71: Elizabeth Taylor Customized Dressing Room Trailer
Elizabeth Taylor’s lavish studio—customized dressing room trailer for Cleopatra - (TCF, 1963) Twentieth Century Fox spent a rumored $75,000 (in 1960s dollars!) which would be now valued at over $560,000 to build a fully customized 36-foot dressing room/trailer for the star, staying true to the theme of the Egyptian/Roman epic. The studio built this to keep Elizabeth Taylor in the true character of Cleopatra. The Aljo trailer features rose colored carpeting, hand-painted ceilings, hand-painted murals in the bedroom, detailed crown moldings, custom makeup dresser and vanity, full columns mounted on the walls and other columned furniture and decorative pieces. Silk curtains hang from a semicircular runner to separate the bedroom from the living area. The trailer also features a refridgerator and stove, as well as a bathroom, typical of a guest house or RV. This special hideaway was designed to make the star feel like the Queen of Egypt. The provenance of this fabled trailer is fascinating. Millionaire financier and developer of the Watergate complex in Washington, DC, Nicolas Salgo, helped arrange financial backing for the film for the studio. Once the film wrapped, Salgo negotiated with Fox to keep Elizabeth Taylor’s dressing room trailer and had it parked at his ZX Ranch in Oregon from the 1960s through 1980. Friends visiting the ranch, the largest in Oregon, would request to stay in the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton love nest—Hollywood’s version of the Lincoln Bedroom . Once Salgo sold the ranch, it was on exhibit at a museum and then used as a guest house at a private residence. The furniture, fixtures and curtains are all original. The other pieces currently decorating the dressing room, such as chairs, hand mirror, telephones, magazines, photographs, etc. are placed as a museum-like tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Cleopatra. The original round bed was removed over 40 years ago and replaced with a queen-sized bed. Some areas on the walls exhibit minor moisture damage which can be easily restored; otherwise, in very good condition with original curtains and main fixtures intact. Due to the size of the trailer, special transportation considerations must be arranged by the winning bidder. The trailer has been towed recently from Northern California to Southern California and can be towed as a recreational vehicle. A wonderful and intimate Elizabeth Taylor piece, epitomizing the epic extravagance of Cleopatra—the last of the old guard Hollywood films.