, 2022-12-06 07:08:51,
The first day that Elizabeth Taylor saw the handsome Welsh actor Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra he walked over to her and whispered, “Has anybody ever told you that you’re a very pretty girl?” It was not a great pickup-line by anyone’s standards, especially since Elizabeth, who was on the cusp of 30 and at the height of her smoldering sensuality, was already the most famous star of the twentieth century known for her raven hair and legendary blue eyes that some swore were an otherworldly shade of violet. “Here’s the great lover,” she joked, “the great wit, the great intellectual of Wales, and he comes out with a line like that.” Plus, Richard’s reputation as a married man with a penchant for seducing his leading ladies had preceded him.
But her feelings changed on January 22, 1962, when they filmed their first scene together. Elizabeth starred as Cleopatra, the woman who had conquered empires, and Richard played Marc Antony, the powerful Roman general who became Cleopatra’s lover. Richard, then thirty-six, had gone on a bender the night before, drinking everything he could get his hands on. It was five o’clock in the afternoon, and he had not slept for two nights. He got a cup of coffee, but he could not bring the cup to his lips because his hands were shaking so badly. He asked Elizabeth for help. “Hold this, love, will you hold it to my mouth?” She held the cup up to his mouth and started to giggle.
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