Liz Taylor celebrates 75th birthday at Nevada resort

Elizabeth Taylor arrived fashionably late to her 75th birthday party decked out in diamonds and fur.

Elizabeth Taylor arrived fashionably late to her 75th birthday party decked out in diamonds and fur.

The London-born Hollywood icon came down the red carpet at a Las Vegas-area resort in a wheelchair last night. She was escorted by her 52-year-old son, Christopher Wilding, who shares the same birthday.

Ms Taylor smiled and batted her trademark violet eyes as photographers sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

When asked about the secret to her longevity, she quipped: “Hangin’ in”.

Guests including Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher, magicians Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn, and model Kathy Ireland turned out for the private party at the Medici Café and Terrace at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas.

Ms Reynolds said she had known Ms Taylor since they were both 17 and under contract to MGM. Both women were married at separate times to Eddie Fisher.

“We’ve had a very unusual friendship, and it’s lasted all these years,” Ms Reynolds said.

Roy Horn called the evening “a great night for a great lady”.

Some 75 people were expected for a Mardi Gras-themed dinner of jambalaya, prime rib, collard greens, sweet potatoes and cake.

Among Ms Taylor’s closest friends is pop star Michael Jackson, whose spokeswoman confirmed that he is now living in Las Vegas.

Ms Taylor said she spoke with Jackson earlier in the day but did not expect him to attend her party.

Besides Christopher, her children Michael Wilding, 54, Elizabeth “Liza” Todd, 49, and Maria Burton, 45, were at the party.

The Academy Award-winning actress, who uses a wheelchair because of back problems, last year dismissed tabloid reports that she was being treated for early Alzheimer’s disease or was gravely ill.

Ms Taylor has won two Oscars for best actress and starred in more than 55 films, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Butterfield 8, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Cleopatra.

She has been named by the American Film Institute as among the greatest actresses of all time.

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