24 March 2011

elizabeth taylor

Ten years ago, I was living in Los Angeles presenting a TV show about the fashion and beauty experts who worked with Hollywood's A-listers. One of my favourite experts was Elizabeth Taylor's personal hairstylist, Corey Powell. Corey was a drop-dead gorgeous gym-fit blond, proving that even at the ripe old age of 69, Miss Taylor still had a sharp eye for the boys. Many things were brilliant about this particular interview, not least the fact that Corey expertly backcombed and liberally lacquered my hair into an alarmingly huge helmet known as the "Beverly Hills bouffant"; which was, of course, Liz's own signature hairstyle in her later years.

Corey also gave me two other pieces of delicious Liz Taylor gossip. The first was that, as the movie star's go-to hairstylist, Corey would often receive calls in the middle of the night - '2 or 3am' - from the 69-year-old whining 'Cooooorey, I feel ugleeeee', at which point, the sexy hunk would dutifully haul himself out of bed and onto his motorbike to speed over to the beauty icon's mansion and fix her hair. Movie stars: they're not like you and me. I loved this anecdote, for its silly extravagance, its old-fashioned glamour, and also its poignancy.

Corey's other piece of gossip was that 'Miss Taylor has given me a special nickname', 'Oh? What is it?' I asked innocently, on camera. 'It's "C***y"' he said, laughing at my shocked expression 'yeah - she swears like a sailor.' It's still hard to know which anecdote made me love her more.

- Angela Buttolph


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