elizabeth-and-michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your closest friend really gets you.

You never have to explain yourself when you’re together; everything said (and unsaid) is understood. There may be many years between you, but it doesn’t matter. There may be differences in background, but no worries. Nothing keeps you apart, and in the new book “Elizabeth and Michael” by Donald Bogle, that might be because you have everything in common.

Almost from the moment she was born, Elizabeth Taylor’s life was “like something of a fairy tale…”

She was a beautiful child who grew up to be a beautiful young woman with a mother who made it her mission to ensure that Elizabeth was a star. Sara Taylor enrolled her daughter in all the best classes and was ever on the lookout for opportunity; in 1939, that insistence on fame grew when the family moved to California. Two years later, as a result of two conversations her father had with influential Hollywood starmakers, Elizabeth, not quite 10 years old, was invited to try out for Lassie Come Home.

She got the part.

Her mother got her wish.

Though Elizabeth Taylor’s later life was filled with stardust, it wasn’t storybook-happy.

She would battle various issues throughout the years; so would another star born halfway across the country at about the same time Elizabeth was dealing with the death of her second husband.

Michael Jackson, the eighth of 10 children, grew up in a family that didn’t have much except themselves—and his father, Joe, insisted that it remain that way: the Jackson children were often isolated, because Joe wanted fame for his singing-dancing sons and he demanded that they rehearse nearly constantly. There was little time for anything except practice but, for Jackson, practice led to stardom.

It was another star, Katharine Hepburn, who was once surprised by Jackson’s audacity: eager to meet the favorite actors of his childhood, he asked Hepburn to introduce him to Greta Garbo. She declined.

And then Jackson asked to meet Elizabeth Taylor…

Right there, says author Bogle, is the early beginning of a friendship that many called “flat-out weird,” but that really does make sense. As Bogle shows in “Elizabeth and Michael,” few others had so much in common.

Certainly, this is book is a fan’s dream, but it’s also one that pop culture followers will relish, too. And if that’s the kind of book you want now, then “Elizabeth and Michael” is what you need to get you.

(“Elizabeth and Michael” by Donald Bogle c.2016, Atria, $26/$35 Canada, 392 pages.)

 

 

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