Welcome to Vintage Paparazzi.

Elizabeth Taylor Begging Eddie Fisher: “Come Back!”

“Why would anyone want to go back to hell?” That was Eddie Fisher’s reply to the question: Will he go back to Liz? That Liz wants him back, that she is making overtures to her estranged husband, is no idle rumor. Telephone calls, cables and floral bouquets are all tangible testimony to some strange behavior from the Tigress of the Tiber. Now, having completed her historic sail down the Nile (the waters considerably roughened by scandal, melodramatic trips to the hospital and blistering censure from the church), Liz has landed on a lonely shore. Now, she must face the terrifying realization: No one really wants her. Now, suddenly this summer, she is a queen without a court. She no longer has a husband who faithfully fulfills her every wish. Now that “Cleopatra” is finished, she no longer has movie moguls fawning over her. In their place she has a life centered about a love—a one-sided love. A love that burns so fiercely that it has lost her everything. A love that’s destined to burn Liz as she’s never before been burned.

So aware is Liz of her present predicament, that she has summoned her agent, Kurt Frings, to Rome to find out first hand why movie scripts and offers for pictures are not pouring is as they used to. She is in a genuine panic over the seeming neglect and disinterest in her professional life, now that her private life has hit an uncommon depth.

During the grueling schedule of “Cleopatra,” she had sustained herself with the inspiration of passion for and from Burton and with the added exhilaration of little pills. The sleeping pills, the stomach quieters, the pepper-uppers and the vino de Taylor tavolo—all are harbingers of still more disquiet in the tempestuous life of the legendary beauty.

A big surprise!

And now, Liz is begging Eddie to come back. And what may come as a surprise is this: Liz never wanted Eddie to leave her. Newspaper reports all had Liz giving Eddie the royal heave-ho. Nothing could be further from the truth. Eddie, who had endured as much as any man could endure from a wife, decided that life with Liz was too much to bear—so he walked out. Out of the villa, out of Liz’ life. That she tried to stop him was known only to a few close friends. But Eddie, determined to save himself, left a note to be delivered to Liz—on the set — twenty-five minutes after he had left. Liz was shocked that Eddie had kept his word and left. That she thought him too weak, too much in love to break away, was obvious.

Now, Liz wants Eddie back. Why?

Does she now realize—alone in her villa—how shabbily she has treated the man who virtually abdicated his show-business throne to dance attendance on her every whim and pleasure?

Does she now, having been publicly humiliated by Burton, see Eddie in a more proper perspective?

Is she finding Burton too strong-willed for her whims and wishes? For even Burton’s former girl-Friday, Countess Bianca Luisa Valier, said in revealing Liz’ love secrets, that when she told Burton she could not live without him, his answer was: “Then go ahead and die.” No one has ever treated Liz like this before, and though she may find Burton’s whims and wishes as strong as her own and, therefore, most intriguing, Liz is a gal who gets what she wants. And when she fails, all hell breaks loose.

Are Liz’ current overtures to Eddie—her letters, her cables, the flowers she sent to him at his comeback opening at Hollywood’s Cocoanut Grove—are all these things a Taylor-type insurance policy in case Burton really does become the first man to give Lizzy the heave-ho?

Or is Liz now intrigued with Eddie? Intrigued because he has slipped off her slavish bonds with brave and tasteful conduct and become the man she never knew he was, never allowed him to be?

Whatever the answers, the motivation behind Liz’ begging Eddie to “come back” are these:

Despite her passion for Burton, Liz still loves Eddie! Liz misses Eddie! She doesn’t want to lose Eddie—forever!

Eddie vs Burton

Eddie may not be as exciting as Burton, but he was and still can be the pillar of character and stability that Liz desperately needs. Yes, Liz still loves Eddie and always will. He dedicated his life and love to her happiness and health. He endeared himself to her children; he became the father they needed. Yes, Liz still loves Eddie for Eddie loved Liz more than he loved himself.

But does Eddie still love Liz?

The answer to this question is a little more complicated.

Those closest to Eddie insist he simply does not commit himself on the subject of Liz one way or another. When her calls come in from Rome, he isolates himself in his bedroom to take them. He never reveals what she says, and his household and business staff have been sternly instructed never to discuss Mrs. Fisher with anyone and to give no replies to impertinent or personal questions. Eddie himself never mentions Liz by name. Occasionally, there is an oblique reference—but in the main he maintains a polite and firm silence even in the face of incredible embarrassment and pain over the inevitable crude jokes and jibes.

Though their parting was violent, and Eddie suffered violent shock at the time, he is now a completely adjusted person, in full command of his career and well-being.

The fact that he does not mention her name or talk about Liz may seem an unhealthy and unnatural attitude, but a close source reports that Eddie has one confidant—a friend who is wise and kind and who is helping Eddie purge himself of the agonies he endured at the onset of Liz’ betrayal and treachery. Infidelity in a wife is torture only to a husband who is deeply in love with his wife. And Eddie showed visible signs of torture on his return home from Rome.

Will Eddie go back to Liz? The answer seems to be no! Though he still faithfully wears the green jade pinky ring Liz gave him for their engagement, he has removed his wedding band.

Eddie walked out on Liz! But Eddie will always, always love the memory of Liz as a wife.

When the elegant bouquet of lavender roses arrived at his suite at the Ambassador Hotel minutes before he was scheduled to make his “re-entry” into show business and to life, Eddie merely looked appreciatively at the enormous spray of sterling (mutation) roses, took the card off the bouquet and slipped it into his breast pocketwithout opening it.

Later, a close friend told Photoplay that the message was short (only four words) and written in lavender ink to match the roses. Eddie revealed to no one what the message said. You may have read elsewhere what the four words were purported to be. But it was only a guess on the part of some reporter. A correct guess, perhaps, but still a guess!

An ironic touch was that placed right next to Liz’ bouquet was a single white rose in a crystal bud vase. The single flower was a good-luck token from Eddie’s date for his big evening, a slim, beautiful redhead from Texas, Annette Cash. She sat ringside during the show, and applauded wildly—as did everyone else in the jam-packed room. Later, the green-eyed Annette, who is a model and TV actress, graced Eddie’s arm at the gala Welcome-Rack Party held in the Ambassador Hotel’s Colonial Room, where celebrities swarmed in to kiss and congratulate Eddie on his talent and his courage.

Much later, Eddie escorted Annette to PJ’s for coffee. Others in the group included Eddie’s houseguests, Dr. and Mrs. Max Jacobson of New York.

He treats her with respect

Miss Cash would make no comment whatsoever about her friendship with Eddie. And Eddie would say nothing about Annette. Nothing vocal, that is. But he treats her with great respect and deference. There were no showy affectionate kisses or embraces.

Where this friendship will lead is anyone’s guess. Eddie says adamantly, “I’m not interested in romance at the moment, but friendships are fine and very much needed!” Since his split with Liz he has enjoyed the company of Sharon Hugueny, Joan Collins, Judy Garland and Edie Adams.

Edie, who adores his sense of humor and warmth, sent him a costly spray of flowers—ten feet tall. Pinned to it was a huge sign reading: ARRIVEDERCI ROMA. WELCOME HOMA, EDDALA. And she and her escort, Cy Howard, joined the star-studded group who joined in a standing ovation at the end of his electrically exciting performance.

The raves from great critics, like Walter Winchell and Eddie’s life-long friend. Eddie Cantor, thrilled him greatly. He had proved to everyone—but mostly to himself—that his talent was still there, his friends were still there and—most important—his hope was still there.

Eddie is happy, adjusting, growing. He will work, he will play, he will study. He will be all the things he couldn’t be when he was with Liz. The most important of these—he will be a father to his children.

And what will Liz be? She will always be Liz Taylor. But will she ever again be Mrs. Eddie Fisher? Some of Eddie’s friends say no. But this reporter is not so sure. Liz still loves him. On bended knee she begged him not to go. That Eddie has been able to forget her—or will ever be able to forget her—is impossible. That is why today, though Eddie may say no to Liz’ plea, tomorrow, his answer could very well be “maybe” or even “yes.”