Photo shoot: David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor by Terry O’Neill

David Bowie and actor Elizabeth Taylor were photographed by Terry O’Neill on 28 September 1974.

David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor, 28 September 1974 © Terry O'Neill

The shoot, for People magazine, took place at film director George Cukor’s Bel Air home, at 9166 Cordell Drive just above the Sunset Strip.

David was two and a half hours late for his first meeting with Liz. He arrived dishevelled and out of it. Liz was pretty annoyed and on the verge of leaving, but we managed to persuade her to stay. She was thinking of asking him to appear in The Blue Bird, but she went off the idea after that.
Terry O’Neill, 2003

The photographs were to have been used for the announcement that Cukor was to direct Bowie and Taylor in The Blue Bird, to be shot the following year in Russia. Bowie later expressed relief that the role fell through.

That was a rotten film she wanted me to do, and a rotten part. She’s finding out about it now. She’s in Russia stuck out there. The thing she’s in is a very dry, high French fairytale with nothing to say. It is being directed by a wonderful director. But the whole film stinks and I turned it down.
David Bowie
RAM, 26 July 1975
Last updated: 2 October 2023
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