Liz was the first actress to earn “$1,000,000” for a movie role, she graced the screen as a child in Jane Eyre and National Velvet, and as an adult in films like Giant and Cleopatra. She appeared as the aging actress Alexandra Del Lago in “Sweet Bird of Youth” in which a young hustler tries to smear Del Lago because of herHashish habit.
Her experimentation withCannabis began, when she was 19 with Monty. Her fourth husband “Eddie Fisher” was revealed to be a pot smoker. She smoked pot with “Peter Lawford” and his son, hitting hot spots like Candy Store in Beverly Hills. “Lawford and Liz used to turn on together. They were high on pot a lot.”
Liz was engaged 13 times, eight followed by marriage and five that she called off. She lived in BelAir house once owned by “Frank Sinatra” when he was married to first wife, Nancy. But it was love at first sight when she met Monty in the early 1950s. Many in Hollywood assumed they were a couple. Moviegoers wondered when they might marry!
Though Liz and Monty loved each other deeply, it was not the kind of love people thought it was. Liz and Monty loved each other as only sisters could. Liz was a straight woman, Monty was a gay man. Both knew that he had to remain closeted or his career would be destroyed. Liz was the only person with whom “Monty” could be himself.
They got into the so-called exotic states of consciousness in the twenties with “Tallulah Bankhead”. Bosworth wrote of Holman’s home during the time she and Monty were involved, “Marijuana, cocaine and mescaline were available at the Treetops”. Although Monty smoked weed, he couldn’t resist the pull of alcohol, which contributed to his death in 1966 at the age of 45.
Liz was 19 when she was cast in A Day in the Sun opposite Monty, and she had a lifelong devotion to him. They liked each other right away. Monty used to call her “Bessie Mae”. According to “The Obsessions, Passions, and Courage of Elizabeth Taylor”:
Liz manytimes left her second husband Michael, to slip off to Levant’s Beverly Hills house with Monty, where the pianist serenaded them with Gershwin tunes as they whiled away afternoons and early evenings.
When Monty had a car accident a few years later that disfigured him, he had just left a party at her house. It was she who found him first, she saved his life. She entered the car through the back door, crawled to the front seat and removed the two front teeth from Clift’s throat that threatened to choke him.
In 1966, Liz was offered the female lead in “Reflections in a Golden Eye”, a then-shocking tale of repressed homosexuality on an army base. She accepted the role, but requested that Monty be her co-star. Monty was by that time considered an unemployable drunk, Liz offered to insure Monty out of her own pocket so that the studio wouldn’t lose their investment in case something went wrong, but her request was denied.
Liz outlived her friend by 45 years. For the rest of her life she spoke of her deep love for Monty, as she called him, and of her respect for his talent and range as an actor. Two decades after his death, Liz stepped up to the plate for gay men who were dying of AIDS. She spoke publicly and candidly of her disgust at how the Ronald Reagan administration had ignored the epidemic, and at how people with AIDS were being treated.
Liz raised public awareness and critical funds for AIDS research, ultimately becoming one of the greatest heroes of the plague years. Until her death she remained a vocal ally for people with AIDS, and for LGBT equality. Monty, sadly, remains a case study of the harm that can be caused when society forces LGBT people to live in the closet.
Liz suffered from a painful congenital anomaly of the spine, and was shot up with drugs like novocaine and hydrocortisone, and given prescriptions for the painkillers Meticorten and Demoral. She wasn’t ready to die, they kill her. It’s a shame she didn’t live in a time whenMarijuana was more acceptable than the more harmful substances she seems to have used more frequently.