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