A couple of hours ago on KCRW I heard a quote from Jeanine Basinger stating that the late Elizabeth Taylor launched the era of the superstar salary by hardballing it with 20th Century Fox executives during initial Cleopatra negotiations by saying, “If you want me, you’ll have to pay me a million dollars.” As I heard it the million dollar demand was actually meant in jest. She didn’t want to do effing Cleopatra and figured, “Okay, this’ll get rid of them — ask or some ridiculous amount.”

In his own remembrance of Taylor, Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy recalls a live encounter with Taylor (and particularly her violet eyes) that is similar to my own.