Cleopatra Stand-In Recalls Wonder of Working With Elizabeth Taylor

Recollections about the great Elizabeth Taylor continue to arrive, in all media forms.

At one end of the spectrum is a commemorative magazine published by American Media, parent company of Radar Online and The National Enquirer. At the other is a delightful piece by Joanna Clay in today’s Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot, part of the LA Times family of community newspapers.

Eighty-two-year-old Britsh born resident Sydney Mack (pictured) spent a full year working as Taylor’s stand-in on the mega-budgeted 1963 epic Cleopatra, under the name Patricia Beattie. She became friends with the actress’ husband Eddie Fisher, and got to spend time with Taylor and Burton away from the set:

While out with the couple one day, Mack said she experienced a more vulnerable side of the actress. Taylor had walked away and Burton asked her to go check on her.

“She was crying,” Mack said. “I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ and she said, ‘He’ll never marry me.’ I said, ‘Of course he’ll marry you.'”

Mack also recalls how Taylor, weary of the paparazzi in Rome, would don a blonde wig and dark sunglasses whenever she and Burton ventured into town.

[Photo credit: Don Leach]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.