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April 10, 2024

Elizabeth Taylor's film double


In the New York Times, Ashley Parker reported on an interview with Phyllis Shelton (above, right), who was Elizabeth Taylor's film double and stand-in on such movies as "Cleopatra," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Suddenly, Last Summer," and "BUtterfield 8."

Excerpts from the Times story follow.

The morning that Elizabeth Taylor died, Phyllis Shelton received nearly half a dozen calls before noon. She took the news last week harder than most.

After all, Ms. Shelton had been on the set with Ms. Taylor in Italy when "Cleopatra" was filmed, ridden a horse for "Reflections in a Golden Eye," and honeymooned at the Mexican Riviera house that Ms. Taylor owned with Richard Burton.

For years she had been Ms. Taylor's film double — and nearly her spitting image — as a young woman in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and friends were calling to share the news.

"It was beautiful in the fact that this was some girl I'd always admired, mainly because she loved horses and I was some horse freak, and who would ever know I'd grow up looking like her, so that was a real treat," Ms. Shelton said.

When Ms. Shelton was in her 20s, radiant with short hair and a porcelain complexion, she was competing in pageants in her native Kentucky when someone noticed her strong resemblance to Ms. Taylor and asked her to move to California.

Ms. Shelton, who had grown up riding horses and watching the equestrian-themed "National Velvet," one of Ms. Taylor’s first movies, said the connection was instant. Their first meeting, she said, "was kind of funny."

"We just looked at each other and laughed," Ms. Shelton said. "She had a great sense of humor. She was spoiled, but who wouldn't be spoiled if you were raised like that?"

Screenshot 2024-03-23 at 8.47.47 AM

[Ms. Shelton, above, says she rode this horse in Ms. Taylor's movie "Reflections in a Golden Eye" and later bought it.]

Once in Hollywood, Ms. Shelton had her brown hair darkened a few shades and her front teeth capped, and used colored contact lenses to transform her "green as they can get" eyes into the violet eyes for which Ms. Taylor was so famous.

Ms. Shelton says she was taller than Ms. Taylor, who was also "heavier and much better endowed," but pictures of them show that the resemblance was striking — and it extended down to their love of men.

But as the two women grew older, their looks — and their lives — diverged.

"We used to look just alike, and now we don't," Ms. Shelton said. "She had a lot of fun in her days, and I did too, but in doing so, she abused herself in some ways."

These days, Ms. Shelton is often told she looks a lot like another Hollywood leading lady.

"I've heard people say Shirley MacLaine, but I can't believe it," Ms. Shelton said. "How can somebody look like one person, and then as you get older, you look like another person?"

April 10, 2024 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'Learn to Fly' played by 1,000 amateur musicians gathered in Italy

This is one of my favorite things.

In July of 2015, 1,000 musicians gathered in a field in Cesena, Italy, and performed the Foo Fighters' "Learn to Fly" in an effort to persuade Dave Grohl to come and play with them.

Back story here.

The video has 64 million views.

April 10, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.*

Another: no moving parts.

A third: plastic.

*My Crack Measurement Team©®™ confirmed this

April 10, 2024 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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