Dame Taylor may have died last week, but her legacy refuses to, with RR Auction in Amherst, New Hampshire, planning to auction her unpublished love letters.
Sixty letters from late Elizabeth Taylor to her first fiancé go under the hammer shortly. The letters written by her, in throes of her teen years, are addressed to William Pawley, to whom she was engaged for less than a year in 1949.
The one that got away
Dame Taylor, infamous for her eight marriages, seems to have been smitten by her first fiancé, Pawley, the 22-year-old son of a former ambassador to Brazil, just before her first marriage. The letters, written between March and October of 1949, are written in purple fountain ink on pale pink stationery and profess her “perfect, complete and mature" love for Pawley.
On March 28 she wrote, "My heart aches & makes me want to cry when I think of you, and how much I want to be with and to look into your beautiful blue eyes, and kiss your sweet lips and have your strong arms hold me, oh so tight, & close to you ... I want us to be `lovers' always ... even after we've been married seventy-five years and have at least a dozen great-great-grandchildren."
Then on May 6, 1949 she wrote, "I've never loved anyone in my life before one third as much as I love you — and I never will.”
In September, after Pawley asked her to return the engagement ring, a devastated Taylor wrote, "I know with all my heart and soul that this is not the end for us — it couldn't be — we love each other too much." However, some eight months later, she went on to marry hotel heir Conrad Nicholson Hilton.
From girl next door to Hollywood diva
Apart from her continuously reassuring him of her love, the letters also give us a glimpse into her transition into a Hollywood diva. Her letters contain constant references to passing her high school exams and her weight worries, "As I'm sitting here — writing to you, I'm just stuffing myself on a box of candy — honestly I've got to stop eating so much."
The starlet has also often described her studio life, including the filming of her famous film A Place In The Sun in the letters.
The online auction scheduled for May will also feature letters from Taylor's mother to Pawley after their engagement ended, including one in which she wrote, "You have a nervous condition and a problem with jealousy, as such you and Elizabeth can never be together."
Pawley, who lives in Florida, finally sold these letters two years ago to RR Auction. Bobby Livingston, spokesman for the auction house, said the letters were estimated to be worth $25,000 to $35,000 before Taylor's death. He now expects them to fetch two or three times that amount.