Elizabeth Taylor, the girl with the lavender eyes, had turned 16 in 1948, while filming the Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon film, Julia Misbehaves. Peter Lawford plays the boy in love with Elizabeths character and she wouldn’t have had it any other way. “Peter, to me” Elizabeth said, ” was the last word in sophistication, and so terribly handsome.” Everyone on the set knew she was infatuated and to make it worse was witness to a fumbled line; instead of saying ‘Oh Richie what are we going to do,’ she said ‘ Oh Peter what am I going to do.’ Of course the line was delivered after a kiss, and quickly remedied by the elimination of sound and a move to another screen shot. Peter, too though Elizabeth “incredible” and couldn’t deny his feelings for her, but he was over 18 and that would have caused problems.
Elizabeth, though only newly 16, was eager to get married, determined to rival Jane Powell’s engagement announcement at MGM. Elizabeth’s mother too, had become quite intent upon her daughter being included in the family of Sir Sidney and Lady Lawford. With pressure from both sides, MGM stepped in and blatently stated that anyone that touched Elizabeth would “be banned forever.”
Amazingly Peter was able to tame Elizabeth’s affection for him. He tamed his own feelings for her by focusing on her thighs, which he believed to be a little meatier than they needed to be. Peter’s wife through the 80’s, Patricia Seeton, mentioned that Peter would try to find something negative with all the women that were off limits so as to talk himself out of it…so to speak.
Thighs aside, Peter and Elizabeth remained close friends until his death, and often sought each other out just to talk. The friendship most noteably stayed in tact because Elizabeth could boast to being one of the only woem from the time period that wasn’t able to get involved with Peter intimately. Gone are the days when the Big Brother studios like MGM and Paramount had such heavy hand over their talent. Still, with all those beautiful people running around, who could blame them for trying to tame things a bit.