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The epic party Carole Bayer Sager threw for Liz Taylor

Larry King NowDec 07 '16

Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager recounts the legendary birthday party she and then-husband Burt Bacharach threw for her dear friend, Elizabeth Taylor, with a guest list that included Bob Dylan, Bette Davis, and Bette Midler.

Larry King: You had a great friendship with one of my favorite people, Liz Taylor, right?

Carole Bayer Sager: Yes, I loved her.

Larry King: What about her birthday party?

Carole Bayer Sager: We were neighbors. We became friendly when we realized – we were at Hollywood Park Race Track with Marge Everett, rest her soul, and we were introduced to each other and within about ten minutes she realized that we were going to be moving, Burt Bacharach and I, three doors from her in Bel Air. And she sent down all sorts of welcoming gifts. She was the most generous woman.

Larry King: Oh, unbelievable.

Carole Bayer Sager: And as beautiful as she was on the outside, which as you know was breathtaking, that’s how beautiful she was on the inside. So she was turning 55 and I said, ‘Elizabeth I want to give you a birthday party. Burt and I want to give you a birthday party.’ And she said, ‘oh I’d love that’ and she gave me her guest list and I threw in some of our musical friends and it was quite something. It was like Bette Davis sitting next to Bob Dylan you know with their cigarette ashes practically touching.

Larry King: Wow.

Carole Bayer Sager: In fact I remember Bette Davis remarking about my girlfriend Bette Midler who had just had a baby and it wasn’t, it wasn’t at the time where you had to have hair and makeup to go to the grocery store you know? So Bette just came three weeks after having a baby, just no makeup and Bette Davis said, ‘oh I think that is horrible. She owes it to her public to-‘

Larry King: I love Bette.

Carole Bayer Sager: Yes, she dressed like a star, you know? And -

Larry King: A little cigarette holder.

Carole Bayer Sager: Always. Always.

Larry King: She was a delight though. Honest to her core, Bette Davis?

Carole Bayer Sager: Yeah.

Larry King: Right?

Carole Bayer Sager: Yeah. In fact when I sent the invitation out for Elizabeth’s birthday I went to great trouble and I found a picture of Elizabeth with Lassie. And I put a big, fake diamond ring on her finger and I put a necklace around her neck and when Bette Davis called I happened to answer the phone and she said, ‘and whom am I speaking with?’ And I said, ‘this is Carole Bayer Sager Bacharach.’ And she said ‘oh well I’m calling to RSVP that I will be attending. Your husband is a marvelous composer, and you Mrs. Bacharach make a lovely invitation.’

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