chapter  2
19 Pages


In September 1960, Elizabeth Taylor arrived in London to begin work on Cleopatra. Twentieth-Century-Fox agreed to her unprecedented and perhaps preposterous fee. Then again, this was the world's foremost screen goddess, a sparkling extravagance that mesmerized the world, not just with her acting, but with her turbulent private life. Hollywood stars, in particular, were parts of a pantheon: like deities, they seemed to exist at a level above that of other mortals. They lived lives of such opulence, such splendor, such sublime beauty that they seemed unapproachable. The US State Department was urged to revoke Burton's entry visa on the grounds that he was "detrimental to the morals of the youth of our nation." In 1968, Generoso Pope moved the editorial headquarters of one his magazines from New York to Lantana, Florida. There, beneath the cerulean skies, among the oleanders and palmettos, amid the cicadas and flamingos, the magazine grew just like hibiscus.