Secrets of Elizabeth Taylor’s Amazing Home: Diamonds, Photos of Michael Jackson and More

With her Oscars and her activism, her great loves and even greater roles, Elizabeth Taylor will always be a Hollywood icon. But in a new book, 700 Nimes Road, photographer Catherine Opie shines a light on the private world of the legend. Opie spent months shooting Taylor’s Bel Air, California, home, just before and after the star’s death in 2011.

“I never met her,” says Opie, who shares exclusive photos from her book (out on Oct. 6 from DelMonico Books•Prestel) and memories of her time at Taylor’s house in the new issue of PEOPLE. “But I got a sense of what an incredible human being she was by everything that was precious to her.” Some of the more surprising objects in Taylor’s possession include a collection of Buddha statuettes, many books about angels, and a shelf full of horses sculpted by her daughter Liza – oh, and the 33.19-carat Krupp diamond, gifted to her by then-husband Richard Burton in 1968. (Not even Liz’s biggest – that would be the 68-carat Taylor-Burton diamond the couple splurged on the following year.)

For the book, Opie was given access to some of Taylor’s most private spaces, including her dressing room, with its sunken tub and lavender carpets to match Taylor’s famous eyes. “That was a beautiful room,” recalls Opie. “The light in that room was just gorgeous,” showing off the stars pretty perfume bottles and fresh-picked orchids. “She had this beautiful little greenhouse that was just for orchids in her backyard,” adds the photographer.

Taylor’s home was also filled with reminders of her friends and family, mementoes of a life lived to its fullest. “There were lots of family photos,” says Opie, who captured a shot of Taylor’s bedside table with pictures of her longtime friend Michael Jackson among family photos. Pictures of Burton, whom Taylor married twice, were all around the house. “Richard Burton was in every room,” says Opie. “Yeah, pretty much. He was in every room.”


She kept a photo of Michael Jackson (and a remote-control manual) on her bedside table.



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Beyond The Lights: Janet Jackson Shares Her Private Life Backstage

A few fans have been floating a photo around the net recently. It’s said to be a special note Janet Jackson’s brother, Michael Jackson wrote to her years ago.

Fans have said that the VIP Access on her tour included:

From a fan who went to the show on another forum said this was also backstage:
– various certification plaques from around the world
-Some of her many awards (Grammys, VMAs, etc,)
– a huge cloth tapestry of her
– all of her previous tour books
– a grey brick from the original Jackson house
– each of her CDs as well as a lot of her cassettes and vinyls
-wardrobe from previous tours and music videos
– some of the Rhythm Nation jewelry and chains
– personal photographs with her family and various celebrities
– Poetic Justice script
– Photo outtakes from her photo shoots from over the years.

The note reads:

“To the Queen of Music, I love you. Forever your brother.




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Pharrell Tells Epic Story Of His First Meeting With Michael Jackson

Pharrell and Scott Vener (who curated the music for a lot of your favorite HBO Shows) have a show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio called OTHERtone, which you should really get into the habit of listening to. The two bring in artists and celebrities and just geek out over music for an hour. For a show back in July, they brought on Justin Timberlake and Cara Delevigne to geek out about Alabama Shakes, and this time around they brought on Tyler, The Creator. While listening to Pharrell and Tyler get giddy over a record that Kanye West produced for Janet Jackson (that I’d forgotten was really, really good) was great, the best parts of the show were the stories Pharrell told about meeting Michael Jackson for the first time and chilling with him in the studio. It was like a movie.


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Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige to star in NBC’s The Wiz

NBC has signed two big stars for The Wiz: Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have joined the network’s latest live musical adaptation. EW has exclusively learned Latifah will play the titular Wiz, who holds the keys to the Emerald City, while Blige is set to play the Wicked Witch of the West.

Latifah’s musical past includes starring in 2002’s Chicago, for which she was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the Academy Awards, and 2007’s Hairspray. Blige has nine Grammy awards under her belt, and featured in the movie musical Rock of Ages. They’ll star in The Wiz alongside previously announced cast member Stephanie Mills, who’s playing Auntie Em.

The Wiz Live! is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — who also made NBC’s previously high-wire musical telecasts, 2013’s The Sound of Music Live! and last year’s Peter Pan Live!

The Wiz Live! is directed by Kenny Leon with Harvey Fierstein providing new written material, and it also marks the first NBC musical to made with Cirque Du Soleil, whose acrobats will be used in certain scenes (such as the tornado and flying monkeys).

In addition to Chicago, Latifah co-starred in Hairspray and the TV film Steel Magnolias — all of which were executive produced by Zadan and Meron. “We are so happy reuniting with Latifah,” said Zadan and Meron. “We’ve been friends for a long time and we’ve had quite a lot of success together. To see her play the iconic role of the Wiz and make it her own is going to be one of the joys of producing this event.”

As The Wiz, Latifah plays “the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax. She rose to her lofty position after being transported by accident to Oz in a hot air balloon during a snowstorm.”

Blige’s Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, “holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. She captures Dorothy and her friends to avenge the unintentional murder of her evil sister, Evvamean, and to get back the powerful silver slippers given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North.”

The Grammy-winning Blige began her career on The Jamie Foxx Show and has been featured on shows like Entourage and most recently Empire and Blackish. “I can’t wait to watch Mary bring the badness that is Evillene,” said Leon. “Her talent range is off the charts and I know audiences won’t be able to take their eyes off her.”

As for the key role of Dorothy, NBC’s search continues for a newcomer to play the character.

The Wiz premieres Thursday, Dec. 3 on NBC.



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Michael Jackson’s White Glove Up For Auction For $20,000

One of Michael Jackson’s trademark single white gloves is currently up for auction — but fans will have to shell out at least $20,000 to get their hands on it (or rather, in it).

Nate D. Sanders’ auction house is handling the sale, which ends July 30 at 5 p.m. PT. Jackson gave the glove, which features crystal beading and light wear and tear, to personal artist Paul Bedard — who worked on multiple pieces of art for Jackson’s Neverland Ranch — in 1984, and Bedard went on to sell it in 2005.

Head to Sanders’ site before July 30 to bid and see photos of the item.



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Reliving Michael Jackson ‘Captain EO’

Back in 1986, 3D movies didn’t feature at every cinema like they do now, Michael Jackson was an immensely popular icon and Disney was about to unveil a show that would delight tourists for years.

It’s time to once again hop in the time machine and appreciate a classic attraction with modern eyes.

Last week we regaled you with the moment Jurassic Park: The Ride opened. Now it’s time to honor the magnificence that was “Captain EO,” which opened to fans on Sept. 12 1986.

Below is a commercial that touted the 3D attraction that was set to open at Walt Disney World and Disneyland respectively.

Before we revel in the misadventures of Captain EO and his band of musically inclined pals we have some dreadful news.

Billboard reported back in 2014 that Disney Parks would shutter EO for the time being; with various outlets saying the closing was permanent.

This came after the attraction opened anew in 2010 following the death of star Michael Jackson.

Now the report does point to a previous release that mentions the following: “Captain EO is expected to return at a later date.”

And, a quick look at Disneyland’s attractions shows a page for Captain EO, although no schedule is available.

So there is hope, however scant, that a presentation that delighted us as kids may again return at some point in the future.

But the Internet is a kind place to those in misery, because you can watch versions of the short movie online. It’s perfect for those who enjoy shots of nostalgia or those who have no inkling as to the show about which we are talking.

Just watch this and imagine being in a theater and having the added amenities of actual 3D technology and a big screen:

Getting “Captain EO” to screen was no small affair, featuring a collaborative effort from the likes of Jackson, Francis Ford Coppola (director), George Lucas (screenplay) and actress Anjelica Huston who played the part of Supreme Leader.

That wasn’t enough ’80s for you? Well, perhaps watch nearly 50 minutes of its grand opening, which features youthful versions of Patrick Duffy and Justine Bateman.

Jefferson Starship, Belinda Carlisle, The Moody Blues and Robert Palmer perform as a cavalcade of stars scoot on down the iconic Main St. at Disneyland.

It’s the kind of gigantic and indulgent celebration that will have you yearning for the decade that gave us a 3D space odyssey featuring Michael Jackson and a bumbling sidekick named Hooter.

Source: Gabe Zaldivvar-

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Michael Jackson Mural To Resurface

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley will debut an exhibit on Friday displaying elements of a little-seen 10-story-tall Michael Jackson mural painted by Kent Twitchell.

Twitchell painted his ode to the pop star in the early ‘90s. The mural was planned for the side of the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, but it never was installed. In 1993, around the time Jackson was accused of child molestation, the installation was put on hold.

The 100-foot-tall, 60-foot-wide portrait was shown at a downtown L.A. gallery exhibition, “Thriller: The King of Pop Meets the King of Cool, Exploring the Lost Works of Kent Twitchell,” in 2009. But the portrait has largely remained in storage.


Scott Sterling, president of the museum, is in discussions with Twitchell and the Courtyard by Marriott in Sherman Oaks about having the mural installed on the east side of the hotel facing the 405 freeway. Sterling estimates the project will cost upward of $200,000.

Funds from the exhibition, for which the museum is asking a $10 donation, will go toward mural installation, which Sterling says “will advance art and culture in the Valley.”

The exhibition, “Kent Twitchell’s Incredible Mural of Michael Jackson,” includes pieces of the artwork as well as face studies that Twitchell painted of Jackson. A digital rendering shows what the final mural might look like on the side of the hotel.

“This could be the beginning of many murals on many buildings in the San Fernando Valley,” Sterling says. “And bringing people here internationally who are fans of Michael Jackson. I’d like to see the economy boost through art, culture and appreciation for where we live. The Valley has an important entertainment history — and this mural would just boost it.”

The exhibitions opens Friday, from 6 to 10 p.m., and runs through Sept. 1 at Museum of the San Fernando Valley, 18860 Nordhoff St. No. 204, Northridge.


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