Gest Credits Taylor With Career

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March 25, 2011 | 5:10am EST

Music producer David Gest has credited his late pal Dame Elizabeth Taylor with revitalising his career after she advised him on how to produce a Hollywood awards ceremony.
Gest was in the early stages of his career when he accepted a job behind the scenes at the American Cinema Awards in the 1980s, and the star is sure it was Taylor’s guidance which made the ceremony such a “huge success”.

He tells Britain’s The Sun, “It is thanks to Elizabeth that I was able to forge a successful career as a producer. The awards show was only the third thing I had produced and she sat and told me exactly how to do it.

“Initially I said: ‘No, I want to do it my way.’ But 20 minutes after leaving her house I called her back and said: ‘No, I am going to do it your way.’

“The show was a huge success. I ended up following that format for the rest of my career and many others copied it too.”

Gest has also added to the tributes to his close friend, who died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

He adds, “Elizabeth Taylor was a class act, a true professional who was always there for her friends and was true to her word. She was an incredibly gracious woman, warm and funny.

“She was the most giving entertainer I have ever met. She was the ultimate movie star, a larger than life character. From her huge catalogue of work to her multiple marriages and, of course, her lavish shopping habits.

“Elizabeth’s death marks the end of a golden Hollywood era. I am afraid they simply don’t make them like her any more.”

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