Monday, March 28, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor's younger man

was also her last husband. Larry Fortensky, poof-haired, side-burned, cleft-chinned, ever-silent, twenty years her junior when 59-year-old Liz married him in 1991. They divorced five years later.

Looking for his public comment on Taylor’s death? You won’t find it. He doesn’t talk about her, nor does he seek the camera. When the glamourous Hollywood icon married her younger teamster in 1991, People magazine reported that he never made public comments about his wife. They divorced five years later, and still, he had nothing to say. Now he’s 59, traveling around the country in a trailer, according to a tabloid’s interview with his sister. And though the website Third Age put Elizabeth Taylor in its Cougar Hall of Fame for her marriage to him, he’s never turned his five years of mega-fame as Mr. Elizabeth Taylor into a gig on Survivor or Celebrity Apprentice. Big ups to you, Larry.

But that doesn’t stop the tabloids and gossip websites from speculating about their relationship even now. Did she buy his silence? Did she help him out with house payments? Did she instruct her manager to shield her from his calls?

My problem with the tabloids and their speculations is that their imaginations are so limited. I don’t care if she bought Larry’s silence. I’d rather imagine what he said the last time they spoke. I’d like to know where he was sitting when he learned that she had died, the light by which he read it, on a computer or in the newspaper. Did he notice her name on a Fox News crawler while drinking coffee at a truckstop in New Mexico? Did one of her children call him? Or send a text? When he heard, what did he remember first? The time he first walked into a room at the Betty Ford clinic and saw her, how he tried not to stare? Or how he did stare because what else was there for him to do? When he learned about her death, did he fork another bite of spaghetti, or light a cigarette, because, what else was there to do? Did he want to tell the waitress that the way she carried herself reminded him of someone he once knew?

Tell me that, National Enquirer. Answer those questions, Daily Mail.

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