Elizabeth Taylor 'never loved' Eddie Fisher, regretted marrying singer after affair: 'Friggin' awful mistake'

Elizabeth Taylor, who was married eight times to seven men, is getting candid about her love life 13 years after her death.

The actress, who died in 2011 at age 78, is the subject of a new HBO documentary, “Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes.” It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Tuesday ahead of its Aug. 3 streaming premiere on Max.

The film details the Oscar winner’s life and loves in her words from a recently discovered series of candid interviews. It also features images, videos and film clips of the star.


The Oscar winner is the subject of a new film that will be available for streaming this summer, “Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes.” (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

In the film, Taylor is heard giving a rare insight into her husbands, including crooner Eddie Fisher, who was previously married to her pal Debbie Reynolds.

“I never loved Eddie,” said Taylor, as quoted by People magazine. “I liked him. I felt sorry for him. And I liked talking [to him].”

“But he was not Mike,” Taylor added, referring to husband No. 3, Mike Todd, Fisher’s best friend.

From left: American singer and actor Eddie Fisher (1928-2010), British-born American actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) and film producer Mike Todd (1909-1958) attend the 15th Golden Globe Awards in 1958. (Archive Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The movie producer died in a plane crash in 1958 at age 48. It was Reynolds and Fisher who rushed over to Taylor’s side.

“I was keeping Mike alive by talking about him because Eddie, he was a great friend of Mike’s,” said Taylor. “That was the only thing we had in common, was Mike.”

It didn’t take long for Taylor and Fisher to embark on an affair.


Eddie Fisher with Elizabeth Taylor (left) and wife Debbie Reynolds, circa 1958 in Las Vegas. The next year, Fisher left Reynolds and married Taylor. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Taylor was assailed as a husband thief, Fisher as a deserter of his family. Reynolds won sympathy as the innocent victim, a role emphasized when she appeared before news cameras with diaper pins on her blouse. A cover headline in Photoplay magazine in late 1958 blared: “Smiling through her tears, Debbie says: ‘I’m still very much in love with Eddie.'”

Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher were married from 1959 to 1964. (Getty Images)

After Fisher and Reynolds divorced in 1959, he married Taylor “just three hours” later, as quoted from a newsreel at the time.

Taylor admitted she didn’t “remember too much about my marriage to him, except it was one big, friggin’ awful mistake.”

Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher dining at an event, circa 1959.  (Archive Photos/Getty Images)

“I knew it before we were married and didn’t know how to get out of it,” said Taylor.

The scandalous union lasted five years. Taylor left husband No. 4 for Richard Burton, whom she met on the set of 1963’s “Cleopatra.” At the time, Burton was married to his first wife, Sybil Williams.

But, according to the documentary, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.


Elizabeth Taylor sits on Eddie Fisher’s lap on the set of “Cleopatra” while Richard Burton looks on. Taylor would soon leave Fisher for Burton. (Getty Images)

“I’d never seen a gentleman so hungover in my life,” said Taylor, as quoted by People magazine.

The Welsh actor became husband No. 5 from 1964 to 1974. Burton became husband No. 6 when they rekindled their marriage in 1975. They called it quits for good in 1976.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were married twice, from 1964 to 1974, and from 1975 to 1976. (Bob Penn/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

According to People, only the first four of Taylor’s husbands are accounted for in the film. She accused the first, hotel heir Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr., of mental and physical abuse. She alleged Hilton kicked her in the stomach while she was pregnant, causing her to have a miscarriage.

Elizabeth Taylor and her husband Conrad Hilton Jr., aka Nicky Hilton, arrive in the bridal suite at the Savoy Hotel in London, circa 1950.  ( J. Wilds/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

They were married from 1950 to 1951.

When it came to her second marriage to actor Michael Wilding, Taylor said it failed because “I needed someone to dominate me.” That union lasted from 1952 to 1957.

When asked about her public image, Taylor described it as that of “an untrustworthy lady, completely superficial — and too pretty.”

Elizabeth Taylor attends an Academy Awards party with her second husband, actor Michael Wilding, in Los Angeles on March 25, 1954. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“Maybe because of my personal life I suggest something illicit, but I am not illicit, and I am not immoral,” said Taylor. “I make mistakes, and I have paid for them. … I know that I will never be able to pay the bill, but that is not something you can put in the story.”

Elizabeth Taylor admitted she never really loved Eddie Fisher. (Toni Frissell/PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

Fisher and Reynolds’ son, Todd Fisher, previously told Fox News Digital that despite the public extramarital affair, his mother never shed her squeaky-clean image, professionally or personally.

“What you saw is who she was. She really was apple pie,” said Todd, who was named after Fisher’s pal. “There was no dark side to her. I’ve known a lot of people [who] had one image that they portrayed to the public and a different image that was who they really are. But my mother really was that person.”

Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds shared two children, Todd and Carrie Fisher. (Getty Images)

“My father left my mother for Elizabeth Taylor,” he added. “A lot of people were mad about that. … A lot of people were like, ‘So your dad left the good girl for the bad girl.’ … Liz made no bones about being the bad girl. She came a long way from ‘National Velvet.’ … So, when my mother was put in the position of being humiliated by my father … my mother was a classy person.”

It would be decades later when Reynolds said Taylor “probably did me a great favor.” In her 1988 memoir, Reynolds described her marriage to Fisher as an unhappy one.

“He didn’t think I was funny,” Reynolds wrote. “I wasn’t good in bed. I didn’t make a good gefilte fish or good chopped liver. So what did he have? A cute little girl next door with a little turned-up nose. That was, in fact, all he ever said he wanted from me. The children, he said, better have your nose.”


Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor made peace in later years. (Timothy White/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Years later, Todd said, his mother and Taylor “became great friends again.” They starred in 2001’s “These Old Broads,” which was co-written by his sister, “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher. In the film, the women poked fun at the affair.

“I don’t think the press ever forgave my dad. The public certainly didn’t,” said Todd.

After Taylor, Fisher married Connie Stevens, the third of his five wives. He died in 2010 at age 82. Reynolds died in 2016 at age 84.

Debbie Reynolds died a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher. (Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

“They got married when they were in their early 20s,” Todd said of his parents. “And I think Hollywood pushed them together, too. I mean, I’m not saying they weren’t attracted to each other. My dad picked my mother off the stage … and told his best friend, ‘I’m going to get that girl.’ And he did. He married her. I’m not sure if it was the best move, but he did.

“Actually, I’m glad he did — otherwise, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stephanie Nolasco covers entertainment at Foxnews.com.

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