I recently had a rare leisurely Saturday at the beach to catch up on my magazines. One of my guilty pleasures is Vanity Fair, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a vintage photo of Elizabeth Taylor gracing the cover of the June 2010 issue. The article inside was the delicious re-telling of her whirlwind and scandalous affair…… and subsequent marriage to superstar actor Richard Burton. At the time……and we are talking about the “Mad Men” era of the early ‘60’s, this union shocked the world and was even condemned by The Vatican. Vanity Fair likened them to modern day superstar couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I was just a young lad at the time, but I have to admit that I was totally fascinated and awestruck by the comings and goings of this gorgeous megawatt superstar couple. Of course I was mesmerized by Elizabeth’s breathtaking physical beauty, but as a couple they had tremendous style and chutzpah. And it seems that every move they made was chronicled by the paparazzi! I had other reasons for my fascination, for you see, by only ‘one degree of separation’ I had some personal connection to the legend that was ‘Liz & Dick’.
I will never forget the day that the envelope from my mom arrived at summer sleep-a-way camp. In it was a note and newspaper article chronicling Liz and Dick’s attendance at a Caxton Hall, London wedding. But it wasn’t just any wedding . It was the wedding of Gladys Mills, a personal friend of my family, and Robert Wilson. BobWilson, was personal assistant and confidante to Richard Burton, and Gladys was one of my grandmother’s and great aunt Thelma’s closest friends. Liz & Dick were not just merely guests in attendance at this wedding, but served as Best Man and Matron of Honor to the couple. I have distinct childhood memories of Gladys and Bob…..a dashing, sophisticated and terrifically chic middle aged jet set couple being entertained at my parents’ home. My mother recalled their glamorous life style and the ‘all white and chrome’ apartment in a luxury hi-rise. So given my interest in the whole Liz & Dick saga and a personal connection to Gladys and Bob……..plus my love (even at that age) of all things WEDDINGS, I was in my GLORY!
I was recently sorting through some old family photos when I came across the wedding portraits of Gladys and Bob. I sat down and recalled the thrill of that time for my family, and how excited we all were for her ….not just because of the Liz and Dick thing, but because Gladys & Bob had found each other in their middle age and Gladys was radiantly happy! But of course the Liz and Dick connection raised the thrill factor for this star struck adolescent! Lol!
Please enjoy these few photos that I share from my personal collection.