David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor shared a cigarette in an embrace the first time they met


From day one, rock star David Bowie was on legendary actor Elizabeth Taylor’s radar. We don’t know if it was the music, Bowie’s style, or a combination of the two, coupled with Bowie’s larger-than-life attitude, that attracted Taylor. However, we To do know that Taylor wanted to collaborate with Bowie one way or another.

It was clearly a match made in celeb heaven because the pair clicked practically the exact moment they met. This moment was immortalized in a series of famous photos taken by Terry O’Neill.

David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor | Ron Galella/Getty Images

David Bowie was late to his first meeting with Elizabeth Taylor

In 1975, Elizabeth Taylor asked her friend Faye Dunaway to arrange a meeting with Bowie at director George Cukor’s Beverly Hills home. According to Refinery 29, Taylor had a master plan for Bowie. Maybe she wanted to cast him in a role in her next movie, The blue Bird, which was to be released the following year. Unfortunately for Bowie and Taylor, the rock star didn’t get the role.

Still, the encounter allowed the two legends to meet and seal it with a cigarette and a hug. However, Bowie was late and this stressed Taylor, according to photographer Terry O’Neill.

“If there’s one person you don’t keep waiting, it’s Elizabeth Taylor,” Refinery 29 wrote. wanted on the planet. Still, we would have preferred not to be photographer Terry O’Neill, who played the waiting game for two thorny hours with an increasingly tense Liz.

“Liz was pretty bored and about to leave,” O’Neill said. National Portrait Gallery in London (by Refinery 29). “But we managed to persuade her to stay.”

It didn’t take much for the duo to break the ice once Bowie showed up.

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Bowie and Taylor shared a cigarette in an embrace the moment they met

O’Neill snapped a series of famous photos of Bowie and Taylor in that first moment they shared. “To break the ice when Bowie finally arrived, O’Neill casually began snapping photos of the two,” Refinery 29 continued. “The result? A now-iconic series of the unlikely couple sharing a cigarette.

O’Neill said Harper’s Bazaar in 2011, “When I look at my photos of her [Elizabeth], it’s always to this setting that I return – a young David Bowie in a nervous embrace, Elizabeth at the controls. In the fading light of Hollywood director George Cukor’s home, a popstar meets a superstar.

“At Elizabeth’s request, I had arranged everything. An improbable encounter, an intoxicating duet; the snaps were instantly captured around the world.

There’s a snapshot of Taylor carefully bringing their joint cigarette to Bowie’s lips. Bowie’s fingers are intertwined, hanging limply around Taylor’s waist. It is eerily reminiscent of a mother carefully feeding her child. In the photos where the pair stare into the camera, you can feel the weight of their stares.

The photos don’t seem to capture the first encounter between two legends. However, they are.

“He never got the part in that movie, but they became really good friends,” O’Neill told The Hollywood Reporter. “She was really charmed by him.

“He was probably late to meet Liz because he overslept. He’d be up all night and then sleep through the day. We did a shoot where he was wearing this mustard-colored suit, and he looks so tired in the photos. Of course, I don’t think he was behaving all the time either.

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Taylor introduced Bowie to John Lennon

In his Berklee College of Music commencement speech in 1999, Bowie explained that he couldn’t talk about popular music without mentioning “probably my biggest mentor, John Lennon.” The pair worked on Bowie’s 1975 song “Fame” together, but that was thanks to Taylor, who introduced them at a party.

“What’s appealing about John is his sense of humor. Quite surreal, we were first introduced around 1974 by Elizabeth Taylor,” Bowie explained. movie with her. It involved going to Russia and wearing something red and gold and diaphanous.

“Not very encouraging, really. I can’t remember what it was called – it wasn’t On the Waterfront anyway, I know.

“We were in Los Angeles, and one night she threw a party that John and I were invited to. I think we were polite to each other, in that kind of older and younger way. Even if there were only a few years between us, in rock and roll it’s a generation, you know? Oh boy, is it ever.

“So John was kind of [in Liverpool accent] ‘Oh, here’s another new one.’ And I was kind of, ‘It’s John Lennon! I do not know what to say. Don’t mention the Beatles, you’ll look really stupid. “And he said, ‘Hello, Dave. And I said, “I have everything you did – except the Beatles.”

We don’t know what happened to Taylor and Bowie’s friendship, but at least we have proof that they met in O’Neill’s iconic photos.

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