Debbie Reynolds Forgave Elizabeth Taylor on a Boat
By Nicki Gostin Posted Mar 24th 2011 06:35PM
When Debbie Reynolds reflects on her friend and former foe Elizabeth Taylor, her words are often brushed with bittersweet strokes. Speaking a day after the film icon's death, Reynolds calls Taylor "the most glamorous star of our generation" and notes that "women liked her and men adored her, including my husband." As the story goes, back in 1959 Reynolds' husband Eddie Fisher fell under Taylor's intoxicating spell and left her and their two young kids. To make matters worse, it was all done in full view of the public.
"She went through her younger years of just obtaining what she wanted," Reynolds tells PopEater. "Later in life she became a little more aware of other people's feelings."
Reynolds tells us about forgiving her old friend, working with Taylor in her final starring role in 2001 and how she feels Jane Russell was given the short shrift when she died earlier this month.
Tell me how you forgave Elizabeth.
It was after many years. I'd remarried and she'd remarried. I was going to London on the Queen Elizabeth ship and I looked up and I saw tons of luggage going by me and birdcages and dog cages and nurses and I realized Elizabeth was on the same ship as me. I almost changed my mind about going but my husband said, 'Don't be silly, we won't be on the same floor. Of course we were so I sent a note to her room and she sent a note back to mine saying that we should have dinner and get this over with and have a good time. Because we were very good friends when we were 17 and went to school together on the MGM lot. And we had a wonderful evening with a lot of laughs.
Was it cathartic making the 2001 TV movie, 'These Old Broads,' with Liz?
Yes it was. I got her view point and she got mine. I had already warned Eddie when he left that she would throw him out after a year and a half because he wasn't nearly exciting enough for her which I knew and which I'm sure she knew at the time. He answered her call and she took the call. Eddie was crazy about Elizabeth. He loved her very much. So it was one of those things that happen in life and you just have to get through it.
I always thought it was unfair that they compared Jennifer Aniston to you. She didn't have kids with Brad Pitt. You had two babies.
Well they just compared it because it was scandalous and every generation has their scandal and that was as close as they could come up with. It's just something that passes over my back like water. I've been in this business for 65 years. My birthday is April fool's Day. I'll be 79 so nothing really surprises me. I'm very sorry for Elizabeth's passing. She was the most glamorous star of our generation and women liked her and men adored her including my husband. She was a symbol of stardom and her legacy will go on forever.
You just shot a movie with Katherine Heigl ('One for the Money').
My agent sent me the script and I thought the character was a funny old broad.
Maybe you can be the next Betty White.
I should be so lucky to be offered those parts! Betty's a great girl and she's a great comedienne. I think I'm a pretty good comedienne myself.
Does it get depressing losing friends?
Yes it seems lately it's a lot. Jane Russell died last week and she was a very dear friend of mine. I felt like they didn't give her a very good send off.
What motivates you?
Your work motivates you, keeps you happy and busy. Elizabeth worked really hard all of her life and she raised her children really well. She worked really hard for HIV; I've worked hard for mental health. We both feel we've done our job and our commitment to the community. This is what we love. Elizabeth has done a great job and I'm very proud of her. She went through her younger years of just obtaining what she wanted and later in life she became a little more aware of other people's feelings.
► Visit DebbieReynolds.com to get information on her upcoming auction and live performances.
Liz Taylor Snapshots
British born actor Elizabeth Taylor and her fourth husband American singer and actor Eddie Fisher arrive at a formal event, c. 1962. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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