Lifetime finally confirmed that tabloid darling Lindsay Lohan has been cast as Elizabeth Taylor in its biopic “Liz & Dick.”
See? Perpetual Internet hype-whisper does sometimes become fact.
Negotiations for that bit of casting were first reported last fall, in the thick of Lohan’s interesting party, rehab, jail, house arrest, morgue-internship period.
Only in March was Lohan able to turn her attention back to “acting,” via a guest-hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live,” for which she got mostly poor reviews but really good ratings. Lohan attracted 7.4 million people to the March 3 “SNL” broadcast — the second-most-watched “SNL” of the season, behind only the episode hosted by NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. (Barkley had a huge ratings advantage because of a prime-time NFL playoff game that Saturday night.)
“Eureka!” shouted Lifetime. “We have our Liz!” — at least the network did in the Lohan biopic in our head.
“We are thrilled Lindsay will portray beloved Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor,” Lifetime Networks Executive Veep Rob Sharenow said in Monday’s announcement. “She is one of the rare actresses who possesses the talent, beauty and intrigue to capture the spirit of such a provocative icon.”
“I am very honored to have been asked to play this role,” Lohan said, returning the compliment. “I have always admired and had enormous respect for Elizabeth Taylor.
“She was not only an incredible actress but an amazing woman as well.”
Larry Thompson (“Lucy & Desi”) is producing “Liz & Dick,” and Christopher Monger (HBO’s “Temple Grandin”) is writing, but no word Monday on who will play “Dick” — a.k.a. Liz Taylor’s husband and frequent co-star Richard Burton — or when the flick will premiere.
Taylor was married eight times, but she married Burton the most (twice): He was husband Nos. 5 and 6. It was after her second break with Burton that she married Sen. John Warner.
Taylor is quoted as having said that Burton was one of three loves of her life, the other two being her third husband, Michael Todd, and jewelry.
Taylor and Burton met on the set of the 1963 Joseph L. Mankiewicz-directed, problem-plagued, orgy of excess called “Cleopatra.” They dumped their respective spouses and married in 1964.
In its announcement, Lifetime insisted that “despite their roller coaster romance . . . they shared an undeniable love greater than most people could have ever dreamed.”
Taylor and Burton appeared together in 11 flicks, including “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Lifetime is on a bit of a roll these days, thanks in large measure to the new Sunday series “The Client List,” starring Jennifer “Love to Her Friends” Hewitt as a former beauty queen, mom of two and wife of an unemployed guy who lands a job at a massage parlor, only to discover it’s that kind of massage parlor, and they work on prominent members of society.
“The Client List” averaged 4 million viewers when it premiered as a two-hour movie/back-door pilot in July; the actual series debut, earlier this month, snagged 3 million viewers