LOS ANGELES & — Los Angeles--Cynics say that Elizabeth Taylor planned her eighth wedding to coincide with the launch of her new perfume, White Diamonds. Others bet she wouldn't step to the altar with Larry Fortensky yesterday afternoon.
But Liz is a woman who has never done anything by half-measures.
She will be 60 years old, while her bridegroom is only 39, and when asked why she was getting married again, she mused, "Well, I've been single for 10 years. I always thought -- knowing my nature as a 'marrying kind of woman' -- that I would try, just one more time, before I die. And this is it."
She and Mr. Fortensky had been living to gether for four years, Ms. Taylor said -- but there was a rumble in the background, and she added, laughing, "He says he thinks it's only three years. But you get to know someone real fast when you are in group therapy with them, in a recovery program. All the B.S. is stripped away. We just started instantly to know each other.
She paused a moment then said: "Now that he's gone out of the room, I can tell you this: He is one of the sweetest people I've ever known, a thoroughly decent person."
Recent photographs of Ms. Taylor plugging her new perfume show that she's a size 6 and looking gorgeous beyond her years. And recently, she seems to have a new serenity about herself and Mr. Fortensky, despite the reams that have been written about the couple in supermarket tabloids.
"I've read how I hired somebody from a charm school to teach him manners and remake him so I can take him out in polite society," she said. "He does just fine for himself.
"The only thing I've 'changed' about him is his hair, and that only happened because when Jose Eber comes to 'do' me, I have him work on Larry as well. That's the most natural thing in the world. It's not a %$&!? Jose Eber 'makeover,' for Pete's sake. But Jose will be his best man. Another thing -- Larry has his own teeth, though it's been written I had his mouth done over. No, he has his own teeth."
When told that some people see Mr. Fortensky as a fortune hunter, her voice rose and she said, "Larry still has his own job and does his own thing. I do not 'keep' him. He still works at a job at a large engine-equipment company. He likes to fish -- and when he wants to go fishing, he does.
"He is the least greedy person I have ever met in my whole life. He gets embarrassed if I give him presents -- and you know how I like to do that. . ."
Ms. Taylor said that they'll stay at the Santa Barbara ranch a few days with Michael Jackson before going away on a honeymoon, but added: "No, I won't say where we are going . . ."