Elizabeth Taylor required a ‘gift every day' on set of ‘The Flintstones,’ former co-star says

Kyle MacLachlan is confessing that one of his 1994 co-stars in “The Flintstones” had some high expectations.

“She had to have a gift every day,” the “Sex and the City” alum told Jesse Tyler Ferguson on his “Dinner’s on Me” podcast of Elizabeth Taylor’s demands for agreeing to be in the live-action version of the cartoon.

Ferguson interjected, “Wait, wait, stop. She had to have a gift?”

“A gift every day,” MacLachlan repeated of the late movie star, “and in the dressing room, the trailer, she had to have greenery around her. And I said those are going right into my contract, my rider. A gift every day.”

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Elizabeth Taylor, right, with Elizabeth Perkins and John Goodman in “The Flintstones.” (Universal/Getty Images)

MacLachlan gave the example of “jewelry” as the kind of gift the “National Velvet” star would expect.

“This is secondhand now,” he added, saying he had heard the story from producer Bruce Cohen.”Bruce probably told me and said, ‘Don’t ever tell anybody that.’ I’m like too late. It’s too late.”

Taylor was well known for her diva behavior.

In 2019, “NCIS” star Mark Harmon told Stephen Colbert about his experience working with Taylor on the 1989 TV movie “Sweet Bird of Youth.”

Harmon told Colbert that Taylor had it in her contract that she would only work eight-hour days on the set of the movie. Film shoots commonly require more than 12-hour days.

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Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in 1963’s “Cleopatra.” (API/GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

“She’d arrive in the morning, and she was in wardrobe and made up, and she’d get out of her car and she was ready to work. And then she had a woman that would come on the stage at eight hours, and she’d just go like this,” he pointed to his watch, making an annoyed face, “and wherever we were she’d stand up and go, ‘Goodnight!’ and be gone. And then we’d work for another six hours.”

He said because of that, he had to do all of his closeup shots for the first week with a stand-in, “which is hard because it’s a nice person but it’s not an actor.”

However, he said one evening Taylor was still on set two hours after she was meant to leave.

“Everybody knows it,” he said, adding that she was sitting on a couch with him standing behind her as the grips moved the lights around to prepare for the next shot.

Kyle MacLachlan claimed that Elizabeth Taylor required a gift every day on the set of “The Flintstones.” (Mat Hayward/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

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“In a voice about this loud, she says, ‘All I have to say,’ and everybody stops. And she waits until it’s dead silent. And she said, ‘is today I have been here two hours longer than I’m supposed to have been.’ I’m standing behind her and I go ‘Hey, Elizabeth, All I gotta say is welcome to the f—ing club.’”

He told her he was not “pitching any grief,” just explaining that after she goes home they “work another eight hours and we’re never going to get this done.”

Without responding to him, she left, and he said he expected to be fired. However, he said when she came back the next day, she worked every hour that everyone else did on the movie.

A friend of Princess Margaret touched on another memorable moment from Taylor in PBS’ 2019 documentary “Margaret: Rebel Princess,” recalling that Taylor and her husband Richard Burton were invited to a dinner party in Los Angeles with Margaret during her North American tour in 1965.

Princess Margaret, right, meets with Elizabeth Taylor in London in 1967. Taylor once left a Los Angeles dinner party before Margaret arrived in 1965 because she felt she was not seated close enough to the princess, according to a documentary. (Douglas Miller/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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However, when Taylor and Burton realized they were not seated at the head table with the princess and were unceremoniously close to the kitchen, they got angry and left before Margaret arrived.

The seating arrangements “did not sit well with Elizabeth and Richard,” a friend of Margaret’s said in the documentary, according to Vanity Fair. “Everywhere they went, they were the most important people in the room. And here they were not the most important people in the room. So they up and left. And they left before the princess got there. And they didn’t come back.”

“The Flintstones” marked Taylor’s final film, although she continued to do TV and the TV movie “These Old Broads” in 2001.

In “The Flintstones,” Taylor played Wilma Flintstone’s mother, Pearl Slaghoople.

Elizabeth Taylor pictured in 2007. (Getty Images)

After her death in 2011, “The Flintstones” producer Bruce Cohen told The Hollywood Reporter “The moment she said yes, we wanted to make it a special experience for her. Lavender was her favorite color, so we made lavender stairs up to her trailer, and we filled the trailer with lavender flowers for her first day of work. I had also been told it was a tradition that you gave her lavish gifts for the first day of production, so we wanted to do that as well.”

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Cohen said when he went to her house for a wardrobe fitting before production started, she whispered to him, “‘Darling, you know that I like gifts on the first day of photography.’ I said, ‘Yes, I’ve heard of this tradition.’ And then she whispered, ‘I like Cartier, darling.’ We didn’t have anElizabeth Taylorgift allotment in the budget, so I went to Mr. Spielberg, who was the executive producer, and I said, ‘Steven, I need you to write me a personal check so I can go shopping for Elizabeth Taylor.’ He loved that idea and understood why we couldn’t put it in the budget.”

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