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updated: 3/23/2011 3:17 PM

Antioch man remembers 'Aunt Liz'

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  • Elizabeth Taylor

      Elizabeth Taylor

 
 

Gregory Goldbogen said it was the kiss he'll never forget.

He was 13-years-old when he came face to face with his aunt -- Elizabeth Taylor -- for the first time.

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"When she kissed me on the cheek, it was amazing," Goldbogen said Wednesday. "The whole experience of that night was something I will never forget."

The 67-year-old Antioch man was the nephew of Elizabeth Taylor's third husband, Academy Award winning producer Mike Todd.

Taylor and Todd were married from 1957 until his death in 1958, but the two were in Chicago celebrating the release of the film "Michael Todd's Around the World in 80 Days," Goldbogen said.

Todd, who's original name was Avram Goldbogen, sent a limousine to Lake Zurich pick up family members -- including Gregory and his father, mother, twin brother and younger sister -- for the screening of the film, which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 1957,

"I was a bit of a ham in those days, so when we got out of the limo and walked into the theater, I was waving to the crowd," he said laughing. "I think people in the crowd thought I was a child celebrity or something."

After the screening, he was ushered up to Taylor's dressing room by his uncle, where the starlet was preparing for a party later that evening.

"She was up there putting on makeup when my uncle called out to her "Hey, Liz, meet your niece and nephews," Goldbogen said. "She spun around and gave us a dazzling smile. I was a 13-year-old kid at the time and was just amazed I was in the presence of this amazing beauty."

He added, "She asked us over and gave us a hug and a kiss. It was definitely one of those things you'll never forget."

He long joked about the kiss with his friends after the experience was over, he said.

"I'd say to my friends, 'See this little spot on my cheek? I never wash that because Liz Taylor kissed that spot'," he said. "She was just amazing."

Goldbogen said he didn't have much contact with Taylor after Todd was killed in the plane crash. He said he saw her at his uncle's funeral, but that has been it.

He said he tried to contact her in 2010 while helping out his own nephew. He said his nephew was raising money for a Chicago literacy program by getting celebrities to sign bookmarks.

"We contacted her through her agent, who wrote a nice letter for us saying they would like to help," Goldbogen said. "But, we didn't receive the letter back until it was past the deadline so we were never able to get the bookmark signed."

He said the world lost an incredible talent in "Aunt Liz" after she died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles.

"I'm sad the world has lost this incredible beauty," he said. "She was so well loved and remembered, with an amazing film career. She was a very generous and a wonderful person."

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