Elizabeth Taylor traveled with 156 suitcases — and someone to unpack them all [Source: @PageSix]



When Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton — the biggest stars of their day — jet-setted around the world, it took a cast of characters.

The actors traveled with secretaries, makeup artists, housekeepers, a house photographer, tutors, bodyguards, nurses, business managers, chauffeurs, butlers and even suitcase-packers, writes “Roger Lewis in the upcoming book, “Erotic Vagrancy.”

When they attended the Taormina Film Festival in 1967, Burton and Taylor brought 156 suitcases with them, Lewis writes.

During a visit to the Hotel Lancaster in Paris, they occupied an astounding 21 rooms and their “pet dogs accompanied the humans into restaurants, and had to be fed from the menu.”

Other times, the glamorous couple would retain hotel suites in hotels in cities they never ended up visiting.

The couple started an affair on the set of “Cleopatra.” Getty Images
They eventually wed in 1964. Getty Images

In 1967, they purchased a luxury yacht called the Kalizma, which had “seven double-berth state rooms, three bathrooms and an armory containing sub-machine guns.” The actors furnished it with Chippendale furniture and rugs that had to be replaced every six months because of pets relieving themselves.

While Burton was filming “Where Eagles Land” in London in 1968, they gave dogs Cuthbert, Georgia, Oh Fie and E’en their own boat — mooring it near Tower Bridge at the cost of a thousand pounds a week as a way to circumvent the UK’s canine quarantine restrictions.

The two were aware of how over-the-top their indulgences were. Taylor once admitted she had “a lust for diamonds, almost like a disease” while Burton joked that “I introduced Elizabeth to beer. She introduced me to Bulgari.”

Their marriage was marred by pills and alcohol. Sygma via Getty Images
The duo also traveled with a passel of dogs that wreaked havoc. Getty Images

Taylor and Burton had begun a torrid affair while co-starring in the 1963 extravaganza “Cleopatra” and married in 1964 when she was 32 and he was 38.

The pair made 11 movies together including the critically acclaimed “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” directed by Mike Nichols, based on the stage play about a warring couple.

During the shoot, Taylor’s dressing room was filled with “bushels of white roses and lily of the valley; printed instructions were given out to everybody, ‘Don’t greet the Burtons unless they greet you first,” Lewis writes.

The two spent lavishly, especially on jewels for Taylor. Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
The pair made 11 movies together including, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” Corbis via Getty Images

They refused to work before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. and “in any event never arrived on set until twelve-thirty.”

The box-office hit was released in 1967, netting Taylor 4 million dollars in percentage profits along with her $1.1 million salary; Burton was paid a flat $750,000.

But the couple quickly spent their earning on artwork by Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Degas and Pissarro, to name a few. There were also opulent baubles like a 69.42-carat diamond, for which Burton paid $1.1 million, and the 33-carat Krupp Diamond.

The two led a carnival-like existence jetting around the world. Getty Images
They remarried in 1975 but split 10 months later. Getty Images

Taylor once wore the jewel to a reception at Kensington Palace in 1971, prompting Princess Margaret to comment, “How very vulgar.”

“Yeah, ain’t it great,” Taylor replied. “Want to try it on?”

(The royal did, indeed, want just that.)

But Taylor’s addiction to pills and Burton’s worsening alcoholism eventually doomed the union. They divorced in 1974 after ten years of marriage, only to remarry again the following year and divorce less than 12 months later.



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