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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Aired February 3, 2003 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DAME ELIZABETH TAYLOR, ACTRESS: What is wise? To hand over Rome, Italy, the world (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

You can't afford to waste good liquor. Not on your salary. Not on a associate professor's salary.

I'm not living with you. We occupy the same cage, that's all.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, a rare one-on-one with a rare beauty. The one and only Elizabeth Taylor. A true Hollywood legend, a genuine survivor and, boy, does she have she have stories to tell. And she'll take your phone calls. Elizabeth Taylor, in depth and personal for the hour, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We're going to have a good time. She was last with us a little over two years go. She's back. Dame Elizabeth Taylor joins us for the full hour. We'll be taking your phone calls later. If we have to tell you who she is, you are definitely of another world.

She's the legendary superstar, two-time Academy Award winner, AIDS activist, business woman, phenomenonly successful line of fragrances through the House of Taylor, author of "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry." I have the book here. We're going to ask her about that and a lost other things.

She's going to be on the front cover of "TIME" magazine in March only for the 15th time -- of "LIFE" magazine, I'm sorry. She's been on "TIME's" cover, too, by the way. She's Dame Elizabeth Taylor, it's a great pleasure. How did you get to be Dame?

TAYLOR: I don't know. They choose you.

KING: In London?

TAYLOR: The palace. They -- there is no way of campaigning for it. They sort of ask...

KING: They just called you one day and said, You're a dame?

TAYLOR: No, they ask around so there is no embarrassment to find out if you would be interested. And they do it many a very sly way. Because some people have turned it down and they don't want to be embarrassed.

So when I heard this little hush hush, I screamed. I said, Of course I would. I want to be a dame! That's amazing.

KING: There is nothing like a dame.

TAYLOR: Well, I've been a broad all my life.

KING: That happens when you become a dame? Do they dame you, like they dub a sir? Do they with a sword and everything?

TAYLOR: No. That's just for the gents.

KING: You meet the queen?

TAYLOR: You kneel on a little cushion. And she talks to you and...

KING: Do they give you something like a medal, a...

TAYLOR: Oh, yes.

KING: Yes?

TAYLOR: Very much so.

KING: And now, am I supposed to call you Dame or I can call you Elizabeth?

TAYLOR: I think you should call me Dame.

KING: OK, Dame. All right, you're Dame.

And this is your first appearance anywhere since your Kennedy Center Honors. Congratulations.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

KING: I think that's the highest award we give in American entertainment. What was that night like?

TAYLOR: Oh, Larry, the most amazing thing happened to me. I got up -- the dinner before was hosted by Colin Powell at the State Department. And I sailed through it. And I loved it. And that's had when they put the medals around us.

The second night was at the White House. And very impressive. And I got up that morning...

KING: The night of the honors?

TAYLOR: At the White House. There were two nights. And I stood up very abruptly and something happened to my blood pressure. And I fell with all the weight of my body on my foot, which was crumpled under me and I heard this mind boggling snap. And I had one of the most complicated break fractures there is, a longitudinal spiral fracture from my little toe on the main bone on your -- on the outside of your foot.

KING: Is there a dark cloud around you?

TAYLOR: No.

KING: You always get hurt.

TAYLOR: Do I look like there's a dark cloud around me?

KING: No, but things always happen to you.

TAYLOR: They happen.

KING: They happen to you.

TAYLOR: But, I am so -- I kept saying to myself, because there was no time to go to a doctor or have an x-ray, but I knew something was really bad because all I had to do was look at my foot.

KING: What did you do?

TAYLOR: It was this size of this. It looked like a club foot.

KING: So how did you get through the honors?

TAYLOR: I did a kind of mental mantra saying, I am strong, I am strong, I am strong, I am brave, I am brave, I am brave, I am brave.

And I got through the next 48 hours just with that kind of mantra in my...

KING: Were you in pain up in the Kennedy Center when they announced your name and everything and you're sitting watching the performance?

TAYLOR: Oh, through the whole thing. Because I broke it in the morning. And I had it x-rayed when we -- when we flew home, past the Century City hospital.

KING: How are you now?

TAYLOR: Oh, too bad you can't see my boot.

KING: We'll try to -- don't get -- you'll get hurt again.

TAYLOR: No. I want you to see my boot.

KING: OK, let's see if we can pull this off. Don't get hurt. It is all I need. Can we get the camera -- I don't believe this, OK. Let me describe it.

TAYLOR: Somebody help me!

KING: Can someone come over here? Someone.

TAYLOR: Somebody pull my boot up!

KING: Pull the boot up. Go ahead, sir. Mr. Warren Count (ph), the legendary public relations ace will now pull the boot up.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE) Oh, how funny.

KING: There it is. Can we get the shot of the boot? You're taking it off? Don't pull it off.

TAYLOR: Don't take it off! No. Don't. just rest it up there for a while.

KING: Who designed this boot?

TAYLOR: Me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you're ready to put it back...

TAYLOR: I can do that.

KING: Why do you -- is the dog go everywhere with you?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: You are attached to it. How old is this dog?

TAYLOR: She's 10 now and has Cushings disease but she's just doing incredibly well.

KING: Her name is Sugar?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: You've had her since she was a pup?

TAYLOR: Yes, 3 months old.

KING: So life, Elizabeth, tell me first about this book. Let's talk about you and jewels. You -- I understand , next to the -- are you OK now? Anything can happen when you're live.

Next to the queen, you own more jewelry than anyone in the world. Do you buy that? Is that true?

TAYLOR: I think so.

KING: What do you love about it? What is it about jewelry that seems to possess you?

TAYLOR: Well, I love beautiful things. I love art. And I have quite a nice art collection.

KING: When did you start collecting jewelry? TAYLOR: Oh, God, I think with the first -- nickel I had I bought my mother a brooch. It wasn't real. But it was really very good taste.

KING: This book is an amazing collection. All these jewels are yours?

TAYLOR: You better believe it.

KING: You own the Krupp diamond?

TAYLOR: Ta-da.

KING: That came with a curse you know?

TAYLOR: No, no, no.

KING: Yes, Mr. Krupp. That was a joke. It's an old joke. It comes with a curse.

TAYLOR: You know one of the reasons?

KING: Let me see it. OK. What's the reason?

TAYLOR: Well, it belonged to the Krupp family who were the munitions family that killed so many Jews, the arms people.

KING: Now a Jewish girl.

TAYLOR: And I thought how poetic. What irony, what perfect poetic irony if a nice little Jewish girl like me ended up owning it.

KING: There is a God.

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: The book is "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry." We're going to talk about your perfume line, your business, Everest whole thing. You've got a lot going for you. You always have. Were you always a business woman? Were you always good at the business end of business?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: That came naturally?

TAYLOR: Especially once I got out of contract from MGM and was able to fly.

KING: Want to pay you a great compliment. We taped today, Catherine Houghton, Miss Houghton is the niece of Katharine Hepburn. She said -- she said that you were one of Spencer Tracy's favorite people on the planet.

TAYLOR: Oh.

KING: We're going to run it next week. But she -- did you notice Spencer Tracy didn't like you. He worshipped you.

TAYLOR: And I loved him so.

KING: He called you "the kid." We'll be back...

TAYLOR: When we corresponded, I called him "Pops" and he called me "kitten." It was -- oh, we loved each other.

KING: We now go to break with Dame Elizabeth Taylor with a scene of her and Mr. Tracy in the famed "Father of the Bride." We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP -- "FATHER OF THE BRIDE")

SPENCER TRACY, ACTOR: Hey, Kay, it is 4:20.

TAYLOR: I'm ready. Come in.

TRACY (voice-over): She looked like the princess in a fairy tale. I wouldn't have been surprised if she held out her hand for me to kiss.

You're wonderful, kitten. Just wonderful.

TAYLOR: Thanks, pops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Elizabeth Taylor. We will be going to your calls at the bottom of the hour.

She has a new perfume line out. She's always in something and this is "Forever Elizabeth." And we're going to show you the 30- second commercial for two reasons. One, it's a beautiful commercial and, two, it was done by the late great photographer Herb Ritz. Watch.

TAYLOR: It is one of the last things he did.

KING: OK. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAYLOR: Wow. Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you like a...

TAYLOR: No, I'm just watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to tell you how much I love you.

ANNOUNCER: Inspired by love, "Forever Elizabeth."

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: What got you into the perfume business? That was a beautiful spot, by the way. He died much too young, of AIDS.

TAYLOR: Oh, God. That was so beautiful, wasn't it?

KING: It was AIDS, wasn't it? I mean everyone...

TAYLOR: It was pneumonia.

KING: OK, pneumonia.

What got you into the perfume business?

TAYLOR: It just seemed a natural because I layered my own different perfumes. I wasn't happy with one, so I took several and I would layer them on my skin and behind my ears and sort of make my own mixture.

And then I thought, Why don't I make, since I'm sort of making my own perfume now...

KING: Why not make one?

TAYLOR: Why not make my own, period.

KING: So you had "White Diamonds." That's still around.

TAYLOR: The first one was "Passion." That was the very first one. And it's still around. I think you can only get it at Penney's. But it sells very well there. And...

KING: You picked the fragrance?

TAYLOR: I did one for men. Elizabeth Taylor's "Passion" for men.

KING: You pick out the fragrances? You're definitely involved, right?

TAYLOR: Oh, God, I get involved with the chemist, in lab suits and...

KING: When you bought perfume, what was your favorite perfume before you started making perfume?

TAYLOR: I didn't have one. That's one of the reasons I wanted to create one.

KING: Like what was Richard Burton's favorite thing of yours?

TAYLOR: He didn't have one.

KING: He didn't have a favorite either? Just you was good enough for him right?

TAYLOR: He just liked my smile. KING: All right.

TAYLOR: Don't laugh like that.

KING: It's leering laugh. I want to touch a lot of bases.

First, I know Michael Jackson is a precious friend. He gets a lot of raps, takes a kid and hangs out the window with a kid.

What don't we know about him?

TAYLOR: That was so misunderstood.

KING: Explain it. What don't we know about it? what should we know about him we don't know?

TAYLOR: All right, I'll tell you from the very beginning.

KING: Good.

TAYLOR: He had such a grip on that child and if you look at it again, he's got that child so tightly held, under the armpits.

KING: Showing it now. He has got him pretty tight under his arm.

TAYLOR: And he goes back in and gets something to cover the baby's face for obvious reasons. Thank you.

KING: Your hand was over the mike. But what don't we know about him? Why do you to like him so much? Why do you love him? You love him.

TAYLOR: I love him.

KING: Why?

TAYLOR: Well, we have such similar backgrounds.

KING: Similar backgrounds?

TAYLOR: We were both child actors. Neither one of us had a childhood. We both supported our families. We -- neither of us had mates our own age. Nobody to go out and play with, no football games to go to, no proms to attend, no growing up things.

KING: You had to be old when young?

TAYLOR: Oh, we were so old before our time. And we were -- we did what we were told to do. And if you didn't do what you were told to do, you were put on suspension.

And when I was married very early at 20, the second time -- I was married at 18, but Nick kind of got a kick out of beating the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of me.

KING: Nicky Hilton?

TAYLOR: Yes. And I didn't -- so after..

KING: So what happened at 20?

TAYLOR: I married Michael Walding, one of the gentlest, sweetest men in the world. But he had epilepsy and it does something to a man.

KING: But how did that relate to Michael? Michael had also bad relationships, right? Or poor -- relationships that didn't work?

TAYLOR: Just difficult. Mine was completely different. I loved Michael. But we lived together like brother and sister. And I was too young. I was just too young for that.

KING: Take a break and be back with Dame Elizabeth Taylor. After the next break, we'll include your phone calls for one of the great ladies in the history of American screen.

In fact, I mentioned that "LIFE" magazine, they're going to come out with a cover saluting Hollywood and she'll be on the cover.

TAYLOR: I will?

KING: Yes, it's the March cover and it's to be the 15th cover. She's been on the cover of "LIFE" magazine in every decade since the '40s. There you see the cover of "LIFE" in Hollywood...

TAYLOR: Wow.

KING: ...of Elizabeth Taylor. Cute little girl. We'll be right back.

Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want me to do with this crutch?

TAYLOR: You're still blaming me for skipper's death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't you know I could kill you this crutch?

TAYLOR: Good lord, man, do you think I care if he's dead?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a friendship. Now why won't you let it alone?

TAYLOR: It's got to be told.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I don't want to hear it!

TAYLOR: It's got to be told and you don't let me tell it. I love you. And that's worth fighting for. Not Skipper. Skipper was no good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maggie....

TAYLOR: Maybe I'm no good either. Nobody is good. But Rick, Skipper is dead, and I'm alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maggie!

TAYLOR: Maggie, the cat is alive. I'm alive. Why are you afraid of the truth?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Truth?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Hold it.

TAYLOR: Quick, quick. Help, help.

KING: We're back with Elizabeth Taylor, scenes you're seeing for those of you not watching the radio. Are scenes from "Cleopatra." Elizabeth Taylor needs a tissue. Do we have a tissue?

TAYLOR: I need to blow my nose.

KING: Here, dear.

TAYLOR: Is that permitted?

KING: What, are we going to do, hold you to rules? there are no rules.

TAYLOR: Unless you want to see dribble, dribble.

KING: It is live television. It is a historic first, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, dame of London, two-time academy award winner, blowing her nose on LARRY KING LIVE. By the way who gave you the Krupp diamond?

TAYLOR: Richard.

KING: I thought it was Richard.

TAYLOR: Of course it was Richard.

KING: What did that cost him do you think?

TAYLOR: I don't ask.

KING: What is it worth, do you think?

TAYLOR: Over a million something.

KING: Serious for a minute, what did you make of President Bush in the State of the Union saying he wants to triple American spending on global AIDS to $15 billion in the next five years? TAYLOR: At least he's making an attempt. And I was really -- I was glad to see and hear that, because the other presidents haven't even mentioned the name AIDS.

KING: Including Clinton?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: So Bush surprised you?

TAYLOR: Very much so. I don't agree with his other politics. I don't want to go to war. And it just seems inevitable at the rate they're going.

KING: But the AIDS part you favor obviously?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: What got you interested in that?

TAYLOR: AIDS?

KING: Yes. What prompted -- was it Rock Hudson?

TAYLOR: No it began before that. I heard of the disease.

KING: In the early '80s?

TAYLOR: In the early '80s. We all heard of it and nobody was doing anything about it. And it made me so angry that we all sat around the dining room table, isn't this awful, isn't this tragic? Oh, my god. But nobody was doing anything. And that really angered me so much. This is before we heard about Rock.

And I said, I'm doing the same thing. I'm complaining about how nobody is doing anything and I thought, well, it's got to start someplace. It's got to start with someone. And I thought why can't I be that -- that someone? So APLA was giving a dinner honor of Betty Ford. And Shannon and I -- Shannon Sum (ph) you remember her what a lovely lady.

KING: She was.

TAYLOR: We rented a room in Beverly Hills and called every celebrity in this town, most of them hung up on us. People who had worked with dancers, people who were obviously...

KING: People who knew a lot of people who had it?

TAYLOR: Who were obviously gay. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis.

KING: Turned you down?

TAYLOR: Yes. We don't want to get involved with that statement.

KING: So knowing you that got you angrier? The rest, as they say, is history. Let me get a break. Dame Elizabeth Taylor is our special guest. By the way, when you see all these clips of movies we're showing you, most of the movie clips on the program are courtesy of Warner Home Video. Thanks to them the films are available on DVD, Warner Home Video, by the way, will be releasing "Giant" starring Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson on DVD this summer. And a lot of these perfumes would make great valentine's gifts as would the book "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry," might be a nice him and her kind of thing. We'll take a break and come back and start to include your phone calls, one of the little pleasures of your life, the chance to talk to a dame. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAYLOR: Do you want know die with you? I will. Or do you want me to live with you? Whatever you choose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aren't we too late you think, if we choose to live?

TAYLOR: Better too late than never.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to have more money than you ever thought you could have. You and all the rest of you stinking sons of benedicts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leslie, you go out in the house, take the women with you.

TAYLOR: Jet, we're real glad you struck it. Now you go on along home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My, you sure do look pretty, Miss Leslie. You always did look pretty. Just good enough to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a minute!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That scene from "Giant." Our guest, Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

How good would James Dean have become?

TAYLOR: Oh, God, I think we've all wondered about that.

KING: But could he have been Brando?

TAYLOR: I think he had not only the training of method acting, but I think he was also instinctive. KING: Oh, really? He had both?

TAYLOR: I think so.

KING: You said during the break your favorite film was "Virginia Woolf?"

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: Because of the difficulty of the part?

TAYLOR: Yes, and it was such a great role. And Richard was so wonderful in it.

KING: When the two of you went at it.

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: Let's show a quick clip and then we'll go to phone calls. Here's a scene from "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?"

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?")

TAYLOR: So here I am stuck with that bog in the history department.

RICHARD BURTON, ACTOR: Martha...

TAYLOR: Who is married to the president's daughter, who's expected to be somebody, not just a nobody, a book worm who is so complacent that doesn't have the guts to make anybody proud of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Not too bad. Let's go calls for Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

Tampa, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi.

You design your own jewelry. I see you have your beautiful earrings on.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

CALLER: And where can I buy them?

KING: Where can you buy -- do you design jewelry for sale?

TAYLOR: No. These I didn't. There's a little Indian shop in Beverly Hills that I got these from.

KING: But you don't design jewelry for sale? You just buy jewelry or get given jewelry?

TAYLOR: No, I fiddle around with jewelry for myself. KING: How old are you? I finally asked.

TAYLOR: 70!

KING: Gadzooks.

TAYLOR: And my son just turned 50. It is so great that we're so close.

KING: You have a 50-year-old kid?

TAYLOR: Yes. It's so great to be so close in age. We have so much in common. And we can talk to each other like chums.

KING: Ottawa, Canada, hello. Ottawa, hello?

CALLER: Yes, hi. Miss Dame Elizabeth Taylor?

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Hi, I just wanted to let you know I think you're a superb actress. My mother loves you and adores you. I just wanted to know if you have any future plans to be in movies or in television?

TAYLOR: No. I don't.

KING: Do you get any scripts?

TAYLOR: No. I'm an old bag. But my life really now is all AIDS.

KING: Really?

TAYLOR: Yes. I have put aside everything else and I have dedicated my life to working for AIDS.

KING: If someone came to you with a delicious role, playing let's say a 70-year-old woman but a great role in a movie, would you take it?

TAYLOR: It would have to be a very, very good role.

KING: Bellingham, Washington, hello.

CALLER: Oh, Elizabeth, I think you are so beautiful and I just picked up your new book today. It's wonderful.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

CALLER: You're welcome. My question to you is what was it like on the set and during the filming of "Cleopatra?"

KING: That endless movie.

TAYLOR: Very interesting. Because Richard and I fell in love on the set of "Cleopatra" and we tried not to. My marriage to Edna St. Fisher Mallay (ph) was already falling apart. And I did not want to break up Richard's marriage to Cybill, who is an extraordinary woman.

KING: You called Eddie Fisher what? Edna St. Vincent Malay (ph)?

TAYLOR: Edna St. Fisher Malay (ph).

KING: There's a joke there somewhere. Was that a, therefore, difficult for you to be falling in love. You're married, he's married...

TAYLOR: Well, Eddie and I weren't -- Eddie and I were not in love. All we did was talk about Mike. We kept Mike alive. There was nothing else we had in common.

KING: You told any was two great loves of your life were Todd -- Mike Todd and Richard Burton, right?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: Was "Cleopatra" a difficult shoot?

TAYLOR: Very, considering that we were in love and trying not to show it.

KING: Toronto, hello. Toronto, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello.

KING: Yes, speak up when you come on. Go.

CALLER: Yes, OK. Elizabeth?

TAYLOR: Yes.

CALLER: I feel so honored to speak to you. I don't know what to say.

I guess I would like to say to you, How do you -- as you are so wonderful in films, how do you feel with the fact -- how do you get over loving someone and losing them? How do you do that? How do you cope with that?

KING: Loss.

TAYLOR: Not easy.

KING: Now a lot of people are dealing with loss this week. The loss of Columbia.

TAYLOR: Oh, I know. It is so heart breaking.

KING: You lost a husband in a plane crash.

TAYLOR: And I lost Richard on an operating table.

I don't think you ever do get over it. I -- Mike's legacy, to me, was love. He taught me how to love, how to receive love. We loved each other so unconditionally. We were only married 13 months. And our daughter was 6 months old when he was killed. His plane plowed into the Rockies. And there was this tiny 6-month-old baby.

KING: How old were you?

TAYLOR: Oh, God, in my late 20s.

KING: That terrible phone call, right?

TAYLOR: No, it wasn't even a telephone call.

KING: How did you find out?

TAYLOR: Well, he was supposed to have called me from Albuquerque at 6:00 in the morning. And I waited up all night.

He would come up and say good-bye to me five times. And I couldn't fly with him. It was in my contract, everything that I go. He was being honored by the Fryer's club and it meant so much to him but I had pneumonia, which some -- a couple of times has been near fatal for me and I had a fever of 103 and there was no chance I could fly.

So he came up and said good-bye to me five times.

KING: Premonition?

TAYLOR: At the end, we were both sobbing and holding on to each other, just so tight. And he said, I'll call you from Albuquerque. And I waited and I waited.

And the children's nanny, sweet elderly lady, kept putting talcum powder on my back and my shoulders, because there was burning up. And I waited and I waited and I waited.

KING: How did you find out?

TAYLOR: The door opened and Dick Hanley (ph) who used to be L.B. Mayer's secretary, then Mike's secretary, and then just sort of automatically my secretary.

And he opened the door with my doctor and I took one look at their faces, and I just screamed, No, he's not! And ran. I ran out of the room in my nightgown.

And in those days they were like baby dolls with little tiny panties. And I ran down the street in my bare feet. And it was early, early in the morning. And the doctor ran after me. And he must have had a needle or something prepared because he stuck me and it knocked me out.

KING: The question was, dealing with grief. And you say you never get over it.

TAYLOR: No. You don't. KING: It is always something inside of you is Mike and Richard and the people who lost the people on Columbia will always have them somewhere inside of them.

TAYLOR: Yes. Yes.

KING: You to think it is worse when they die tragically?

TAYLOR: Yes. No question.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Elizabeth Taylor and more of your phone calls right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: A premiere in the heart of Hollywood, this arrival is what the fans have really been waiting for. The photographers, too. The celebrated lady who says she values privacy about all else has not been out of the public eye since her first movie at the age of 9.

And tonight there is no question as most people know, Liz has been married five times. She has two sons, a daughter, adopted a second daughter and has figured in more than one headline in that whole triangle.

Fans, however, continue to swarm around (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Liz starred in 31 films, has won a movie Oscar so the talent is not scarce between this famous couple.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: For the benefit of our viewing audience, we're seeing Elizabeth Taylor wearing a piece of jewelry around her neck given to her by Michael Jackson.

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: This is all from the book. That piece was given to her by Mike Todd.

TAYLOR: That was my first piece of real...

KING: Dramatic jewelry.

TAYLOR: ... jewelry.

KING: How many pieces of jewelry do you have? Do you ever inventory?

TAYLOR: No. More than...

KING: More than in the book?

TAYLOR: More than the book. KING: San Dimas, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Hi. I just wanted to say, I love your movies.

TAYLOR: Oh, thank you.

CALLER: "Places of the Sun" (sic) was my favorite.

KING: "A Place in the Sun."

CALLER: I wanted to ask you if you have any romances in your life right now?

TAYLOR: Sadly no.

KING: Were you involved with Rod Steiger?

TAYLOR: We dated.

KING: Yes? Nice guy.

TAYLOR: Oh, sweet, wonderful man.

KING: Good actor, too.

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: But there is no one now? Do you miss that?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: Bakersfield, California.

TAYLOR: Can you find me somebody out there?

KING: Somebody who likes jewelry and likes to give jewelry. Bakersfield, California, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Elizabeth.

TAYLOR: Hi.

CALLER: Do you go to the movies today and if so, how do you think they compare with the movies that were made in the '50s, '60s and '70s when you were putting out such great movies?

TAYLOR: Oh, I love them. I like them very much.

KING: You like movies and you like them now?

TAYLOR: Yes. I love action movies. Thrillers.

KING: Like James Bond?

TAYLOR: No. No, you know more, oh, God, my favorite movie this year is "The Pianist."

KING: Haven't seen it yet. That's good, huh? That good?

TAYLOR: It is brilliant.

KING: To Charleston, West Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Elizabeth. How are you?

TAYLOR: Fine, thanks. How are you?

CALLER: I'm wonderful. Ecstatic now that I'm getting to speak with you. You are my absolute favorite in the world.

TAYLOR: Oh, thank you.

CALLER: You're so welcome. I'm so excited. I would actually like to ask you what your favorite piece of jewelry is that you own.

KING: Ah, the Krupp diamond. How did Richard give that to you? What was the occasion?

TAYLOR: Well, there was no occasion.

KING: He just dropped in and said, Here's the Krupp diamond?

TAYLOR: No. It was came -- it came up for auction. It was Sotheby's or the other one. I can't believe the things I'm reading about those two houses. Not good.

KING: Not good. Anyway -- well, somebody went to jail already. So what, he bid on it? Were you with him?

TAYLOR: No.

KING: Did you know he was going to do that?

TAYLOR: No. Total surprise.

KING: What did he bid?

TAYLOR: I don't know.

KING: Then what, he brought it home?

TAYLOR: It arrived with the vice president, oh, God what was his name...

KING: Vice president of what?

TAYLOR: I think it was Sotheby's.

KING: He delivered it to you? TAYLOR: Well, it was kind of a funny story. We were on our yacht in the south of France. And it wasn't insured until it left Sotheby's and was on my hand. So there was a time lapse where it wasn't insured at all.

So my lawyer at the time had about five guys, all with identical Cartier boxes, and they all came on different plane planes. And they all arrived by different venues. The road, boat...

KING: And one of them had the real one.

TAYLOR: Yes. My lawyer. And he was so tickled he had it in his pocket. And he said, let's go into the other room. And they all had identical boxes.

KING: We'll be right back with Dame Elizabeth Taylor and our remaining moments. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAYLOR: Oh, my god.

KING: Same thing.

Welcome back to more of LARRY KING LIVE with Dame Elizabeth Taylor. We're reminding you that the movie clips that you've watched on tonight's program are courtesy of Warner Home Video. The films are available on DVD. Warner Home Video will release "Giant" starring Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson on DVD this summer.

And White Diamonds and the new fragrance Forever Elizabeth are available everywhere for Valentine's gifts, and for the girl on your list you may want to give her -- though it may cause you some trouble later "My Love Affair With Jewelry" by Elizabeth Taylor. We saw a brief clip there of the Liza wedding.

You were the what at wedding?

TAYLOR: I really don't know.

KING: OK, neither I do.

Roanoke, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hi, yes, Larry King. I love your show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Hi, Miss Taylor. You told us your favorite movie you made. What is your best movie you really, enjoy? I love all of them.

KING: She said "Virginia Wolfe," right?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: What did you have the most fun making? TAYLOR: Probably "National Velvet" because I played myself.

KING: You were a kid?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: By the way you said nothing. You were something at the wedding, weren't you?

TAYLOR: I don't know. I think I was...

KING: Were you matron of honor?

TAYLOR: Matron of honor or something.

KING: Did you have a good time?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: Don't be so sincere.

KING: Bellefontaine, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Elizabeth?

TAYLOR: Yes.

CALLER: You get more beautiful as time goes by. This is the greatest thrill of my whole life, tonight to get to talk to you. And my question is, if you did find somebody, would you really marry again?

TAYLOR: If I fell in love again, I would love to live with someone and grow old with someone. I'm not sure a marriage certificate is really necessary.

KING: Barry, Ontario, Canada. Last call hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Hi. I love your show. I'm so excited to hear from you. And Dame Elizabeth, I just -- I think not only are you a wonderful actress, but you're an amazing human being. And my question to you is, with all the ups and downs that you have had in your life, has there been one constant person that you've been able to turn to, aside from your family, that was there for you when you had your bad times?

KING: Was there one? We only have a minute.

TAYLOR: Roddey McDowell. But unfortunately he's gone. KING: February 8 will be Dame Elizabeth day in the state of California. And the new perfume is Forever Elizabeth, right?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: Selected by you.

TAYLOR: I made it. I created it.

KING: Nice packaging, too.

TAYLOR: Thank you. I did that, too. And that's Elizabeth Red.

KING: That's right. And White Diamonds and everything and the jewelry book and you're an industry, aren't you?

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: And thank you, too, sugar. Sorry to bother you, sugar.

TAYLOR: It is the House of Taylor.

KING: The House of Taylor.

TAYLOR: Yes.

KING: Nice being with you, dame.

TAYLOR: Nice to be with you, Larry. I love you.

KING: Love you. Dame Elizabeth Taylor. We'll come back and tell you about tomorrow night right after these words.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Tomorrow night, we will have a follow-up to the special services that will take place in Houston tomorrow commemorating the lives of the astronauts lost last Saturday. The president and Mrs. Bush will be there. Our CNN cameras will be there and then we'll do a follow-up show tomorrow evening.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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