COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -It's something you may not have known. Elizabeth Taylor spent some time in South Carolina.
The year was 1985. The shoot was for North and South, a Ken Burns mini-series. It was located in Charleston, and the actress who played the madame - Elizabeth Taylor. "She was a major player, like a Betty Davis or a Joan Crawford, with a slightly different vibe," said Ina Hark of USC Film and Media.
Hark teaches Classic Hollywood Cinema at USC. "We all star watch - watch what people go through, their ups and downs, and she was someone who let themselves well to that," she said.
Hark said Taylor, who was married 8 times, was one of the first stars whose off-screen drama caught the public's eye. Her fame may not have been performance based. "She had, she was not a good actress," said Hark, "She admitted that she had a beautiful, of course, face and gorgeous violet eyes, which was helpful when color was widespread."
One of those later color films brought her to South Carolina. She played the role of a madame in the mid 80's. Crew members said even the most seasoned of the crew stopped and stared when she arrived on set. They also said she was not arrogant. She was nice. "Despite the fact she wasn't monogamous and a bit of a handful, I've never thought Elizabeth Taylor - this is an icky person," said Hark.
Hark said although she may not have been the best star, she was one of the brightest. She was a standout who connected with people on and off screen. "It all seems to be an excess of love if its anything - love, caring, empathy," said Hark.
Professor Hark said Taylor admitted to herself that she was not the best actress, but she won two Oscars.