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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Profiles of Chandra Levy, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez

Aired May 25, 2002 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, the D.C. intern who was missing for more than a year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILLY MARTIN, LEVY FAMILY ATTORNEY: And now, the family's worst fears have unfortunately become a reality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: It was a mystery that gripped a nation and toppled a Congressman. Now, a family grieves and an investigation continues. The life, disappearance and death of Chandra Levy.

Then, she is one of the most glamorous women in Hollywood's history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICKEY ROONEY, CO-STAR, "NATIONAL VELVET": She had an essence of a growing beautiful child who was going to be more beautiful every day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: A movie icon whose failed marriages and struggle with addiction have played out in public.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DARRYL HICKMAN, CHILDHOOD FRIEND: I think people abused Elizabeth and I think it has been very difficult for her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Now, she's one of the leading crusaders in the fight against AIDS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH TAYLOR, ACTRESS: But that's not a practical end.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Legendary starlet, Elizabeth Taylor.

Also, she's the Latino sex symbol who has had enough and is kicking butt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER LOPEZ, ACTRESS: No matter what kind of situation you're in, you have the power within yourself to change it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: An up-close look at J.Lo, Jennifer Lopez and her latest movie. Their stories and more now on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. A grizzly discovery is the end of one mystery and the beginning of another. For more than a year the question was -- where is Chandra Levy. But now, it has become what happened to her. The missing intern's body was found earlier this week in a wooded park in Washington D.C. Levy's death has brought her case back into the headlines and she is our "Person of The Week."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHIEF CHARLES RAMSEY, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: We have received word from Dr. Arden over at the D.C. Medical Examiner's Office that the remains found earlier today are in fact Chandra Levy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): One part of a yearlong mystery has been solved.

RAMSEY: This is no longer a missing person. We're -- it's being handled as a death investigation.

MARTIN: The Levy family has been in anguish for the past year and now, the family's worst fears have unfortunately become a reality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was no ordinary missing persons case. It was a case that captivated a nation and destroyed a political career. A case involving scandal and allegations that Chandra Levy had an affair with 53-year-old married Congressman Gary Condit.

QUESTION: Mr. Condit, do you know anything about where Chandra Levy is, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Levy family lives in Congressman Condit's California district. Twenty-four-year-old Chandra had come to Washington to intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

MATT SZABO, CLASSMATE, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: She really enjoyed it and every time that I saw her or talked to her she kept convincing me, you know, you should really come out. I love D.C. I love Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The halls of power were a long way from the Levy's quiet life in Modesto, California where father, Robert, is a doctor, mother, Susan, a sculptress and younger brother, Adam, a college student.

SUSAN LEVY, MOTHER OF CHANDRA LEVY: Chandra is usually a very responsible individual and she's highly goal oriented and she really likes to help people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neighbor Joann Tittle would do Chandra's hair and the two often talked for hours at a time.

JOANN TITTLE: I would describe Chandra as very strong, directed, aware, very aware. She knew everything that was going on around her and excited. She was adventuresome. I mean she ate bugs with her parents in South America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eventually, Chandra became a vegetarian. She stayed fit by working out and jogging. And she was an avid sports fan. She spent one summer operating the scoreboard for the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.

ROBERT LEVY, FATHER OF CHANDRA LEVY: She really liked the giants and the Modesto A's and the Oakland A's and Cleveland Indians.

S. LEVY: And hockey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Levy combined her interest in sports with an interest in journalism at San Francisco State University. Levy became sports editor for the school newspaper, "The Golden Gator."

JAKUB MOSUR, CLASSMATE, SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY: One thing that really struck me was that she was like -- in here, she was good, like I knew that -- she wasn't the kind of person that would like step on a toad or something or a snail when -- if she saw it, she'd probably walk, you know, around it. And she just -- she was -- she had a really good spirit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Journalism would not be her ultimate career path.

JOHN BURKS, CHAIR, JOURNALISM DEPARTMENT, SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY: She was not interested in going into journalism, actually, that it was law enforcement or government. Both of those two things were interesting to her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Levy worked with the Modesto Police Department writing tickets for expired dog licenses. After earning her degree in only three years, she then enrolled in graduate school at the University of Southern California in 1999 with an eye towards some day working for the FBI.

SZABO: She's a very observant, you know, very astute person and so, you know, you could have a two-hour conversation and it could be, you know, one of the more interesting conversations you'll have in a month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Levy had completed her classes for a master's degree in public administration in just 18 months. She'd also done internships with the offices of the mayor of Los Angeles and the governor of California. But before graduating, she took on one last internship at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This meant moving across the country to Washington, D.C.

SZABO: She wanted to work in law enforcement. She wasn't really interested in politics or anything like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But while there, she went to AIDS Bush's inauguration and attended one of the balls. Levy expected to stay on in D.C. working full-time at the Bureau of Prisons. When her internship ran out, she was disappointed not to get a job offer. But she was excited about returning home to attend graduation from USC.

SZABO: She was looking forward to graduating. And at that point, she was deciding whether she wanted to stay in D.C. or come back to California closer to her parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She never made it to her graduation. The last time her parents hear from her is in an e-mail they receive on May 1 of last year.

S. LEVY: It was a generalized e-mail about Southwest Airlines. But she had mentioned the fact that she might take a train and come back towards California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the Levys do not hear again from Chandra for several days, they worry and contact D.C. police who search Levy's apartment.

SERGEANT JOE GENTILE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: There appear to be no signs of anything being disturbed. Her luggage was there packed and ready to go. Her credit cards were there. Money was there. So that's what makes us very concerned. This is not the usual type of missing person case we normally handle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police do find that Chandra is last seen alive at the Washington sports clubs. She goes there to cancel her membership. Investigators also discover that on the day of her disappearance, she spends time on her computer visiting an Internet site for the Klingle Mansion, which is located in Rock Creek Park. She likes to jog in the park located near her apartment. Initial clues in a missing person investigation, a case that will soon grab nationwide attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a member of Congress has been questioned in the case.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": A relationship between a missing Washington intern and her U.S. Congressman from California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congressman Gary Condit who's described their daughter as a close friend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHANDRA LEVY: Happy Birthday. Love, Uncle Palmer. (END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Within no time, rumors are swirling in the press and on the Internet about Condit's relationship with the missing 24-year-old intern from his district. Contacted by her parents for help, Condit pledges $10,000 in reward money from his campaign coughers and issues a statement describing Chandra Levy as a great person and a good friend.

S. LEVY: Anyone and everyone helping me bring my daughter back.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I'm sure Senator Boxer's staff will join in doing this too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Levy's parents come to Washington to publicize her case, they get support from California's senior senator, who downplays the Levy-Condit connection.

FEINSTEIN: To my knowledge, there is no linkage other than the fact that they were friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the same time, Levy's parents are back on the East Coast making another round of appeals. Publicly anyway, they refuse to implicate Congressman Condit.

S. LEVY: I want to keep the story about finding Chandra not on some kind of scandal or story that sounds like a -- you know, a Monica thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But by now, this has become a Monica thing. As Condit maintains his silence, the press smells blood, sensing that Condit, like Bill Clinton before him, hasn't been entirely truthful about his relationship with the young intern. With Levy now missing six weeks, it seems like there is only one man in the viewfinder, Gary Condit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gary Condit, resign. Do the right thing. Get out.

LINDA ZAMSKY, AUNT OF CHANDRA LEVY: The statement is here if anybody wants it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chandra Levy's aunt claims her niece confided in her that she and Condit were having an affair.

ZAMSKY: She told me they don't go out much, that they spend time -- most of the time they spent together was at home watching movies, just reading the newspaper, just being together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Within 24 hours Condit meets with police for a third time and police sources say he finally admits he had a romantic relationship with the missing intern.

ZAMSKY: I think he in not being honest about his relationship with Chandra in the beginning that leads me to think that he is hiding something. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In mid summer, the investigation moves forward. Police search Condit's Washington, D.C. apartment and comb area parks.

S. LEVY: Every day, we wake up and we have tears. And mornings are most tough, being up in the morning. And we just hope and pray that my daughter comes home, that she is alive. We try to keep hope and faith.

R. LEVY: And we just want to find her and find out what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just days after this interview, the media frenzy surrounding the case evaporates on September 11. Condit is ruled out as a suspect and the investigation continues but out of the public eye. Until this year, when Condit runs for re-election.

REP. GARY CONDIT (D), CALIFORNIA: I want to thank the voters at the 18th Congressional District for allowing me to serve in Congress for 11 years and...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Condit loses the Democratic primary in March. On April 30, exactly one year since Chandra is last seen alive, her parents continue to keep her case in the public eye.

R. LEVY: We haven't seen her. We haven't talked with her. We really miss her. We hope that she's alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That hope is distinguished just weeks later when Chandra Levy's remains are discovered in a park she frequented, a parent's worst nightmare has come true.

S. LEVY: It's been very hard. You see I'm not wearing a wristwatch. I have stopped wearing watches because time is really painful when you don't have your loved one with you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Coming up...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAYLOR: I want to be a famous rider.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: From child actor to one of the silver screen's most striking beauties, Elizabeth Taylor, a lifetime in the spotlight when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Here's Paula Zahn.

ZAHN: If anyone has made the glare of celebrity, their champion and their companion, it is Elizabeth Taylor. From adoration and the claim to gossip and innuendo, Taylor has always seemed to command the spotlight. And while she's more recognized today for her charity work, she remains to many, the ultimate movie star. Here's Sharon Collins.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF")

TAYLOR: Do you know what I feel like? I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof.

PAUL NEWMAN, ACTOR: Then jump off the roof, Maggie, jump off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARON COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A frustrated wife in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and a young jockey in "National Velvet." Elizabeth Taylor's had roles in more than 40 movies. Two Oscars, seven husbands and several life-threatening conditions later, it seems Taylor, at the age of 70, has finally settled into the role she was born to play, that of a crusader in the fight against AIDS.

TAYLOR: We need more money for AIDS and we need it now. We must not spread fear or panic in our education. We are at war with a virus. We must not be at war with each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Elizabeth Taylor.

COLLINS: After spending over a half century on screen, Taylor is putting her enormous fame to work off screen.

TAYLOR: Enough is enough.

(APPLAUSE)

COLLINS: Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London, February 27, 1932 to American parents. The family fled at the start of World War II and by 1940, they were in southern California and Elizabeth was in pictures, becoming a contract player for MGM Studios.

TAYLOR: I want to be a famous rider.

COLLINS: In 1944, "National Velvet" made Elizabeth Taylor a reluctant sensation at the age of 12.

HICKMAN: The truth of it is, the worst way to grow up ever is to be a child actor. It was very difficult to be treated the way she was treated. The studio used her. I think probably her parents used her. I think the public used her. I think the media has used her. I think people have used Elizabeth and I think it's been very difficult for her.

ROONEY: She wasn't a kid in "National Velvet." She had the essence of a growing, beautiful child who was going to be more beautiful every day. HICKMAN: She suddenly became a woman. I guess it was happening. We were all under contract together, but one day I saw her as a girl and then the next day, she must have been 14 or 15, suddenly there was this most beautiful woman I ever saw.

GEORGE HAMILTON, FRIEND: First of all, this is magnetism in these eyes that are a color that you really can't -- really can't explain. They don't even show up in the film. You see them in life and you go, "Wow!"

TAYLOR: Wow!

COLLINS: A beauty that was on full display opposite Montgomery Clift in her 1951 picture, "A Place in The Sun".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "PLACE IN THE SUN")

TAYLOR: Hello.

MONTGOMERY CLIFT, CO-STAR, "A PLACE IN THE SUN": Hello.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HICKMAN: And then, her career went in such a way that she became beyond where most of us were and I'm -- maybe I have no right to say this, I'm not sure that it ever made her that comfortable.

TAYLOR: I'd like you to meet my new dog, Bonko (ph).

COLLINS: When we return, Elizabeth Taylor all grown up now goes into a life of celebrity, chaos and heart break.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Also ahead, Jennifer Lopez has had enough in this week's screen scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOPEZ: It was challenging. It was physically challenging, but it was fun because I'm athletic by nature.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: We now return to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: With Elizabeth Taylor, MGM brass knew they had a star on hair hands and as luck would have it, her May 1950 wedding to Conrad Nicholas Hilton, heir to the Hilton hotel fortune, coincided with the release of "Father of The Bride."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pronounce that they are man and wife in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

COLLINS: To ensure a fairly tale event, the studio went so far as to design the 18-year-old Taylor's wedding dress, dress her bridesmaids and arrange the flowers.

CONRAD NICHOLAS HILTON, FIRST HUSBAND: Well, we're looking forward to a very wonderful trip and I know that my bride and myself are going to have a wonderful time in Europe. Honey, what about it?

TAYLOR: Well, I certainly am looking forward to it.

HICKMAN: I knew Nicky and I liked Nicky. But Nicky was a difficult -- had a difficult life himself.

COLLINS: And it was a difficult marriage. Less than six months passed before it was over.

VAN JOHNSON, ACTOR: Norman Crasel (ph) looked at Elizabeth one day, our director, and he said, "Elizabeth, I think you're in for a very (UNINTELLIGIBLE) life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What day are you getting married, Mr. Wilding?

MICHAEL WILDING, ACTOR: Well, I hope to God -- I hope Friday, maybe Saturday. But I hope for Friday, even Thursday if I can.

COLLINS: It was Michael Wilding, a popular British actor, who next would woo Elizabeth Taylor and win her. Twenty years his junior, she was still only 19 years old when she married him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: London Airport and arriving in Britain is film star Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding. They've come to spend a holiday at home and to have blue-eyed, seven-month-old son, Michael, christened.

COLLINS: The Wildings were happy enough for a time. They had two sons, Michael born in 1953 and Christopher sharing his mother's birthday in February of 1955.

TAYLOR: Please do go on talking. I'd love it.

COLLINS: Later that year, Taylor was shooting "Giant," playing opposite heartthrob, Rock Hudson, and a young upstart named James Dean.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "GIANT")

JAMES DEAN, CO-STAR, "GIANT": I guess you're about the best- looking gal we've seen around here in a long time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Twenty-four-year-old Dean and 23-year-old Taylor bonded off screen. It was a friendship that would end abruptly with Dean's tragic death. DENNIS HOPPER, ACTOR: Jimmy died at the -- two weeks before we finished the movie and I remember Elizabeth was very close to Jimmy and she would come in and get ready to work and then she would just fall apart and have to be sedated and start crying hysterically and have to be taken off the set.

COLLINS: It wouldn't be the first time Elizabeth Taylor would lose a man she loved. By "Giant's" premier, one year later, her relationship with Michael Wilding was over and she was on to the next, a hot romance with extravagant showman, Mike Todd.

TAYLOR: The day after my separation with Michael Wilding, Mike called me and said he had to see me right away. He just told me. And Mike just charged in. I mean rather like a bull, he just charged in without saying a word to anyone. And he came over to the table and he grabbed me by the arm. He sort of plopped me down on the couch, pulled a chair around and started in on a spiel that lasted about an hour and a half without a stop, saying that he loved me and that there was no question about it, but we were going to be married. So I was absolutely sort of hypnotized.

COLLINS: Twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth Taylor married for the third time becoming Mrs. Mike Todd on February 2, 1957.

TAYLOR: When Mike bought me my engagement ring, I think he was almost as proud of it as I was. But he always used to make a joke about it, saying that it was 29 and seven-eighths carets because 30 would have been vulgar. I call it my ice skating rink.

TOM MANKIEWICZ, DIRECTOR: He was a larger than life character and from everybody's perception at the time, he was the man who could tame her. He, Mike Todd, was never shy about turning to her in public and saying, "Shut up." And for somebody like that, I think it was a very refreshing -- there was no question that even though she was the biggest star in the world, he was a star.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you suggest a good fight now and then to married couples, Mike?

MIKE TODD, PRODUCER: Well, we're not introverts. We -- if we have something to say, I say, "Hey Liz." And she's always, "Hey Mike" and I -- and if you make a Dreyfus case out of that, then it's too bad. But we're very -- well, I -- we're so happy...

TAYLOR: It doesn't matter. I don't really care what anybody thinks anyway because we know. And we'll know 20 or 30 years from now if we're still alive.

COLLINS: The loving couple had a daughter, Liza, on the sixth of August 1957, but before her first birthday, she would lose her father.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the private plane named for his wife, the drama of the showman reaches (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He was rarely without her as in these last films of him alive. Mike Todd left Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood because she had a virus and flew to his death in an isolated mountain valley 22 miles southwest of Grants, New Mexico.

COLLINS: A widow at 26, Elizabeth Taylor found comfort in singer, Eddie Fisher, who had been a close friend of the Todds. There was one catch though -- Fisher was married to Debbie Reynolds. Sympathy for Elizabeth Taylor was short-lived. The public was appalled when Fisher left America's sweetheart to take up with Taylor.

HAMILTON: What's charming about Elizabeth Taylor is that just when you think that she can live without a man, that's when a man becomes the most necessary thing in her life.

COLLINS: She converted to Judaism and married Eddie Fisher in Las Vegas in 1959.

TAYLOR: How much are you willing to pay for that...

COLLINS: Despite her chaotic personal life, Elizabeth Taylor was flourishing as an actress, sharing the screen that year with two of Hollywood's heavyweights in "Suddenly Last Summer."

MANKIEWICZ: But I do think "Suddenly Last Summer" is her best performance. It's just extraordinary and sometimes a little overlooked because she's always on the screen with Kate Hepburn and Montgomery Clift and some, but she's the one that's dishing it out and doing it. She's terrific in that picture.

COLLINS: After "Suddenly Last Summer," Elizabeth Taylor became the first seven-figure actress demanding and getting an unprecedented $1 million to play "Cleopatra" for 20th Century Fox.

But before MGM would release her from her contract, Taylor was forced to make a film she would always dislike, "Butterfield 8" in which she played a call girl.

Finally, in late 1960, she went to London to film "Cleopatra." London was cold and rainy. A fragile Taylor became ill not once but twice. The second time with a viral pneumonia that nearly killed her.

MANKIEWICZ: She could get so sick so quickly, I remember, and where other people would just get a cold, she would have pneumonia.

COLLINS: In April of 1961, one month after an emergency tracheotomy saved her life, Elizabeth Taylor accepted her first Oscar for "Butterfield 8." She had won not only the Academy Award but the affection of her public again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CLEOPATRA")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing like this has come into Rome since Romulus and Remus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: In September of 1961, "Cleopatra" resumed shooting this time in Rome with Richard Burton playing Marc Anthony. The film was epic in every regard, including the real life love affair that erupted between Taylor and Burton. Again, lives and marriages would be torn apart, his to Sybil Burton, mother of his two small children, and hers to Eddie Fisher.

MARTIN LANDAU, CO-STAR, "CLEOPATRA": I walked into makeup at 7:30 in the morning and Elizabeth was sitting in the makeup department. Richard came in and said, "Morning, Martin" went to her, kissed her on the forehead, and sat down in the chair next to me, and I said, "Oh, boy. Oh, my God."

COLLINS: It was the first relationship lived out under the prying eyes of the paparazzi, and a huge international scandal.

MANKIEWICZ: The Vatican denounced it, and we're in Rome. Several members of Congress got on the floor to propose taking away her passport. Press credentials to get on to the set of "Cleopatra" were worth I don't know what on the black market. How somebody lives with that with a sense of humor and yet obviously with all kinds of things really wrenching her, but how she navigated through it, how she didn't just toss it in or whatever, I don't know.

COLLINS: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were free to marry in 1964. They worked together again in 1966 in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" The movie seemed to mirror their often rocky off- screen relationship.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?")

TAYLOR: You married me for it!

RICHARD BURTON, ACTOR: You're a monster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: It also earned Taylor her second Oscar.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?")

TAYLOR: But I am not a monster!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you think your relationship with Richard Burton was so fiery? Was it temperament or was it just the booze?

TAYLOR: No, I think we were two very volatile people. As a matter of fact, we were like two atom bombs and when we'd go off together there would be this tremendous explosion, but we'd come down together and we didn't sulk and we didn't pout and it never lasted. And we had a ball fighting.

COLLINS: They would marry twice, finally divorcing for the second time in 1976, but the mystique of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton never disappeared.

KATE BURTON, DAUGHTER OF RICHARD BURTON: They were such a corporation there for a while, that I mean, you know, they both went to much more low-key relationships after each other, understandably, really.

COLLINS: Taylor retreated from the Hollywood spotlight to the horse country of Virginia, taking up with politician John Warner. But after five years as the wife of a United States senator, Elizabeth Taylor realized her seventh marriage was a mismatch.

Warner and Taylor divorced in 1982, when she was 50 years old. A year later, Burton died of a stroke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know you don't have regrets, because that's not your style, but do you somehow wish that you had been reunited with Richard Burton?

TAYLOR: I'm sure we will be one day.

COLLINS: For Elizabeth Taylor the struggles would continue, but so would her determination. When we return, Taylor takes on a new challenge late in life.

TAYLOR: We have only one weapon to combat the spread of AIDS. That weapon is education.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Elizabeth Taylor uses passion to reinvent herself yet again, coming up on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, but first here's this week's "Passages."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sweet Baby James, you have got a bridge. A North Carolina board has voted to name a bridge in Chapel Hill after singer James Taylor. Taylor has always been a hit in the Tar Heel State. His song "Carolina On My Mind" is an unofficial state anthem. The bridge will run over a Morgan Creek, where Taylor grew up.

Deadheads, fire up the VW van and breakout the tie dye. The band is back together. The surviving members of jam-band "The Grateful Dead" are getting back together for a two-day concert in Wisconsin this August. The concert will be the first time the "Dead" have played together since leader Jerry Garcia's death in 1995.

The surviving members will also perform with their own bands as well, and make note of this -- munchies and patchouli not included.

The queen of nice has closed the castle. Talker Rosie O'Donnell taped her final show in New York this Wednesday. Rosie will be taking time off to spend time with her family. She and partner Kelli Carpenter are expecting a baby in December.

The final episode featured an appearance by Nathan Lane and a taped segment by Tom Cruise. Rosie's dream man fulfilled a long-time fantasy by mowing her lawn and bringing her lemonade.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Here's your lemonade.

For more celebrity news, pick up a copy of "People" magazine this week. We'll be right back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Elizabeth Taylor has always known the sweet smell of success, but could she bottle it? Well, as the '70s ended Taylor found a new passion and a new cause. Here again is Sharon Collins.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Elizabeth Taylor.

COLLINS: The '80s was a decade of extremes for Elizabeth Taylor.

TAYLOR: Where passion rules, how weak does reason prove? You'll see.

COLLINS: Taylor launched two of the most successful perfumes in history, but her acting career seemed to disappear and the media became consumed with her unusual friendships and her battles with weight. By 1983, Elizabeth Taylor was clearly unhealthy. She was an alcoholic and she was addicted to pills. After a family intervention, she checked herself into the Betty Ford clinic.

TAYLOR: I admitted to myself that I was an alcoholic and I had a problem with prescription pills. And in order to survive, in order to live, I had to change that.

COLLINS: During a second stay at Betty Ford, Taylor met construction worker Larry Fortensky. Many people were bewildered by their relationship, but in 1991, at age 59, Elizabeth Taylor, now a grandmother of eight, married the 39-year-old Fortensky at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Four-and-a-half years later, her eighth marriage was over.

No longer someone's wife, Taylor immersed herself in the fight against AIDS, something she had been passionate about for some time. Taylor co-founded AMFAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, in 1985. It was the same year her dear friend and former co-star Rock Hudson died as a result of the disease. In 1991, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation was formed, raising more than $8 million to date for AIDS service organizations around the world.

And in 1992, she was recognized with the Gene Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar.

TAYLOR: It's all fine and well to say abstain from sex, but that's not a practical answer.

COLLINS: From testifying on Capitol Hill to lobbying politicians for research money, Taylor never minced words when fighting for the cause, once saying that then-president George Bush didn't even know how to spell AIDS.

TAYLOR: AIDS education must be forthright and understandable.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Elizabeth Taylor has brought to life unforgettable characters on film. But she has brought even more hope to millions around the world. We thank her for sharing her talent and her heart. Thank you, Elizabeth Taylor.

COLLINS: In 2001, her humanitarian work earned Elizabeth Taylor the Presidential Citizen's Medal, but no honor was greater for the British native than the dameship bestowed upon her by Queen Elizabeth one year earlier.

TAYLOR: It is the most exciting -- and I do not exaggerate -- day of my life.

COLLINS: And as she enjoys her seventieth year...

TAYLOR: I'm a great-great grandmother.

COLLINS: It's clear Elizabeth Taylor has no intention of slowing down.

TAYLOR: I feel wonderful! And world, watch out!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Elizabeth Taylor is currently working on a book about something close to her heart, her diamonds, and how she got them. It will include the thirty-three-and-a-third carat square diamond she received as a gift from Richard Burton. The book is due out this fall.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up, where's Johnny? Ten years after Johnny Carson said goodbye, where are your "Tonight Show" favorites?

And later, J.Lo gets revenge, when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS CONTINUES.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Jennifer Lopez is fed up and fighting back. Not in real life but in her movie.

Coming up, J.Lo right hooks Mr. Wrong. But first, it has been 10 years since the king of late night television said his final goodbye. The last episode of the "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" aired May 22, 1992. Johnny, Ed, and the rest of the "Tonight Show" cast walked off as the gold standard. But where are they now?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED MCMAHON, TV PERSONALITY: Here's Johnny!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For more than 30 years, Americans stayed up late to see their favorite stars yuck it up in the "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." It was a haven for animals, Hollywood's elite, and everything in between.

So where are all your favorite stars and guests from the "Tonight Show" now? Doc Severinsen was the "Tonight" show's band leader for more than 20 years. He was known for his big band sound and his flashy wardrobe. So where is Doc Severinsen today?

Doc has kept busy in music throughout the years. He is celebrating his 19th year as the principal pops conductor for the Phoenix symphony orchestra. He is also acting as a new kind of doc. Last September he was appointed as the distinguished visiting professor of music at Arizona State University School of Music.

MCMAHON: The "Tonight Show," starring Johnny Carson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He played the Tonto to Johnny's Lone Ranger. Ed McMahon is one of the most recognizable sidekicks in television history, sitting next to Johnny until the final show. So where is Ed McMahon now?

The "hi-oo" man can still be seen in living rooms across America on shows like "TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes." He also takes time for charity work, co-hosting the annual MDA telethons with Jerry Lewis.

The undisputed king of late night television, Johnny Carson entertained us for years.

JOHNNY CARSON, FORMER TV TALK SHOW HOST: You folks are here on a great night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baby boomers grew up on Carson characters like Carnac (ph).

CARSON: Piggly Wiggly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So where is Johnny Carson today?

When Johnny retired, he meant it.

CARSON: I bid you a very heartfelt good night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has made few public appearances, but found time to show up on an episode of "The Simpsons."

CARSON: Krusty, how are you holding up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He recently gave his first interview in almost 10 years to "Esquire" magazine last month. In the article he revealed that during his hibernation he has learned Swahili.

She was more famous than any animal to come out of the San Diego Zoo. Joan Embry was a "Tonight Show" fixture, bringing creatures of the weird and wild to torment Johnny.

CARSON: Gah! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So where is Joan Embry now? Embry still appears on television, promoting global conservation of endangered species. She still serves as a goodwill ambassador for the San Diego Zoo and also tours across the country, educating people about wildlife. She now lives on a 50-acre ranch in California, where she raises horses with her husband Duane Pilsbury (ph).

We'll be right back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Everyone has their limits. And Jennifer Lopez has reached hers in the new thriller "Enough." J.Lo stars as a beleaguered wife who turns the tables on her predatory husband. It's just the latest in a genre that seems to have strong appeal with female audiences.

It's also the latest in our "screen scene."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Action!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actress Jennifer Lopez is fighting for her life. The singer turned movie star makes herself loud and clear in the new psychological thriller, "Enough."

JENNIFER LOPEZ, ACTRESS: The message is very clear. No matter what kind of situation you're in, however bad or grave it is, that you have the power within yourself to change it.

MICHAEL APTED, DIRECTOR, "ENOUGH": It is a larger than life story. It is a drama, it is a thriller, but nonetheless, you know, it does deal with the issues of abuse and women as victims.

BILLY CAMPBELL, ACTOR: You know, love is a scary thing, how powerful it is, what it does to you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In "Enough," Lopez stars as a woman who must fight to save herself and her daughter from an abusive husband. One of the ways her character fights back is through a deadly martial art.

LOPEZ: I did all the training to learn this fighting technique called Krav Maga.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The technique is an aggressive sort of street fighting developed by the Israeli army. The star trained for three months and learned how to kick some serious on-screen butt.

LOPEZ: I'm athletic by nature so it wasn't something I felt, God, this is so out of my reach, I can't do this. But to get ready for the role, I mean, it also helped kind of emotionally with the character to kind of empower herself that way as well. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Enough" co-starred Juliette Lewis, no stranger to violent movies like "Natural Born Killers" and "Cape Fear," stars with Lopez in the film.

JULIETTE LEWIS, ACTRESS: I think Jennifer really did research in this whole department and really invested herself to find out what that situation is like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actor Billy Campbell takes on the role of the abusive husband, a part, he says, is a welcome departure from the good guy he played in the recently canceled TV drama "Once and Again."

CAMPBELL: It does get a little tiring, you know, especially in this latest sort of manifestation of nice guyness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Campbell says all his worries about working with megastar Lopez, and reports of her megastar demands, vanished quickly.

CAMPBELL: I'd heard all the things that float around in the ether about J.Lo and almost certainly all those things are total fabrications. I thought, you know, she might breathe fire or something. But no. It was entirely a wonderful experience working with her.

APTED: You never know what you're in for with a big star. Stories and reputations and all of this. But, you know, it was kind of thrilling, really, when she came to me to rehearse for 10 days and then do the 60 day shoot, she was with me and focused.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Co-star and "E.R." TV doc Noah Wylie agrees the J.Lo diva reputation is a myth.

NOAH WYLIE, ACTOR: In all candor, I was sort of curious to see whether or not this entity that was J.Lo was going to be an entity or a person, an actress or, you know, a machine. And what I met was a very personable, extremely professional woman who takes her work very seriously.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the age of 31, Jennifer Lopez is a multi-million dollar entertainment powerhouse. Lopez, better known as J.Lo, has been dubbed a one-woman three ring circus. When she's not filming blockbuster movies like "Enough," or grabbing national headlines for what she is or isn't wearing, Lopez is making music.

J.Lo has two multi-platinum albums under her belt, including big hits like "If You Had My Love."

LOPEZ: ...put out the music, people wouldn't have been as drawn to my movies maybe as they are now, so -- and that's a good thing because I feel like with the movies I do such a different thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That different thing has catapulted Lopez into stardom. She is now one of the most powerful actresses in Hollywood, commanding $12 million a movie.

LOPEZ: "In Living Color." Oh God, the start of my career.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lopez got her first big break in 1990 as one of the fly girls on TV's "In Living Color." The star's 1997 film "Selena" came next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SELENA")

LOPEZ: You doing OK? The guy's treating you all right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her portrayal as the late Tejano singer established her as a break-through talent and landed her more big screen roles. Parts in box-office sellouts like "The Cell" and the sci-fi horror film "Anaconda."

LOPEZ: It was like wet, very wet. Dirty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And back on land, with George Clooney in "Out of Sight," as well as last year's hit "The Wedding Planner."

LOPEZ: Where did you learn to dance like this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The star's own love life made headlines in 1999. She and then-boyfriend rap mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs were arrested for their involvement in a night club shooting. Lopez spent 13 hours in custody but was never charged. The star broke it off with rapper Combs and found new romance last year with dancer Chris Judd. The two tied the knot in September. So what's next for the star who's got her man, music, and movies?

LOPEZ: It feels great to be able to have an idea, cultivate it, put it in the ground like a seed, and watch it grow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's currently shooting another movie with leading man Ben Affleck. Also on the horizon, a J.Lo clothing line and a new perfume. But don't get too used to calling her J.Lo. She says she plans on dropping the nickname and returning to Jennifer Lopez with her next album.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: "Enough," starring Jennifer Lopez, opened nationwide this week.

And that is it for this edition of "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS." Coming up next week, fights, bites and outrage.

Mike Tyson is back in for another swing. I'm Paula Zahn. Thanks so much for joining us and be sure to join me every weekday for "AMERICAN MORNING" right here on CNN. Have a good weekend.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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