Film stars — those that are promoted as such by their press agents — fade from view when their time in the spotlight is over. But TRUE stars, who are made by the public’s sustained adoration and devotion, last for decades after their deaths.
Hello Everybody. MR. Joe Morella and MR. Frank Segers here. MRS. Norman Maine is reviewing her scrapbook.
Norman Maine and Vicki Lester, fictional stars, have endured for decades. Judy Garland, who played Mrs. Norman Maine in the 1954 version of A Star is Born, is, of course, a legendary star — fully validating our premise that genuine Hollywood luminaries share a touch of the eternal.
But perhaps THE biggest star of our time is Elizabeth Taylor, who died last March 29 at the age of 79. It was once written of the actress that she was one of those people who, if she hadn’t been so beautiful, you would write in your yearbook at school: ‘To a real nice girl.’ Except she was so beautiful — her eyes (were) really purple…
Taylor had many passions, of course, and right to the end of her life, she nurtured her lifelong love of world class (and priced accordingly) jewelry. And it is her jewelry that will contribute to Taylor’s posthumous fame for a very long time.
As anyone who follows the life of film stars knows, Taylor’s jewels were almost as famous as she was. She came from an era that was not bashful about exhibiting such expensive tokens of wealth and station.
She had them, and she flaunted them. She even capitalized on her expensive passion by marketing a brand of perfume, “White Diamonds”.
After her death her estate commissioned Christies, the internationally famous auction house, to sell her clothing and jewelry. Before the auction Christies held exhibitions in London, Paris, Geneva, Hong Kong, Dubai, Los Angeles, New York and even Moscow. The auction house was keenly aware that the auction would draw an international crowd.
The 33 carat “Krupp” diamond, which Richard Burton — numbers five and six of her seven husbands — gave her and which had been re-named the ‘Elizabeth Taylor diamond’, sold for a record $8.8 million. (Other gems in her collection included a “Duchess of Windsor” diamond brooch, Grand Duchess of Russia emeralds, and a “La Peregina Pearl,” also a gift from Burton.)
The entire collection netted $132 million and set a new record. The previous record had been held by the estate of The Duchess of Windsor, whose clothes and jewels had brought in $50 million in 1987. But then Hollywood royalty always trumps British royalty.