The Most Beautiful Woman in the World: Obsessions, Passions, and Courage of Elizabeth Taylor, the

Ellis Amburn, Author HarperEntertainment $25 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-019376-8
In one of the most salacious Hollywood chronicles in recent memory, Amburn has pieced together a page-turning account of Taylor's life from an overwhelming number of interviews, autobiographies and gossip columns. According to the author, Taylor's relationship with Richard Burton was complicated by the couple's alcoholism and physical abuse of each other, her pill taking and his overwhelming distress over his homosexual impulses, which drove him to drink. If their relationship weren't already doomed, Amburn reports, Burton's former lover Lawrence Olivier also tried to break the two up. Not only do we learn who slept with whom (the liaisons are too numerous to recount here) but there is also a wealth of speculation about the shape and firmness of Taylor's breasts, the size of Eddie Fisher's penis and the length of Montgomery Clift's foreskin. Short on startling insights, Amburn makes up for it with generous helpings of sexual details and Tinseltown gossip: Stewart Granger and Michael Wilding (Taylor's second husband) were lovers; Fisher mainlined methamphetamines; Maria Callas tried to snatch Burton from Taylor at a fancy dinner party. This superficial drive-through tour of Taylor's romantic life--she was once dubbed ""the other woman of the year"" by wit Oscar Levant--more than surpasses its goal to titillate. Photos not seen by PW. Agent, Al Lowman. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2000
Release date: 05/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-52317-7
Paperback - 636 pages - 978-0-06-019719-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 558 pages - 978-0-06-101408-6
Ebook - 592 pages - 978-0-06-209692-0
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