Si Amalia Fuentes ang "Elizabeth Taylor of the Philippines" dahil sa strong resemblance niya sa legendary Hollywood actress.
Bukod sa malaki ang pagkakahawig nila ni Elizabeth, parehong pumanaw sa edad na 79 ang dalawa.
Sumakabilang-buhay si Elizabeth noong March 23, 2011, samantalang yumao si Amalia ngayong October 5, 2019.
Nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na magkaharap sina Amalia at Elizabeth nang personal noong dekada ’80.
Ito ang bahagi ng interview ni Ricky Lo ng The Philippine Star sa Filipino movie queen, isang araw matapos pumanaw si Elizabeth noong March 2011.
Hiningi ng Cabinet Files ang permiso ni Ricky na ilabas sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang exclusive interview niya kay Amalia tungkol sa pagtatagpo nito at ni Elizabeth sa London...
When did Amalia finally come face-to-face with Elizabeth Taylor?
It happened in the ‘80s when she and estranged husband Joey Stevens watched Elizabeth in the play The Little Foxes in London’s West End.
Amalia wore a white dress which she bought during an earlier trip to Italy and purposely wore a curly hairstyle reminiscent of one Elizabeth wore in one of her movies. She and Joey sat at the first row.
After the intermission, they could heard whispers (you know, could she be Elizabeth Taylor?) as they returned to their seats, occupying the front row instead of their original front-row seats.
More whispers: She couldn’t be Elizabeth Taylor. She’s in the play, so why would she sit with the audience?
After the show, Amalia rushed to the backstage door and waited for Elizabeth to come out, ready with her Playbill to be autographed by her.
At 5’5” wearing three-inch heels, Amalia towered over Elizabeth who was only 5’1” tall.
“I was literally looking at the back of her head,” said Amalia, “so I thought of doing something to make her look at me.
"I said, ‘You know, I’m also an actress and in my country, they said that I look like you!’
"That did it. Elizabeth raised her head and, with her violet eyes (that, I would learn later, turned blue-green when she was under the sun), she looked at me and smiled, saying, ‘Hmmm,’ signed my Playbill and sped away in her chauffeur-driven car.”
Sa panayam ni Ricky kay Amalia, ipinagtapat nitong hindi niya gusto ang tawag sa kanyang "Elizabeth Taylor of the Philippines," na idea ni Sampaguita Pictures producer Dr. Jose Perez.
“The truth is that I never really liked it.
"God in His wisdom never creates two persons exactly the same.
"Even in the case of identical twins, one is always slightly different from the other.
“I was starting in showbiz when that ‘title’ was given to me, but I wanted to have my own identity, to be known on my own merits and not because I’m being likened to somebody.”
Amalia recalled that when Sampaguita launched her, Doc Perez saw that she was a cross between Elizabeth Taylor and Linda Darnell and since Elizabeth was the bigger star, it was logical to just market the new discovery as the Elizabeth Taylor of the Philippines.
At that time, Philippine Movies was so heavily influenced by Hollywood that Filipino actors and actresses were publicized as Hollywood’s local counterparts.
Thus, besides Amalia Fuentes being Elizabeth Taylor of the Philippines, we have Barbara Perez as Audrey Hepburn of the Philippines, Berting Labra as Mickey Rooney of the Philippines, Tessie Agana as the Shirley Temple of the Philippines, Merle Tuazon as Ava Gardner of the Philippines, Chona Sandoval as Pier Angeli of the Philippines, Lou Salvador Jr. as James Dean of the Philippines and Eddie Mesa as Elvis Presley of the Philippines.
Ikinuwento rin ni Amalia ang chance encounter nila ni Eddie Fisher sa isang casino sa Las Vegas.
Si Fisher ang ex-husband ni Elizabeth na kahihiwalay lamang sa aktres nang makilala siya ni Amalia.
“I chose a slot machine near the door, dropping small coins just for fun.
"Then, I noticed that a man with several escorts was walking in my direction. I thought they were headed for the door.
"I was surprised when he walked straight toward me and said,” Hi, I am Eddie Fisher!’ Of course, I knew who he was!
“Lumabas ang pagka-fan ko.
“I started asking Fisher, ‘Is she beautiful? How does she look in person?’ Excited ako.”
Ayon kay Amalia, ngumiti si Fisher sa kanya at sumagot ng “You look like her!”
Inimbitahan ni Fisher si Amalia para sa cocktails, pero magalang na tumanggi ang Filipino movie queen.