In the wake of Elizabeth Taylor’s death, reporters who crossed paths with her away from the movie set have been sharing their experiences. Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy once bumped into the actress in the foyer of Chasen’s, for example.
But the best such recollection so far comes from Southern California AP reporter Jeff Wilson (pictured). When he was a teenager, he worked as a busboy at the now razed Mexican restaurant the El Chiquito Inn, which was right across the street from Warner Bros. in Burbank. During the filming of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, he served Taylor and husband, co-star Richard Burton many times:
I was awestruck. Those violet eyes took my breath away. And that cleavage, well, it (they?) meant a lot to a 16-year-old high school kid… She was a jaw-dropping beauty like no one else.
As word spread at Wilson’s high school of the Burton-Taylor nightly meals, other kids started dropping by the restaurant. At one point, on request, Wilson retrieved for a female classmate a napkin used by the actress.