GOOD MORNING and congrats Oscar winners.
Liz Taylor’s Academy Award win goes down in the books as the most dramatic. She sat backstage immediately after being given the award, gasped for
breath and cried. We were the only newsman there to greet her.
“I didn’t know I won,” she gasped.
“I had the nicest job of anybody,” said Yul Brynner, who seconds earlier had presented her award.
The dramatic Liz Taylor story started at her arrival at 7:86, delayed by the fearful traffic tie-up at the Santa Monica Civic. The crowd built-up a frightening anticipation of her presence. It took a flying wedge of friends, press and police to guide her — at painful snail pace, up the long red carpet to the theatre lobby.
She posed for photogs all the way, smiling at the crowd and waving bravely. Eddie Fisher held her tightly.
Dr. Rex Kennamer earlier had assured us Liz was okay. And Eddie also said yesterday afternoon, “she’s in great shape — the blood clot in her leg is all healed. I think she’ll be waiting for ‘Cleopatra’ to get ready.”
However, she obviously limped up the aisle and as soon as they reached the lobby she had to take refuge in the rest room for 15 minutes. Dr. Kennamer waited outside surrounded by the curious, finally police tried to clean ’em out and almost tossed out Fisher.
Miss Taylor would have been on stage had she NOT won and had Shirley MacLaine. Miss MacL. phoned from “My Geisha” Tokyo location to ask Liz to accept. She agreed.
Along with the joy of Miss Taylor’s win — the press room literally leaped with a whoop when her name was announced — was the sadness on Gary Cooper’s illness forcing his absence when presented with his honorary Oscar. Pal Jimmy Stewart’s tearful, emotional words echoed the feeling of Coop’s many pals in the Hollywood press corps. Along with the award goes the warm friendship, affection and admiration and deep respect of all of us. We’re very proud of you, Coop, terribly proud.