Liz Toasts Roddy McDowall's Photo Book, and the Old Pals Make Quite a Picture

updated 11/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Okay, so it probably couldn't quite compete with a trip to Tangier in a private jet and sumptuous meals in enormous tents. And quondam birthday-boy Malcolm Forbes was nowhere to be seen, but nobody seemed to miss him. Everyone was far too busy eyeballing his great good friend Elizabeth Taylor, who pulled out all the f-stops recently to throw her own bash—a cocktail party to celebrate the publication of Double Exposure: Take Two, the second volume of photographs by her lifelong friend and sometime co-star Roddy McDowall. The coffee-table tome contains celebrity portraits taken by McDowall along with text written by other celebs, such as Ringo Starr appraising Mae West and Joseph Cotten lauding Loretta Young.

Her hair teased to the teeth, Liz arrived in a long white limo with current beau and former truck driver Larry Fortensky, and McDowall hurried out to greet them. A smile, a hug, a kiss for the flash-popping paparazzi. Then Liz and Roddy strode into Los Angeles's Art Deco St. James's Club to greet such guests as Bette Midler, Lynn Redgrave, Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, Teri Garr, Esther Williams, Shelley Duvall and Taylor's stepdaughter Kate Burton, who pointed out that real friends never refer to the star as Liz. "I always think of her as Elizabeth," said Kate firmly.

By any name, Elizabeth didn't look—how to put this nicely?—as if she'd been passing up many meals lately. And here she had a choice from an assortment of crab claws, shrimp, clams, pâté and lobster salad in puff pastry. The party also gave McDowall a chance to reflect on old times with Taylor. "We managed to connect at whatever age it was," said Roddy, who first co-starred with Liz in 1943's Lassie Come Home, "and it's been very nice through the years. Who can say why? We were very young, so how do you explain the origins of friendship? She has been a kind, supportive friend. You can't ask more than that from a relationship."

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