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.”

michael-jackson-435

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

Source: http://www.people.com/article/elizabeth-taylor-home-revealed-in-new-book

 

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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.

 

Source: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/28/the-wiz-casting-news-queen-latifah-mary-j-blige

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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.

 

Source: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/28/michael-jackson-white-glove-auction

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Joe Jackson Admitted To Hospital After Stroke

Joe Jackson, the father of the late Michael Jackson, has been admitted to a hospital in Brazil after suffering a stroke while visiting the South American country.

In an emailed statement Monday, the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo said that Jackson is in the intensive care unit after being taken to the hospital Sunday afternoon, the Associated Press reported. He is suffering from an irregular heartbeat, according to the statement.

Local media reported that Jackson, whose 87th birthday was on Sunday, missed his party because he was in the hospital. Pictures of Jackson in Sao Paolo have been tweeted by an account bearing his name and posted on his official website

 

 

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2015/07/27/joe-jackson-suffer-stroke/30722499/

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Watch R.Kelly’s Perfect Michael Jackson Impression

R. Kelly gushed over his experience working with legendary singer and king of pop, Michael Jackson during his listening lounge interview with WBLS and Hot 97, Wednesday night (July 15).

Kelly, who was the producer responsible for Michael’s 1995 hit song, “You Are Not Alone,” reminisced about the very moment he met the international sensation.

“Michael Jackson to me was my Mickey Mouse. Like this is not real. He is not real,” he said excitedly. “To actual grow up and become who I became as a producer and to be producing and writing for Michael, when I first met him it was crazy because he still was a cartoon to me.”

The 12 Play star said that he was in complete disbelief when he arrived to Chicago and without the help of social media, fans were aware of his landing by simply word-of-mouth, “It all became real when they landed in Chicago and I don’t know how Mike do this, but when Mike pulled up to the studio, across the street was the hotel and across the street, everybody in the window were hanging out like they knew he was coming,” he said.

The three-time Grammy award winner explained that he was extremely nervous to work with him and even mentioned offering him Chinese food to simply break the ice. After going to the bathroom for his personal freak out moment, R.Kelly said he gathered himself and started recording “You Are Not Alone” with the former Jackson Five star.

“‘This track is going to be something that the world is going to sing this forever,’ and I’m like ‘Yea, Mike, I appreciate it and I’m glad you like it.'” He continued, “So when he went into the studio to do his thing, he talked to his doc, the doctor told him how to get into his vocals and then he asked me to come in and sing background with him and I’m telling you what went to my feet.”

Watch the video below:

 


Source: http://www.musictimes.com/articles/43313/20150717/watch-r-kelly-michael-jackson-impression-hot-97-interview.htm

 

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