Elizabeth Taylor's Death Affects North State Residents

Mar 23, 2011 8:18 PM

Not many people know that Elizabeth Taylor lived in Butte County for a short time in the 70's. Her husband at the time, actor Richard Burton, was filming the movie "The Klansman" in Oroville.
The couple lived in a house on the Skyway in Paradise and were often seen at local bars in downtown Oroville during the shoot. Carol hill was a dog groomer for almost 50 years and groomed the couple's dogs during their stay. " She was a big star, he was too, but she to me was more of a bigger star", said Hill.
Hill says she never met Taylor herself, but still holds onto a photo of herself with Taylor's dogs as a treasured keepsake. " It was kind of the talk around town so that was exciting", said Hill.
Longtime Oroville resident Ernie Paul was with the Oroville Chamber of Commerce at the time and had a big part in helping the film get off the ground. He said the movie brought in more than 2-million dollars to the city. " We estimated over 200 local people were actually made bit parts or extras in the movie", said Paul. Paul met both Taylor and and Burton. " It was quite eccentric, they had their problems as the world probably knows while they were in Oroville, but we certainly enjoyed having them here", recalled Paul. And Paul says it was almost surreal getting to know them. " It was an honor, I didn't know her personally before that time, but in my dreams I did", said Paul.
Oroville resident Kim Bertoglio was cast in the film at the time, though her scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, the filming of the movie gave her the chance to meet the couple. " She made me feel very welcome, we had dinner a couple of times and talked about family and schools", explained Bertoglio. Though she was just 17 at the time, she says the memories of Taylor will live on in all those who's lives she touched. " She was a very beautiful, gracious kind of woman, and I'm sure she's gonna be missed by many", said Bertoglio.


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