Elizabeth Taylor & Horses

Elizabeth Taylor

Photo courtesy of American Saddlebred Museum


Joseph Papa’s new book, Elizabeth Taylor: A Passion for Life, takes Taylor fans through a wonderful exploration into the life of a great actress, a huge philanthropist, and one of the world’s most glamorous horsewomen.

The book is full of photographs and includes quotes from Taylor’s reflection on her life. In her own words from Papa’s book, here is Elizabeth on horses and riding:

“My happiest moments as a child were riding my Newfoundland pony, Betty, in the woods on 3,000 acres of my godfather’s estate near the village of Cranbrook.”

“From the age of nine I began to see myself as two separate people: Elizabeth Taylor the person, and Elizabeth Taylor the commodity. I saw the difference between my image and my real self. Sometimes [as a child] when I was out riding, I would pretend to be part of a fantasy high school or campus scene, but a few hours later I would be back on the set creating the public Elizabeth Taylor.”

“Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.”

“National Velvet was really me.”

“I thought we would get married, live on the farm, raise horses…Shit, man. It was going to be my dream.” [On John Warner]

I recently got to interview Joseph Papa for Out of the Past: A Classic Film Blog. We talked about his writing of the book and his love of Elizabeth Taylor. I also got to reminisce a little about the time I met her when I was fourteen. How fitting that I was riding a horse when we met – okay, a mule. But still!

You know what’s weird? At a different time, I also met Elizabeth’s National Velvet co-star, Mickey Rooney. In college, I waited on him at the restaurant where I worked when he was in town for a play. Mr. Rooney did not offer any advice on life, but he did leave a twenty percent tip.

Here’s the link to my guest post:

Out of the Past ~ A Classic Film Blog: Guest Blogger: Author Gigi Amateau interviews Author Joseph Papa.

Thanks to the American Saddlebred Museum for permission to use this gorgeous photograph!

4 thoughts on “Elizabeth Taylor & Horses

  1. Quelle, I did meet him…about twenty-five years ago. I guess he likes Mexican food. He came into the restaurant all alone and, of course, there was a big hullabloo in the kitchen as we all figured out who was sitting at table 72. I waited on him. He came back, I think, every day that he was in town, but only sat in my section once. I have a celebrity-policy of not asking for autographs, so I just let him eat his seafood enchiladas in peace. I would say, though, other than Elizabeth Taylor, the nicest actor I’ve ever met is Linda Hamilton. Thank YOU for inviting me to post. I love OUT OF THE PAST!

  2. YOU MET MICKEY ROONEY?!!! I have been 3 feet away from Mickey Rooney but have never met him. You are so cool.

    Thanks for the guest post and the link. And for introducing me to this book!

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