ANAHEIM, Calif. - Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her 60th birthday with a party at Disneyland that reflected the glamour and excitement of her long film career.
The much-heralded festivities inside Fantasyland on Thursday night did not quite live up to expectations, but they provided enough media hype to suffice.
"You get the impression nobody's here?" inquired Esther Williams, who began her career at MGM when Taylor was a star there.
That wasn't quite true, because among the hundreds of party guests there were many celebrities from the forties and fifties: Jackie Cooper, Alice Faye, Ann Blyth, Robert Stack. And others of more recent vintage also attended, including Carrie Fisher, Michael York, Tom Selleck, Shirley Maclaine, Dennis Hopper and Stevie Wonder.
Taylor and her eighth husband, Larry Fortensky arrived in a horse-drawn white carriage late in the evening, and she had little chance to reminisce with her old-time MGM contract players. The couple was constantly surrounded by security and official photographers.
Birthday ceremonies were conducted in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, with Barry Manilow acting as emcee and singing I Made It Through the Rain for the guest of honour. Taylor and Fortensky were joined by Snow White and Mickey Mouse in cutting a birthday cake.
Wearing black jeans and boots and a black rhinestone and glitter jacket, the actress explained why she chose Disneyland to celebrate: "It's to bring out the kid in me."
Other guests included Melissa Manchester, Jon Voight, Henry Winkler, David Bowie and his fiancée, model Iman, model Cheryl Tiegs and husband Tony Peck and his father, Gregory Peck. Other guests were a very blond Delta Burke and Gerald McRancy, Dionne Warwick, Joni Mitchell, Richard Gere and wife Cindy Crawford, Geena Davis and Eva Marie Saint.
Partygoers were carried by vintage automobiles decorated with orchids to Fantasyland. Trumpeters welcomed guests inside the castle, which was filled with folk dancers, jugglers, a band and balloons, Goofy, Mickey Mouse and other costumed characters milled about.
Companies or groups routinely rent the park for private gatherings, but Taylor was the first individual to do so, said Disneyland spokeswoman Barbara Warren, who would not discuss the cost.
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