LOS ANGELES–Sitting alone in a darkened screening room in her secluded mansion atop the Hollywood Hills, actress Elizabeth Taylor watched Cleopatra, the 1963 epic starring herself and Richard Burton. "I was the greatest of them all," said Taylor, gazing upon her younger self as the queen of the Nile. "In one week, I received 17,000 fan letters. Men bribed my hairdresser to get a lock of my hair. There was a maharajah who came all the way from India to beg one of my silk stockings. Later he strangled himself with it!" After she finished watching the film, Taylor informed its director, Joseph Mankiewicz, who died in 1993, that she was ready for her close-up.