Elizabeth Taylor & My Big Brother

I sent the link of my recent blog post – about calling Elizabeth Taylor – to my Big Brother, Dick Miller. <http://tinyurl.com/preview.php?num=4fa5bye> Why do I capitalize the words “Big Brother”?  Because although I never intended to follow in Dick’s footsteps –  he blazed my path. Dick worked as a photographer and then founded his own management company representing performers. Somehow, even though I long-resisted being part of that world, I chose the same exact same road.

When Dick received my message, he dashed off a quick reply, writing that – as soon as he got back to his office – I was to expect a photo. Shortly thereafter Big Brother Dick sends me this amazing image – of him with Ms. Taylor  — it just blew me away!

Photo by Deborah Miller

Dick Miller & Elizabeth Taylor in 1981 - Double-Click the image to enlarge

Ha! I had to laugh at myself. Here I was, blogging about a brief telephone conversation with the famous Elizabeth Taylor, when Big Brother had not only met her, but had gazed lovingly into her eyes … and was bathed by a warm and loving gaze in return – WOW!

In addition to his work representing artists, my Big Brother Dick Miller wrote a syndicated entertainment newspaper column for 15 years from the early 1970’s until the 1980’s. DICK MILLER, NEW YORK, NEW YORK was primarily about New York City Broadway and other entertainment news.

His upbeat column spoke of people involved in show business in a positive and informative manner. Dick covered Opening Night performances of Broadway, off-Broadway and nightclub shows, mixing with all of the stars and creators of the productions, including interesting facts about them in his column.

Readers would remark in letters to Dick that they knew if he didn’t write about a performer or a show, there was a good chance Dick Miller didn’t care about it and didn’t want to say anything negative. Unlike most columnists who dished the dirt – my Big Brother just ignored what he didn’t like, maintaining his positive approach.

Dick met and spoke with Elizabeth Taylor, (documented in this photo taken by his wife, Deborah Miller – his girlfriend at the time of the photo – on May 7, 1981), at the Opening Night party of “The Little Foxes.”

He wrote about the meeting in his syndicated column:

“Liz Taylor was extremely generous. You look at this photo, the way she was looking at me. That was not posed. She showed tremendous interest in talking to me. You don’t always feel that from a major star.”

It’s interesting to me that we both chose the word “generous” to describe Ms. Taylor.

And, I just discovered something else, a document that showed me again that I was, even then, following in Big Brother’s path …

I just looked back at The Washington Post review of The Fine Line Actors Theatre production of Marsha Norman’s “Getting Out.” I was the executive director of the company and performing the co-lead in the show. I was also raising money to support our Women’s Prison Project.  When I looked at the date of the article, I discovered that I was calling Ms. Taylor to support our Project at just about the SAME time Big Brother Dick was gazing into her violet eyes – the Spring of 1981 – 30 years ago!

Strange – and synchronistic, right?

To give you some background on this photo:

My brother Dick and his wife Deborah attended the Broadway Opening of “The Little Foxes,” at the Martin Beck Theater, now the Al Hirschfeld Theater.  After the Opening Night Gala The Millers celebrated along with celebrities Liza Minnelli, Senator John Warner, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Miller, Joan Fontaine, Halston, Bill Blass and dozens of other notables. During that memorable celebration, Dick talked with Elizabeth Taylor and reported about the event in his Syndicated newspaper column.

… That Opening Night event was taking place during the same time-period I found myself speechless in response to Elizabeth Taylor answering her own phone.

Hmmmm …

There is a spider web that connects us – with gossamer strands of blood that tie us together to family. Sometimes we don’t see the threads ‘till we look back, lovingly, may years into the past … as we remember the generosity of others, clearly expressed through the kindness of voice and the beauty shining through violet eyes.

About artistsoulspeaks

Zelda (aka Judith Z. Miller) Bio Zelda (aka Judith Z. Miller) is a multifaceted artist who lives in an erotic, musical, spiritual universe. As a feminist Jew who studies shamanism, she is inspired by the beauty of nature and the guiding force of her intuition as she explores the themes of connection to the Earth, spirituality, sexuality and gender. She sculpts, draws, writes, performs, photographs, and is an ecstatic dancer/percussionist/healer. Currently, under an Individual Artist Commission awarded by Arts Mid-Hudson, Zelda is developing Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), a multi-media one-person show that chronicles the joys and challenges of navigating non-binary Queerness from a childhood in the 1950s to adulthood. This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson. She is also producing ZELDA’S Happenings, a series of black-light, body-painting, percussion dance parties that will produce original wearable art for a new UpState Artists Clothing Collection representing artists of the region. Zelda co-founded The Fine Line Actors Theatre in Washington DC and performed at such venues as Source, GALA Hispanic Theatre and the Kennedy Center in DC, in NYC at WOW Café Theatre and Dixon Place, at the Lace Mill and with the TMI Project in Kingston. She published in Inside Arts magazine, The Washington Post, and American Theatre magazine. Zelda currently resides at the Lace Mill artist residence in Kingston NY with her Great Dane “Z”.
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