N.p. n.p., (1961-63). 3 vols., large quarto, contemporary pictorially-stamped paper-covered boards saddle-stitched with black cord (measuring 14 1/2" x 12 1/8"), wove paper album leaves.
"Her beauty is so unbelievable—such perfection—that it almost seemed as if it had been God's will to create the perfect movie star… There are those who say Elizabeth Taylor's beauty is her downfall. There are those who say Elizabeth's beauty is not a God-given gift but a curse. A few years ago, Elizabeth Taylor might have agreed. Today, she has reached a point in her life where she doesn't care anymore. Beauty be damned! Life is her oyster" (from At Last! The Truth About Liz!, August 1963). Three-volume set of fan-made, oversized scrapbooks chronicling the legendary Elizabeth Taylor's romantic and professional life from August of 1961 to September of 1963. The scrapbooks, composed of hundreds of clippings from contemporary movie and gossip magazines and newspapers, focus predominantly on the filming and post-production of Joseph Mankiewicz's four-hour historical drama Cleopatra starring Taylor and her soon-to-be fifth husband Richard Burton. Notorious as both an on- and off-screen epic, the film is famously the most expensive ever made, with a $44 million budget (about $300 million today), and took two directors, two separate casts, and two-and-a-half years of shooting in England, Italy, Egypt, and Spain before finally making it to the big screen in 1963. Taylor seldom discussed her experience making Cleopatra publicly, most likely because it resulted in the dissolution of her marriage to Eddie Fisher once an intense romance blossomed between her and her Welsh co-star (she later said, "It was probably the most chaotic time of my life"). The spectacle of the film almost too fittingly mirrored the drama of their volatile entanglement, which Taylor and Burton aptly deemed "Le scandale" – it not only consumed their respective marriages, resulting in suicide attempts by Fisher, Burton's wife at the time Sybil (Christopher) Burton, and Taylor herself, who made two attempts during filming – but also drove celebrity gossip, from fan magazines to the mainstream media, changing the face of fame and the concept of celebrity forever. This historical shift is exemplified in real time through the pages of these intimately crafted albums, which also detail Liz's health woes (according to one chronicler she suffered from over 70 illnesses throughout her life), her apparent relationship to the New York mob, her financial troubles after the tragic death of her third husband Mike Todd (notably the only marriage of Taylor's that did not end in divorce), her marriage to Fisher prior to her involvement with Burton, and more. Illustrated throughout with mounted color and black-and-white clippings, including photos, ads, souvenir publications, along with gossip features from notorious columnists Hedda Hopper and Sheila Graham. Publications excerpted include: Time, McCall’s, Cosmopolitan, Incom, Screenland, LOOK, LIFE, Photoplay, Playboy, Newsweek, Oggi, Movie Mirror, Esquire, and more. Occasional captioning in ink by compiler. Some edgewear and staining to boards, embrowning to pages, with one page detached. Very good. Item #2454