Elizabeth Taylor at the set of Larry King Live
05/31/2006 at 08:00 AM EDT
In her first TV interview in three years, Elizabeth Taylor – no stranger to tabloid gossip about her health – has denied recent reports that she has Alzheimer's and is at death's door.
Speaking to Larry King on CNN Tuesday night, the 74-year-old screen legend – who at one point jokingly offered King her hand so he could put a wedding ring on it – said, "Oh come on, do I look like I'm dying? Do I look like or sound like I have Alzheimer's?"
Attempting to explain the stories, Taylor said they're written "because they have nothing else dirty to write about anybody else. Some audience out there ... they like scandal. They like filth. And if they want to hear that I'm dead, sorry folks. I'm not. And I don't plan on it."
Still, Taylor, on the show to promote her upcoming precious-jewelry line, was in a wheelchair. When King asked why, she blamed "my back, which has been chronically bad since I was a teenager." She added that she was born with scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, and has osteoporosis.
Is she in constant pain? King asked. She is, she said. Will she ever marry again? (Taylor has famously been married eight times.) "Are you asking?" she replied with a laugh.
Taylor, a longtime AIDS activist, also told King that she doesn't think a cure will be found, but there will be major advancements in treatment.