Auctioned poster was subject of lawsuit
The original and somewhat infamous poster art for 1963’s “Cleopatra” will be sold by Profiles in History at a May 14-15 auction at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills.
The acrylic painting, created on 30″ x 40″ illustration board by famed artist Howard Terpning, served as the print model for the publicity material surrounding the much-hyped epic film.
Rex Harrison, one of the top-billed sta, was upset to find himself left out of the piece. The original only depicted Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in a seductive and romantic pose, with the studio parlaying the publicity surrounding their relationship into press for the film.
Harrison sued and Terpning was required by the studio to add Harrison into the design by enlarging and reworking his original painting, also forcing the studio to reprint all affected publicity material.