March 24, 2011

Chapter 21 of My Autoblography

Many a moon ago...almost before there was a moon, I dated a suave, (remember them) tall, attractive agent. He was Eddie Fisher’s rep. and friend. He was going to Grossingers (big hotel in Catskills....look it all up... I was even Queen of the Winter Carnival there and I still can’t ice skate, except for photo ops) because Eddie was performing there. He invited me along and much to my surprise I said “Yes”, oh and by the way Elizabeth Taylor was going to hang with us.

She and Eddie stayed in a pretty, small guest house reserved for VIPs.  We were all to gather there before the show. When I got there the guys and some of Eddie’s musicians were chatting. They told me Elizabeth was getting ready in another room. Within a few minutes she bellowed out “Tell Phyllis to come in so I can meet her.”

Well...okay... and oh, you know what I saw... a dream sitting at a dressing table in a fabuloso silk and or satin robe.  She opened her arms and enfolded me with an honest person hug. I watched her do almost nothing to that perfect, radiant face. But she did her nothing for about an hour or more. There were frequent quick visits from Eddie and others reminding her the show was about to begin. Finally they all left except the agent who had to escort us. More dithering, but all the time she and I were talking like two real people. You know what I mean. We laughed, she was interested and interesting. I was bawdy too, even when I was young.  Finally she deemed herself ready. It was so long ago, but my memory is that she was beigy and bosomy and completely adorable.

When we entered the large night club there was a hush and then applause…she laughed and waved…the lights went down, and Eddie sang beautifully. I had been in the show “Wish You Were Here” and that was one of his biggest hit records of the time.

As I grew up and married into the big time….I saw Elizabeth at different periods. Adolph (hubs) and I were at the opening night of Lillian Hellman’s play “The Little Foxes” and after the show we “hung” with Lil and Elizabeth at the party, which was at a very good but not posh restaurant on Third or Second Ave. She was terrified of what the reaction was going to be, but, as usual she had a drink and mocked herself …making up what the reviews could possibly say.

Many of the things I want to tell you... you’ve already heard and read. You get It all... I just wanted to corroborate in my small way... that she was a great Dame in every sense of the word. I still have the name of someone in some island who did stem cell research, that she gave to a mutual friend to give to me when she heard I was having some medical problems. That was probably about ten years or so ago.

So tonight, I’ll look in my dressing room mirror and do a few small things that will add to my strong resemblance to Ms. Taylor, and then I’ll wake up.
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Nice story Phyllis. I have always loved Eddie Fisher and I miss him still today. Elizabeth may have been the love of Eddie's life, but she about destroyed him. He did not deserve that. He did find love later in life but she passed away in 2001.
10:48am 04/07/2012
What wonderful memories!
Wish you would make a movie about your life.
Who would you like to play you?
I vote for Zooey Decahnnel (sp)!
1:17pm 03/19/2012
marcia goldstein
I so miss seeing you on late night tv. You are such a talent, and so very funny. No one tells a joke like you.
5:32pm 08/03/2011
Bill Hillman
Thank you so much for sharing this –bringing a personal touch to a great human being and actress.
1:39pm 05/28/2011
Dan in Toronto
Oh Phyllis:..what a nice remembrance..I can just imagine that down-to-earth person..sitting and talking with nephew, who is friends with Marion Rosenberg has always told me what a kind and caring and generous person she always was..I think she did good in this lifetime!..right?
and you're no slouch, either..
5:11pm 03/25/2011
susan mills
very sweet
1:10pm 03/25/2011
We will all miss Lizzy Taylor. She will live forever in our hearts. Adieu Lizzy.
1:06pm 03/25/2011
Henry Grant