Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Elizabeth Taylor

Aired May 30, 2006 - 21:00   ET


ELIZABETH TAYLOR, ENTERTAINER: The cat is alive! I'm alive! Why are you afraid of the truth?


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight exclusive, Elizabeth Taylor, back to tell the world how she is doing.


TAYLOR: You're stuck with me.


KING: Her first television interview in three years.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm really looking forward to this, Martha.


KING: A legendary survivor, a true one-of-a-kind dame with some secrets to spill. And this legend will take your phone calls.


TAYLOR: One call I want to take personally.


KING: Yes, Elizabeth Taylor for the hour exclusive is next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's a great pleasure to welcome her back to LARRY KING LIVE here in Los Angeles. Dame Elizabeth Taylor, it's been more than three years since she guested on this program. Last time it was February of 2003. The silver-screen legend, two Academy Awards, five nominations, humanitarian, AIDS activist.

Let's clear up some things. A lot of tabloid stories about you.

TAYLOR: Oh, my god. Am I dead? Am I alive?

KING: Are you alive?

TAYLOR: I think so.

KING: OK, Liz's final agony. Ailing Liz begs "bury me with my true love." Did you ever say that?

TAYLOR: Who's my true love?

KING: Liz, death watch. What do you make of all of this? The "National Enquirer" says you're being treated for early Alzheimer's. What's the story?

TAYLOR: Oh, come on, do I look like I'm dying? Do I look like or sound like I have Alzheimer's?

KING: No. So why do you prompt all this, do you think?

TAYLOR: Why do I prompt it?

KING: Yes, why you?

TAYLOR: Because they have nothing else dirty to write about anybody else is all I can think of. They won't let me retire, and I don't want to retire because I'm opening a jewelry launch tomorrow in Las Vegas.

KING: At the jewelry show.

TAYLOR: At the jewelry show. Just a few...

KING: Baubles.

TAYLOR: ... Tidbits to show off. And I'm very busy. I'm loving what I'm doing, designing jewelry, because jewelry is one of my passions.

KING: I've heard. Would you take a role if offered?

TAYLOR: If it were really juicy and spicy and challenging.

KING: The story about health. There must be -- I mean you are -- you're in a chair, right?


KING: In a wheelchair.


KING: What's the reason for that?

TAYLOR: My back, which has been chronically bad since I was a teenager.

KING: You had that at national velvet time, right?

TAYLOR: Before that.

KING: Before that?

TAYLOR: I was born with scoliosis. But not too many people -- you know now.

KING: Are born with scoliosis, which is?

TAYLOR: Curvature -- double curvature of the spine and osteoporosis.

KING: When these stories appear like the "Enquirer," bedridden and facing death. You're hardly bedridden. Liz Alzheimer's tragedy, very little can be done, approaching where you're dealing with the onset of Alzheimer's. Does it come from -- you've got friends that tell them this?


KING: Do they just invent it?

TAYLOR: Do you think any friends of mine would say things like that?

KING: Enemies?

TAYLOR: I don't believe I have enemies.

KING: So you think they are just...

TAYLOR: ... I think they're trying to sell magazines, and the only way they can do it is by being dirty. They've never sold -- those dirty magazines have never sold a clean story. They don't -- some audience out there, and don't ask me who they are, but there are millions, like scandal. They like filth. And if they want to hear that I'm dead, sorry, folks, I'm not. And I don't plan on it.

KING: Do you think about it?

TAYLOR: Dying?

KING: Yes.


KING: A lot of people, they get to a certain age and think about that.

TAYLOR: No. I've been there, I've done that. When I was in England, I was pronounced dead with pneumonia. Had it.

KING: How did you recover that time in England?

TAYLOR: Oh, god, they sent over medications from Russia. I had dog distemper, shots, I was pronounced dead four times, so they could give me anything, just to see if they could make me breath. KING: I mean, no one's had a life like you, not even in your league. The people you've been, the men you've known, the men you've acted with. Paul Newman does a wonderful tribute to you on Turner Classic Movies, I don't know if you've seen it.

TAYLOR: Oh, no.

KING: Great tribute to you, he worked with you in "Cat."

TAYLOR: I love Paul.

KING: He loves you and he also said your beauty got in the way of people realizing how great an actress you are.

TAYLOR: Really?

KING: I mean five Academy Award nominations, you won two, done stage, worker theater.

TAYLOR: Three.

KING: You won three?

TAYLOR: One for humanitarian.

KING: Oh that's right, you got the Gene Hershaw. So dead, you don't think about death, nor does death frighten you?

TAYLOR: No. Because I've been there.

KING: Do you believe in life after death?

TAYLOR: I think I do.

KING: Like reincarnation or something else?

TAYLOR: I don't believe our spirits die. I think they -- I think our spirits are out there, and other people's souls intermingle with ours, and I don't think there is such a thing, like in the movies the end, I think something continues.

KING: Do you believe in karma?

TAYLOR: Yes, I do.

KING: Do you believe in soul mates?

TAYLOR: Yes, I do.

KING: Did you have any?

TAYLOR: Do I have any?

KING: Did you have any or do you have any?

TAYLOR: Yes. KING: Was Richard Burton a soul mate?


KING: Any others? Mike Todd?


KING: Was Mike Todd the one?

TAYLOR: Oh, aren't you ...

KING: ... The truth, wasn't he the one?

TAYLOR: I'm not going to tell the truth.

KING: That's right, why tell the truth, Elizabeth, be a movie star.

TAYLOR: Yes! I loved them both passionately and dearly.

KING: And both die early, one tragically.

TAYLOR: Both tragically.

KING: Do you have any regrets?

TAYLOR: I'm sorry they died.

KING: Any personal regrets?

TAYLOR: I'm sorry if I ever hurt anyone. That's all.

KING: You probably did, along the way, with the fame you received. You broke up a marriage. That had to hurt someone.

TAYLOR: And that hurt me.

KING: But you would say now you're content? I don't want to put words in your mouth. Are you content?

TAYLOR: I'm happy. I'm too busy to be content, just sort of sit back. I'm not laid back. I could have gone through a phase of being a couch potato, and just watching T.V. But now that I'm designing jewelry, I am so happy, and it's so rewarding, and it's such fun.

KING: We are going to get into that. We'll talk about a lot of things still to come. We'll be taking your phone calls. Are your eyes purple?

TAYLOR: I think they're red.

KING: They're purple, they're purple. Red?

TAYLOR: Yes, aren't they?

KING: They're pretty. As we go to break, a scene from at that time, the most expensive movie ever made, "Cleopatra."


TAYLOR: Antony, how will I live?

RICHARD BURTON, ACTOR: The same as I, one breath upon the other, each bringing us one breath closer.

TAYLOR: You take so much away, with you so far. Remember, remember, they'll want you to forget, please.

BURTON: Forget? I can never be more far away from you than -- than this.




ROCK HUDSON, ACTOR How you doing?

TAYLOR: Now, don't you worry about me. I'm a tough Texan.

HUDSON: You know I love you, Tex.


KING: That's with Rock Hudson in "Giant." We'll talk about co- stars later. Your family, you have four children, ten grandchildren, three great grandchildren.

TAYLOR: And more coming

KING: Do you get to see the flock?

TAYLOR: Always. Thanksgiving, everyone.

KING: You're the dame grandmother. How do you get to be a dame?

TAYLOR: You couldn't. I'll call you sir.

KING: I can't even be a sir.

TAYLOR: Because you're not English. I don't know, they just are meretricious.

KING: The British. Did you have to go there? Do they dub you dame?


KING: It must be quite an honor to stand there.

TAYLOR: It is.

KING: The queen mother?

TAYLOR: No, the queen.

KING: The queen herself dubs you dame.

TAYLOR: Yes. She doesn't use a sword on the ladies.

KING: That's only on the men.

That had to give you a kick?

TAYLOR: Oh. I was so thrilled.

KING: You were born into the Christian Scientist faith, right?


KING: Believed in no medicine, no doctors. Converted to Judaism. Why?

TAYLOR: I needed -- after Mike's death -- some very strong faith to keep me alive, something to hang on to. I didn't find it in Christian Science. And I wanted to be close to Mike. So I studied Judaism for a year after his death, and then converted.

KING: Went through the conversion?


KING: In the synagogue with the rabbi and everything?


KING: Before you converted, you played a Jewish beauty on screen, you played Rebecca in Ivanhoe.

Your last job was in a 2001 TV movie, "These Old Broods" with Shirley MacLaine and Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins.


KING: What was that like?

TAYLOR: It was a ball. We were all giggling the whole time.

KING: Were bygones bygones?

TAYLOR: Of course, they have been for years.

KING: You got a million dollars for "Cleopatra." That was the highest fee paid for a movie. How do you feel when you see now 20 million to actors and actresses. Only Julia Roberts gets 20 million.

TAYLOR: I think, well, I started it.

KING: The seven figure movie was you first. TAYLOR: Yes. I think bully for them. If I were younger, maybe I'd get the same thing. Probably not, but, you know, you never know.

KING: Wait a minute. The star that you were, if we can equate to that now, would be double that.

TAYLOR: Do you think?

KING: Oh, you'd own the movie.

TAYLOR: I like that.

KING: When Lauren Bacall was on this program, she said she had problems with words like icon or legend being applied to actresses too early in their career. Do you agree with that?

TAYLOR: I do. I think an icon is someone who is dead and a wooden plaque on the wall. A legend is something you read about in the past tense.

KING: Legends are dead.


KING: What do you think of the current -- who are some of the people you like working now?

TAYLOR: Oh, I think there's such a group of young talent out there, I couldn't begin to name them all for you. I'd be leaving somebody out. But I'm very impressed with the young actors.

KING: Let's name some of the men you worked with. We named them before just briefly. Paul Newman.

TAYLOR: I love Paul. I think he's the most brilliant actor.

KING: Do good actors help other actors?


KING: Good actors make other actors better?

TAYLOR: Yes. If I have learned anything about acting, because I've never had an acting lesson, I learned it from my peers.

KING: Rock Hudson.

TAYLOR: He was wonderful to work with.

KING: How good an actor?

TAYLOR: I think in "Giant," he was brilliant.

KING: Did you like James Dean?

TAYLOR: I loved him. Yes. KING: Both gone too soon.

TAYLOR: Way too soon.

KING: Did you know Rock was gay?

TAYLOR: Uh-huh.

KING: That must have been a terrible thing for him, to live with hiding something all his life.

TAYLOR: It was very painful.

KING: Did he talk to you about it?


KING: Did you ever advise -- now, current circumstances now, he would come out, wouldn't he, do you think?

TAYLOR: Oh, yes. Yes.

KING: We'll talk about AIDS in a minute. My guest is Elizabeth Taylor, Dame Elizabeth Taylor. We'll be taking your calls in a while and get a chance to talk to a legend who's alive and also get into her jewelry bit with the diamonds and the whole thing and perfume. Elizabeth Taylor is an industry, and as you can tell, she is still alive.

The Dixie Chicks tomorrow night. We'll be right back.


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 on in the house. Take the women with you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're real glad you struck him. Now, you go on along home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sure do look pretty. You always did look pretty. Just pretty enough to eat.




TAYLOR: In fact, he was sort of a flop! A great big fat flop!

RICHARD BURTON, ACTOR: Stop it! Stop it, Martha! TAYLOR: I hope that was an empty bottle, George. You can't afford to waste good liquor, not on your salary, not on an associate professor's salary! So here I am stuck with this flop, this (inaudible) in the history department...

BURTON: Martha...

TAYLOR: ... who's married to the president's daughter, who's expected to be somebody, not just a nobody. A book worm!

BURTON (singing): Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf! Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf so early in the morning.


KING: Is it hard, Elizabeth, or easy, to work with someone you're in love with?

TAYLOR: No. I've never had a better time in my life.

KING: Than working with Richard?

TAYLOR: Yes. On "Virginia Woolf."

KING: Even though you were fighting him tooth and nail throughout?

TAYLOR: Well, we got it all out on the set and we'd go home, have dinner with the children, play word games with them, and learn our lines after dinner, and go to sleep.

KING: Did you love doing that play?

TAYLOR: I did.

KING: Because that -- that all -- that's top of the crop writing, isn't it?

TAYLOR: Oh, wonderful. And wonderful words to wrap your lips around.

KING: How did you like -- was Richard a helpful actor?

TAYLOR: He was a brilliant actor, and helpful. We were like on the same beam so much that we triggered each other off.

KING: Is that still the ring he gave you?

TAYLOR: Well, I don't throw it often.

KING: Can we get a shot of this ring, because it's sinking ships. Was this his engagement ring to you?

TAYLOR: No, it was like a couple of years later.

KING: Just a gift.


KING: A bauble he gave to you.


KING: Brando. What was it like to work with Marlon Brando?

TAYLOR: I loved it. He was -- bless his heart, he was full of rubbish and tried to intimidate you, but I wasn't scared of him.

KING: He tried to intimidate you? He tried to make you afraid of him?

TAYLOR: He tried with every actor he'd worked with. He -- well, sorry, Marlon. He'd forget his lines, oops, sorry, and you'd be going along, and right at the end of the take was when he'd go, oops, I'm sorry. Can we do another one? I ruined that. So you'd start all over again. And then you'd get to the end and think, oh, I'm sailing now. Oops. Sorry. And that would go on until he was happy with his performance, and then he'd go all the way through.

KING: But you liked him?

TAYLOR: I loved him.

KING: Michael Jackson. The story of your friendship with him, how did that begin?

TAYLOR: I went to a concert, and I couldn't see a thing. I was way up in the -- well, it was a stadium. And I couldn't see a thing. And I brought 30 people, and we couldn't even hear. So we went home to watch it on television by disc. And Michael heard that I had left halfway through, and called me the next day, and was like in tears because he had heard that I'd walked out. I hadn't walked out. I just couldn't see anything.

And then we talked on the phone for about three hours, and from there on in, we talked more and more on the phone. Then we met, and spent more and more time with each other, and just became really good friends. Told each other everything.

KING: Why did you like him so much?

TAYLOR: We're very much alike.

KING: Are you?

TAYLOR: Yes. We both had horrible childhoods. Well, working at the age of 9 is not a childhood. He started at 3, and that certainly isn't a childhood.

KING: Have you spoken to him recently?

TAYLOR: Yes, I have. KING: How's he doing? He's in where?

TAYLOR: He sounds very happy.

KING: Where is he?

TAYLOR: At the moment, I think he was in London.

KING: But he was in Tokyo recently, and then London.


KING: But he lives in Bahrain?

TAYLOR: Right.

KING: What did you think of the charges against him?

TAYLOR: I've never been so angry in my life.

KING: But didn't you think, Elizabeth, Dame Elizabeth, I'm sorry, that it would look strange to people to have someone who is in his 40s spending a night with children? I mean, just on the face of it.

TAYLOR: All right. I'll answer that, because I've been there, when his nephews were there, and we all were in the bed, watching television. There was nothing abnormal about it. There was no touchy-feely going on. We laughed like children, and we watched a lot of Walt Disney. There was nothing odd about it.

KING: So you think they were out after him?


KING: The authorities and the like?

TAYLOR: I think the paparazzi started -- not the paparazzi, the press. Excuse me. May I blow my nose?

KING: You may.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

KING: It's called human.


KING: Even Elizabeth Taylor blows her nose.

Is he going to come back to working?

TAYLOR: I don't think so. Except maybe in Europe.

KING: You don't think he'll ever live in the United States again? TAYLOR: Well, really, why should he? He's been treated like dirt here.

KING: We'll take a break, come back. We'll talk about AIDS, we'll talk about jewelry. We'll take your phone calls with Dame Elizabeth Taylor, who tonight, as you may -- say what you will, she has put away any thoughts you may have had that this is a person in dire straits health-wise. Don't go away.

TAYLOR: Except my nose!


TAYLOR: Make this our beginning. Beginning is tonight. You must never envy Caesar, or anyone, anything again.




TAYLOR: But, Brick, Skipper (ph) is dead and I'm alive.


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

NEWMAN: Truth?

TAYLOR: Little girl, somebody ought to teach you to knock before you open a door. Otherwise, people might think that you're lacking in good breeding.


KING: That's from the brilliant "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and a special thanks to Warner Brothers, most of the terrific film clips you've been seeing during the show are now available on DVD from Warner home video and thanks to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for the DVD version of "Cleopatra."

We'll be taking some calls. What got you involved in AIDS?

TAYLOR: I had -- like everybody else in this world, had heard of AIDS and how devastating it was, that there was no cure, and it was going to be as bad as the flu epidemic in--

KING: '28.

TAYLOR: And people sat around at dinner parties discussing it. And saying, it's just awful! You know, nobody's doing anything, and the government isn't doing anything, and I just don't know what we're going to do, we're just going to have to -- maybe it's God's way of punishing those people. I heard things like this and got more and more furious until I thought, wait a minute. Here I am, furious, and what am I doing? Nothing. So I called a doctor friend of mine, Michael Gottleib (ph) and said, what can I do? Is there anything I can do, to take some of the stigma off this disease? And he was Rock's doctor. I didn't know about Rock up until then.

And then I went to see Rock and we reminisced about "Giant" and jokey things, like making chocolate martinis and fun things past. We didn't talk about his having AIDS, except I asked him once if it hurt. And he was in like another land. He seemed very peaceful and he kind of went to sleep.

KING: You kind of led a movement now, right?

TAYLOR: Well, because nobody was doing anything, I thought, what the hell am I doing, nothing. So I moved and co-founded the first AIDS, AMFAR, foundation in America, in the world. And with AMFAR, of which I'm co-chairman, founding, and my foundation, ETAF, we've raised -- I have it written down here because I wanted to be exact. I've got too many little notes. It raised something like, with AMFAR and ETAF, something like $270,000.

KING: Million.

TAYLOR: Million.

KING: Let's take a call. Independence, Missouri, for Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

CALLER: Dame Elizabeth, I'm glad to hear you're doing well. Larry, I'm a history buff, I have to correct you, the flu epidemic was 1918. Dame Elizabeth, I have studied theater at UMKC (ph) and you're one of the biggies, you and Richard Burton. I'm curious as to who in previous generations did you look up to?

TAYLOR: Actors?

CALLER: Yes, I guess actors or I guess anybody really you found inspiration from.

KING: Who were your mentors, in a sense?

TAYLOR: Spencer Tracy. I adored Katie Hepburn.

KING: What was Tracy like to work with?

TAYLOR: He was one of the people I think I learned from. He had a stillness, a quietness about him that spoke more than volumes, and it just was mesmerizing. He could play anything, any role and he just drew you in.

KING: Here's a scene with Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy, "Father of the Bride."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SPENCER TRACY, ACTOR: She looked like the princess in a fairy tale. I wouldn't have been surprised if she had held out her hand for me to kiss.

You look wonderful, kitten, just wonderful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, pops. Well, on to the slaughter.

TRACY: This is it, isn't it.


KING: Special. Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Elizabeth.


CALLER: I am so pleased to talk to you. Hello.

How are you, Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor?

TAYLOR: I'm fine, thank you.

CALLER: You look beautiful.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

CALLER: And you look as beautiful --

KING: What's the question, dear?

CALLER: I just wanted to ask you, who, out of all the movies that you've made, what was your favorite movie?

KING: Your favorite film?

TAYLOR: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," because we both had to pull out all the stops, and throw all the scenery around. That was fun. It was very cathartic, too, because we would get all our shouting and balling out on the set and go home and cuddle.

KING: George Segal was the young man and the young lady was who.

TAYLOR: Sandy Dennis.

KING: And she passed away?

TAYLOR: She won an Oscar. She did. Bless her.

KING: We'll be right back with Dame Elizabeth Taylor and we're going to be looking at some rocks, not earth science rocks, rock rocks. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought you'd sort of get excited, sort of heave and pant and come running at me, your melons bobbling.

TAYLOR: You have really screwed up, George.


TAYLOR: I mean it, you really have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can sit around with gin running out of your mouth, you can humiliate me, you can a tear me to pieces all night. That's perfectly OK, that's all right.

TAYLOR: You can stand it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot stand it.

TAYLOR: You can stand it. You married me for it!




TAYLOR: He stayed in that house for one week and taught me more about evil than any 13-year-old girl in the world knew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lori, don't, don't.

TAYLOR: You haven't heard the worst of it yet. I loved it, every awful moment of it, I loved! That's your Gloria, Steve. That's your darling, Gloria.


KING: Academy Award performance in "Butterfield 8" for Elizabeth Taylor, a movie you didn't want to do, right?


KING: Glad you did?


KING: Still don't like it?

TAYLOR: I liked the Oscar.

KING: By the way, Elizabeth's wonderful perfume, White Diamonds is celebrating 15 years. It has a special anniversary box.

TAYLOR: Isn't that nice? Fifteen years.

KING: Before we get to this fabulous array of jewelry, a couple of other things on AIDS. Do you think it's going to be cured?

TAYLOR: I think there will be treatment that will be better than there is now. We're not on the way though a cure. I brought a van for St. Louis -- St. Louis -- New Orleans, because all of the AIDS patients were left without a paddle, literally.

Had nowhere to go, have nowhere to go, so I brought a portable van, got a doctor, nurse, receptionist, four people who were totally stranded, and four people who couldn't afford to go scurraging around different states, trying to find a doctor, so they can find a doctor now in New Orleans.

KING: I guess you favor stem cell research?

TAYLOR: Oh, yes, very much so. I am so pro-stem cell.

KING: Do you think that's going to happen?

TAYLOR: I think I am going to do everything in my power to make it happen. Not that that's going to make it happen. But it has to, because it's -- there's so many things that it will cure. Parkinson's, so many things.

KING: All right, let's get to -- what got you interested in designing jewelry?

TAYLOR: Well, I've always had a passion for jewelry. I wrote a book on it called "My Love Affair with Jewelry." What fun to design jewelry, and I've been doing it in my head, and then to see it actually come out.

KING: Who makes it for you?

TAYLOR: It's made in Bangkok and other countries.

KING: And you sell it where?

TAYLOR: There's a show tomorrow in Las Vegas, to show this on display, and then the buyers come and put in orders.

KING: From department stores? Can you give me -- let's look at a piece. Let's take this piece, this diamond-studded necklace here. That one.

TAYLOR: This is here to show you.

KING: Is that a tiara?

TAYLOR: Well, no.

KING: I don't know.

TAYLOR: This is a necklace.

KING: A necklace, OK. What's a tiara?

TAYLOR: That's a tiara.

KING: Uh-huh, that's a tiara. OK, I'm way off. TAYLOR: These are my old pieces, that kind of inspired me. These are all the pieces that I've designed. But, as you can see, I've been...

KING: ... What would that necklace sell for?

TAYLOR: Well it's not for sale.

KING: Do you have a copy of it that would be for sale?


KING: What's ...

TAYLOR: These are for sale.

KING: What's that worth?

TAYLOR: I don't know.

KING: Tiara.

TAYLOR: It's not for sale either. I don't know why we have these out here.

KING: They're out just to show. This is for sale?


KING: Now this is a necklace. Watch, I'm good at this. This is a diamond-studded necklace with pearls.

TAYLOR: You got it!

KING: And it's very handsome, very attractive, could fit any age group.

TAYLOR: Absolutely.

KING: An older woman could wear it and a young girl could wear it with jeans, like what you're wearing now.

TAYLOR: Yes, right.

KING: How much is this design to sell for?

TAYLOR: I'm not at liberty to give out the prices yet. That's up to the stores.

KING: This is costume jewelry, though, right?


KING: Wait a minute, these are diamonds?

TAYLOR: You bet your ass they are! KING: OK.

TAYLOR: Emeralds, diamonds, pearls.

KING: Why are you just laying them out like this in front of us, like this? I thought -- wait a minute. What store is going to buy this? Neiman Marcus, maybe?

TAYLOR: I don't know. That's why we have the showing in Las Vegas. All of the jewelers do it, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels.

KING: This is Bergdorf Goodman.

TAYLOR: It depends on who buys it.

KING: Bergdorf loved it, Goodman -- I'm going to take a break now and I'll forever work with this costume.

Anderson Cooper is standing by, he will host "360" at the top of the hour. Get me off the hook, Anderson.

TAYLOR: Costume!

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I can't tell the difference either, Larry. Ahead on "360," the insurgency in Iraq. A new Pentagon report says it is getting worse. You can see it on the ground again today, more bombings, more soldiers killed. More civilians hit, too. Also an update on CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier. She of course, critically injured in a bombing yesterday. Tonight, she's at a military hospital in Germany, that's her arriving. And fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs -- one of his followers is arrested over the weekend. Tonight, a "360" exclusive, the polygamist leader in his own words, in rare recordings, that's coming up on "360," Larry.

KING: Thanks, Anderson. Anderson Cooper, who will guest on this program on Thursday night. The Dixie Chicks tomorrow night, we'll be right back with Dame Elizabeth Taylor after this.


TAYLOR: This is like riding a fairy horse. He knows what you want before you know yourself. When he takes a jump, he kind of gives a second hitch and tucks his feel up under him so he's only a budding leg. You just have to sit on him. Wait until you see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see that the horse is tired and his coat is shiny from sweat and he needs water. You probably had him over six counties. Your pa wants you home for lunch.

TAYLOR: Watch.




TAYLOR: George, how long will you be gone?

MONTGOMERY CLIFT, ACTOR: I don't know, darling. I just don't know.

TAYLOR: You will come back to me, won't you? As soon as you can?

CLIFT: As soon as I can.

TAYLOR: You promise?

CLIFT: I promise.


KING: That was some movie.

Our guest is Dame Elizabeth Taylor. And joining us now by phone is Kathy Ireland. The columnist Liz Smith described as the supermodel turned super mogul, she's CEO and chief designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, and a partner in the House of Taylor Jewelry.

Now, Kathy, why have you hooked up with Elizabeth, because we understand you do more accessible jewelry?

KATHY IRELAND: Oh, my goodness, when it comes to jewelry, Larry, I have so much to learn, and who better to learn from than Dame Elizabeth Taylor? She knows jewelry like it's nobody's business. She is amazing. And thank me for allowing me to intrude on this remarkable evening, so I can publicly say what is on my heart. And hello, Elizabeth.

TAYLOR: Hi, sweetheart.

IRELAND: Hi, how are you. It seems strange calling you Elizabeth, but I won't add our nicknames.

TAYLOR: OK, we won't give them away.

KING: What is in your heart that you wanted to say, Kath?

IRELAND: Well, I have to say, being mentored by this genius is extraordinary. I never dreamed that this amazing woman, who is so much fun, would become family, and I thank Dame Elizabeth for allowing me to be a part of her publicly traded company, House of Taylor Jewelry. She is genius. Her brilliant jewelry designs -- she's an incredible business person. I have watched her. Goes through every detail of her business contracts, and I learn from her every day.

But Larry, most of all, this is a woman of firsts. And Elizabeth, you are a miracle who continues to change the world. You're the first woman to earn $1 million per film, as you talked about earlier. You're the first person to launch a brand new career and sustain a brand with your fragrance empire. We all love our White Diamonds. And you are the first person to stand up and fight for people with AIDS.

And, Larry, Dame Elizabeth did this at great risk to herself. Friends hung up on her, she received threats, people pleaded with her to leave this alone, and she refused. And today, we have people who are living with HIV. When Dame Elizabeth began her battle, everyone infected died of AIDS, and she's responsible for saving millions of lives.

And so for being first, for being courageous, for being someone we all love and adore, Dame Elizabeth, you will always be my hero, and the Joan of Arc of AIDS.

KING: Wow. What do you think of her jewelry?

IRELAND: I love her jewelry. Oh, my -- and to be -- I mean, it's just -- it's a dream come true, to be mentored by this woman. And she's so giving and so gracious in her input. I have so much to learn. So much to learn, but it is so much fun.

KING: I want to show you something. You can't see it, Kathy, you're on the phone. Give me your glasses. We have all this expensive stuff laying around. I'll show you a pair of glasses, which I said before the show, I really like these glasses. Can we get a close-up of these glasses? Center camera. Multi-colored glasses, obviously reading glasses. Aren't they pretty? Ninety-nine cents. From the 99 cent store, Dame Elizabeth grabbed these. That's the business we should be in.

TAYLOR: Right. How else can you say...

KING: They're beautiful.

TAYLOR: I'm saving up for these.

KING: Thanks for calling in, Kathy.

IRELAND: Thank you.

TAYLOR: Thank you, Kathy.

IRELAND: Thank you.

KING: Kathy Ireland, a partner in the House of Taylor Jewelry, the super model, CEO and chief designer for Kathy Ireland Worldwide.

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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did he do? What did he say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did he punish you some more?


TAYLOR: He didn't say anything. I merely told him that my mother would most certainly take me out of this miserable school when I told her how I'd been humiliated. I told him I would not stay to discuss the matter with him, as I have to prepare for the ball I'm attending tonight, which is being given in my honor by Mr. James Lawrence (ph), the millionaire. I told him I could not stand the (inaudible) of being forced to attend school with a lot of ill- mannered girls who stick their silly noses into refined elegant people's business.



KING: Let's get in one more quick call. San Diego, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Hello. Go ahead.

CALLER: Hi. Elizabeth, you look wonderful. And I also suffer from chronic pain, and I want to know how you keep going and stay so strong through all the pain and trying to avoid all the pain medicine that they try to give you.

KING: We only have a minute.

TAYLOR: Well, you don't, if you want to go on functioning. You grin and bear it, and try and get as much sleep as you can, because sleep is a great healer, I find.

KING: You always have a little pain in your back, always?

TAYLOR: Oh, (inaudible)!

KING: You actresses.

TAYLOR: Didn't you like that little burst of song?

KING: I did. Don't want to get married again?

TAYLOR: Larry, are you proposing?

KING: No, I'm just asking.

TAYLOR: Oh. Are you asking me?

KING: The answer no?


KING: Thanks so much for coming.

TAYLOR: Oh, thank you.

KING: For someone on death bed with Alzheimer's, you did amazingly well. Amazingly well.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

KING: For someone so tragically ill, I've never seen anything...

TAYLOR: I know.

KING: What courage.

TAYLOR: It is something, isn't it?

KING: Godspeed.

TAYLOR: Oh, thank you.

KING: Hang tough!


KING: That's it. The Dixie Chicks will be with us tomorrow night, and Anderson Cooper will be the guest on Thursday night.

Speaking of Anderson Cooper -- like that little segue? Let's swing now to New York City, and there he is, the host of "AC 360," Anderson Cooper, with a lot on the table tonight, Anderson.