That photograph of Taylor

When VFR posted an artistic nude photograph from The Mail of Elizabeth Taylor from 1956 several alert readers pointed out various reasons why the woman in the photo could not be Taylor. Here is definitive word that she was not. The New York Daily News reports:

Sorry, folks, that nude picture isn’t Elizabeth Taylor.

A black-and-white photo which was recently touted as the late actress in her birthday suit is actually a little-known dancer from 1940.

“It is an absolute falsehood that it is Elizabeth Taylor,” said Alice Gowland, the widow of photographer Peter Gowland, who actually took the picture nearly 70 years ago, according to London’s Telegraph.

A woman named Lee Evans is the person in the photo, she said. Little is known about her, except what few details were included with the photo in a collection of Gowland’s photos published in 2001.

“She had never done any nude modeling before,” Gowland, who died in 2010, wrote in his book, “Classic Nude Photography, Techniques and Images.”

“She was shy, but appreciated art and so agreed,” he said.

The photograph is also featured on Gowland’s website (click here to see it), with a caption that identifies the woman in it as Lee Evans.

Alice Gowland says this wasn’t the first time someone tried to claim the woman in the picture was Taylor, who would have been 8 when the picture was taken.

“It was first suggested to us [decades ago] by a sleazy reporter who came round and saw the photo up in our studio and shouted it was Elizabeth Taylor,” she said. “We told him it wasn’t and we knew because it was our photo.”

The claim last week that the image was of Taylor in the nude suggested it was taken by “Planet of the Apes” actor Roddy McDowell when she was 24. Taylor than supposedly gave it to her third husband, Mike Todd.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 11, 2011 09:45 AM | Send

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