“She asked if I would stop loving her if she had to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. I told her that I didn’t care if her legs, bum, and bosoms fell off, and her teeth turned yellow and she went bald. I love that woman so much sometimes that I cannot believe my luck. She has given me so much.” — Richard Burton
”She is shy and witty, she is nobody’s fool, she is a brilliant actress, she is beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography, she can be arrogant and willful, she is clement and loving, Dulcis Imperatrix, she is Sunday’s child, she can tolerate my impossibilities and my drunkenness, she is an ache in the stomach when I am away from her, and she loves me!”— Richard Burton
“I’ll carry you off on a white charger but I’d prefer it if it was the other way around. I’m a hopeless romantic and want to be romantically swept away. In the meantime we will be loving and sweet – but someday, you son of a bitch, something will make you realise that you cannot live without me and you have to marry me, otherwise your life will not be complete.” — Elizabeth Taylor
“There was no way Bogie and I could be in the same room without reaching for one another, and it wasn’t just physical. Physical was very strong, but it waseverything - heads, hearts, bodies, everything going at the same time.”— Lauren Bacall
“Every single day during our relationship, no matter where in the world I was, I´d get a telegram from frank saying he loved me and missed me. he was a man who was desperate for companionship and love. Can you imagine he always had mine!” — Ava Gardner
“He’s more beautiful than I am…but he makes me feel like a sex bomb. I can’t imagine what life would be without him.” — Joanne Woodward
”I don’t give a damn about me. I want to take care of my pappy; give him everything he wants.” — Carole Lombard
“Yes, I’ve been known to like ladies…and I do. But with her, it’s different. Everything about her is different than with any other gal.” — Clark Gable
“You should see us when we get back to the bedroom.” — Paul Newman
“I never thought it was possible to love anybody so much or quite so completely, or that anybody should be so wonderfully abundant and prodigal to me in everything I’ve wanted most. As we have settled down and become firmer in our minds, and more peaceful in our hearts, our life together has become so unbelievably beautiful.” - Laurence Olivier
”She was the most beautiful, glorious creature then. Film posters cried, There was never a woman like Gilda — and they were right. There has never been anyone in the history of movies that had such a magical presence on film. She was delightful and sexy, and she moved with such grace and glamour. We had worked together when we were both coming up in the business, and then she had zoomed to the top.
I can remember when we were at Camp Pendleton [the Marine Corps base near San Diego], and every young Marine there had her picture pinned up in every locker and on every wall. I would see her in those very sexy pinup poses in slinky lingerie and think how different her image seemed from the very shy brunette I knew when we were making The Lady in Question.” —Glenn Ford
“You have never been so beautiful, you see that I learned some words in German for you: Ich liebe dich meine Liebe (I love you my love)” – Alain Delon’s letter on Romy Schneider’s grave
“I wanted to create my own Martha who had nothing to do with anybody else’s Martha. I think she is a desperate woman who has the softness of the underbelly of a baby turtle. She covers it with the toughness shell, which she pants red. Her veneer is bawdy; it’s sloppy, it’s slouchy, it’s snarly. But there are moments when the facade cracks and you see the vulnerability, the infinite pain of this woman inside whom, years ago, life almost died but is still flickering.” -Elizabeth Taylor
Edward Albee’s original stage notes for this section in his play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: “Martha has changed her clothes, and she looks, now, more comfortable and…and this is most important…most voluptuous.”
“A girl sitting on the other side of the pool lowered her book, took off her sunglasses and looked at me,” Burton, then 28, poetically recalls in his diary. “She was lavish. She was a dark, unyielding largesse. She was, in sort, too bloody much, and not only that she was ignoring me.”
He ended his ode to the violet-eyed screen siren with, “Her breasts were apocalyptic, they would topple empires.”
When they met again on the set of Cleopatra, he had no intention of falling in love, nor did she. “I must don my armor once more to play against Miss Tits,” he quipped.
All it took was one long on-set kissing scene to cast the spell. As they smooched, the director Joseph Mankiewicz called it a wrap. But they continued on.
“Print it,” Mankiewicz said.
“Would you two mind if I say cut?” he said a moment later.
Finally: “Does it interest you that it’s time for lunch?”
“Famed as we are, rich as we are, courted and insulted as we are, overpaid as we are, centre of a great deal of attention as we are, [we] are not bored or blasé. We are not envious. We are merely lucky.I have been inordinately lucky all my life but the greatest luck of all has been Elizabeth. She has turned me into a moral man but not a prig, she is a wildly exciting lover-mistress, she is shy and witty, she is nobody’s fool, she is a brilliant actress, she is beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography, she can be arrogant and wilful, she is clement and loving, Dulcis Imperatrix, she is Sunday’s child, she can tolerate my impossibilities and my drunkenness, she is an ache in the stomach when I am away from her, and she loves me!” — Richard Burton
“Our idea of bliss is being alone here together. We each have our book and we read for half an hour, then put our books down and talk about what we have read. And the best times are when we lie in bed in the darkness and touch hands and talk for two or three hours - about everything and nothing.”
Marlene Dietrich visits the set of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1966:
She watched quietly from the sidelines while all four actors went through their paces. When the scene was over, Dietrich ran up to Richard Burton and fawned over him, telling him he’d surely win an Academy Award for his performance. She then kissed Elizabeth on the cheek and said, “Darling, everyone is so fantastic! You have a lot of guts to perform with real actors.”
Elizabeth just smiled. She then said, “Yes, I do. And when I get home, Marlene, Richard and I are going to fuck like bunnies.”
-Excerpt from Furious Love by Kashner and Schoenberger
‘Miss Marilyn Monroe calls to mind the bouquet of a fireworks display… as spectacular as the silvery shower of a Vesuvius fountain. She walks like an undulating basilisk, scorching everything in her path but the rosemary bushes. ‘Her voice, of a loin-stroking affection, has the sensuality of silk or velvet. The puzzling truth is that Miss Monroe is a make-believe siren, unsophisticated as a Rhine maiden, innocent as a sleepwalker. 'She is an urchin pretending to be grown up, having the time of her life in Mother’s moth-eaten finery, tottering about in high-heeled shoes and sipping ginger ale as though it were a champagne cocktail. 'She is strikingly like an over-excited child asked downstairs after tea. She romps, she squeals with delight, she leaps on to the sofa. It is an artless, impromptu, high-spirited, infectiously gay performance. It will probably end in tears.’
‘A photographic beauty is someone who photographs well. ’Grace Kelly is a case in point. If she did not photograph well, we would scarcely stop to look at her on the street… If both sides of her face were the same as the right half she wouldn’t be on the screen. That side is very heavy, like a bull calf, but the left side is intensely feminine and creates the counter-point. 'She has unerringly good taste and an unerring sense of comportment.’
‘She’s everything I dislike. I have always loathed the Burtons for their vulgarity, commonness and crass bad taste, she combining the worst of U.S. and English taste. 'I treated her with authority, told her not to powder her nose, to come in front of the cameras with it shining. 'She wanted compliments. She got none. “Don’t touch me like that,” she whined! Her breasts, hanging and huge, were like those of a peasant woman suckling her young in Peru. On her fat, coarse hands more of the biggest diamonds and emeralds… And this was the woman who is the greatest “draw”. In comparison everyone else looked ladylike.’
‘It is a rare phenomenon to find a young girl with such inherent “star” quality. Yet she has too much innate candour to take on the gloss of artificiality Hollywood is apt to demand of its queens. 'Her stance is a combination of an ultra-fashion plate and a ballet dancer. Her features show character rather than prettiness. Her voice is peculiarly personal, with its unaccustomed rhythm and sing-song cadence that develops into a flat drawl that ends in a childlike query. It has a quality of heartbreak. 'Intelligent and alert, wistful but enthusiastic, frank yet tactful, assured without conceit and tender without sentimentality.’ (Audrey Hepburn)
Julie Andrews, an almost unknown girl who had the talent and luck to land the whopper of the part of Eliza [Doolittle, in the Broadway version of My Fair Lady], was almost unbelievably naïve and simple. She was angelically patient at the many fittings of her clothes and never expressed opinion. 'One day, due to exhaustion at rehearsals, she keeled over in a dead faint while fitting her ball gown. 'A cup of cold water was enough to revive her and she reproached herself that her mother back home in Walton-on-Thames would be ashamed of her. “Oh, Mummie, what a silly girl I am,” she kept repeating.’
‘Most striking of her features is her whiteness, which would put the Moon or a white rabbit to shame.'She has, or has acquired, the necessary temperament of the film star; never in a hurry; her pace is slow, her perseverance phenomenal.'She will spend 12 hours being photographed in the studio, and, without regrets, tear up every proof next morning if they are not to her complete satisfaction.’ (Marlene Dietrich)
‘I was quivering to see the Astaires. They look so marvellous. Especially him. His head looks perfect. I was delirious with happiness all the time either of them were on the stage. She is so American and perfect, so slim and graceful. I adore her ugly face and the pearls tight around her neck. She is perfect and he is marvellous also. They are so clean and fresh and ripping. I thought that Adele Astaire was rather like Felix the Cat, but oh so much nicer. I did adore them and their dancing is just too extraordinarily marvellous to describe.’
‘Cecil Beaton: Portraits & Profiles’, edited by Hugo Vickers, by Frances Lincoln. (x)