole of a subject...but darned if I can get past her compassionate eyes and killer figure, that blessed the screen. She never personally divorced me, although I would have willingly given her the opportunity. I take it that today's sexual morality police have ruled thumbs down on Liz. But she was the essence of a woman to me.

rcocean said...

"Do women ever grow up enough to stop considering their looks as validation for anything?"

Care to explain this Crack? Women are judged primarily by their looks by both women and men. Beautiful women are admired and make a lot of money even though they don't have to do much. Of course, we judge men too by looks, but not to the same extent.

rcocean said...

"And I see it exactly the other way. Not that there's anything wrong with that, rc."

Well Deborah, Liz *is* loved by the Gays but its usually middle-aged/old Liz. They'll write stuff like "Liz was much more beautiful when she got past 40."

Scott M said...

Women are judged primarily by their looks by both women and men.

The dirty little secret (that everyone knows, but doesn't talk about much) is that women are far harder on each other and themselves as far as looks go then men could ever be. Similarly, men care very little about what other men look like.

William said...

For someone who spent the best years of her life in the ICU, she has outlasted a surprising number of her peers.......In a Place in the Sun, she was extravagantly beautiful. But that kind of beauty is as fragile and transient as a soap bubble. I suppose that's part of its appeal. There's something tragic and doomed about such great beauty.... In her middle and later years, Debbie Reynolds was more attractive. But that doesn't count. Who care who hits the homer in the Old Timers Game?....Taylor had a more distinguished and lucrative career than Reynolds, but in a hundred years people will still be watching Singin' in the Rain and Taylor will be as obscure as Joan Bennett.

David said...

Liz Taylor was gorgeous. Of course she lost her looks like every star does (except Sophia Loren), and we tend to remember her decline not her prime.

Debbie Reynolds was beautiful too, and in many ways more talented than Liz. Debbie steals scene after scene in her early films with her energy, voice and dance skills.

Did Eddie Fischer regret a life that involved fame, fortune and women like this? I hope not, and I bet he didn't.

Eddie Cantor was his mentor? That's a pretty high recommendation.

Charlie Martin said...

I never got the fascination with Liz Taylor.

Then you never saw her in, eg, Ivanhoe.

"Violet eyes to die for."

c3 said...

I believe this episode elevated Debbie Reynolds to martyr status...

at least until this came out.

(Are Debbie Reynolds and Shirley MacLaine friends?)

PS Debbie Reynolds was great in this

c3 said...

I answer my own question (sort of)

AST said...

It reminded me of an old joke about what Liz Taylor says when she wakes up in the morning. A: "I feel like a new man."

Eddie Fisher suffered from bipolar disorder as does his daughter Carrie.

I remember the furor over his leaving Debbie to marry Liz, but I never have really understood the attraction. She always seemed too saftig for my tastes

traditionalguy said...

Shall I compare Liz to a summer day...every fair from fair sometimes declines...but thy eternal summer shall not fade, (see, Sonnet 18). there is a moment of completion in human beauty that once attained, must fade lest we make idols of mortals.

The Crack Emcee said...

rcocean,

Care to explain this Crack?

Well, look at ET: Her best performance, by far, is in 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' - the only role where her looks weren't front-and-center. I'd probably have more respect for her, as an actress and a person, if she gave us more to chew on but, instead, practically her entire career is this silly "Look how beautiful Liz is" bullshit, like she's eternally 5 years old, modeling a dress for Daddy.

Did she contribute to her looks? No, her parents did. As a matter of fact, considering her personal life - including her bizarre (and harmful) relationship with Michael Jackson - I'd say she did everything in her power to remind me of her worthlessness as a human being.

"Look how beautiful Liz is"?

I have, and she's ultimately just another goofy skank, with nothing to recommend her.

Hell - in the case of Michael Jackson - she even failed Friendship 101.

traditionalguy said...

Crack...the answer to some hate her and some love her is probably in her eyes, the windows of the soul.She had the best actress eyes of all time. Then her physical shape was only an extra added attraction.

The Crack Emcee said...

Sorry, TG, but I'm kinda done with looking at anyone's facade for a sign of their humanity - my ex had nice eyes, too - it's actions that count. ET (and Eddie Fisher) were gross - because they were gross to others - and never looked back.

Ain't no movie, or glamour photo, that can make up for the harm they caused. You guys can pretend otherwise, because it wasn't you they hurt, but you know better. To forget that is to become NewAge - to follow the dictum to "move on" no matter what bullshit they've left someone else (or you) with - and, as you know, I have no intention of living that lie:

Scum are scum - and big tits (or a big dick) or pretty eyes make no difference.

Now, ask me about Brad Pitt and that Jolie bitch, so I can really get wound up.

The Crack Emcee said...

After that last post, I scrolled back to the top and saw Fred4Prez's first comment;

"I never got the facination with Liz Taylor."

And thought about how it is:

People like Ann fall for these narratives - Obama is great, Liz is beautiful, etc. - while the rest of us have to suffer under the weight of living with such bullshit being thrust onto our lives. What's the latest scam out there now? That (for instance) Jersey Shore's "Snooki" is worth the nation's attention? There's so much manufactured bullshit out there, I don't know if most people could recognize any aspect of reality at all. It's no wonder they don't know if capitalism is better than socialism, or whether Islam is violent after 9/11, or think Oprah is "good" or George W. Bush is evil - they're tools.

Maybe it's always been this way but, if you ask me, it seriously ought to stop.

We're only hurting ourselves.

ampersand said...

"The Taming of the Shrew" was beautifully filmed and scored and to me highly entertaining. I watch it every year or so.

Omar Suarez said...

Elizabeth Taylor it's so beautiful! I would like to buy all the movies that she act. She's so professional on her job.

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