From Reel Love to Real Love
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
At first, she thought he talked too much; he disparagingly dubbed her "Miss Tits." But one day on the set of Joseph L. Mankiewicz's extravagant trip up the Nile, Elizabeth Taylor helped a shaking, hungover Richard Burton lift a coffee cup to his lips. And so began a love affair as big and stormy as the $40 million production they met on. "Without you, this is not a world I want to live in," her Cleopatra whispers to his Marc Antony in a love scene hotter than the Egyptian sun. Taylor and Burton paired up in several more films and married twice, but ultimately found that they could indeed live in this world without one another.
After spying the copper-curled Nicole Kidman in Dead Calm, Tom Cruise summoned the Aussie actress to America to join him for this sputtering race-track drama. "The very first time we met, I discovered what a charming and tender man he is," sighed Kidman. "He must be every woman's dream." Lucky girl. However, whatever mutual attraction they share in their nearly 10-year-old marriage is sadly extinguished onscreen; neither Days of Thunder nor a later pairing, Far and Away, raises temperatures. Mr. and Mrs. Cruise continued their on-screen romance with Stanley Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut.