I won't attempt to eulogize Elizabeth Taylor: so many others have done that far more eloquently than I ever could. But I do want to tell of something rather special that did happen aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth during the 1960s.
Debbie Reynolds' husband, Eddie Fisher, had left her to marry Taylor - his best friend's widow - in 1959. This proved to be a tremendous scandal that brought unwanted publicity to all parties involved. Although Fisher and Taylor divorced, there was an understandable coolness between the two friends. But Debbie Reynolds did eventually forgive her:
It was after many years. I'd remarried and she'd remarried. I was going to London on the Queen Elizabeth ship and I looked up and I saw tons of luggage going by me and birdcages and dog cages and nurses and I realized Elizabeth was on the same ship as me. I almost changed my mind about going but my husband said, 'Don't be silly, we won't be on the same floor. Of course we were so I sent a note to her room and she sent a note back to mine saying that we should have dinner and get this over with and have a good time. Because we were very good friends when we were 17 and went to school together on the MGM lot. And we had a wonderful evening with a lot of laughs.The friendship that was renewed aboard the Queen Elizabeth in the 1960s lasted for many years and sadly came to an end yesterday morning. Elizabeth Taylor will be missed by legions of fans to be sure.
References: Nicki Goston, "Debbie Reynolds Forgave Elizabeth Taylor on a Boat," PopEater, March 24, 2011, under Movie News, http://www.popeater.com/2011/03/24/debbie-reynolds-elizabeth-taylor (accessed March 24, 2011).