Former Fiancé Shares Love Letters from Elizabeth Taylor
Before Richard Burton, before Eddie Fisher, before any of her many other husbands, there was another dashing young man who was the secret love of Elizabeth Taylor's life.
She fell head-over-heels in love with William Pawley, Jr., the 28-year-old son of a former U.S. Ambassador, during a family vacation in Florida.
Taylor's first love is now 90 years old and he's speaking for the first time about the screen goddess.
Pawley told INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent, "It was love at first sight, I'll tell you that."
Trent asked, "If you had married her, do you think your marriage would have lasted?"
"I do," replied Pawley.
They met in 1949. Taylor was just 17 years old and was already a breathtakingly beautiful movie star.
On pale blue stationary she wrote him: "I've never known this kind of love before. It's so perfect and complete."
She called him "Bill darling" and "My dearest baby," and told him, "You are my whole life."
She inscribed: "Bill, until tomorrow. Love, Elizabeth" on the back of one of her photos.
They broke up over 60 years ago, but Pawley told Trent he spoke to Taylor just last year.
"She didn't forget me completely, but she tried to, I think," said Pawley.
It was so serious, an engagement notice actually appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper.
He gave her a white diamond ring—the first of many diamonds she'd be given by adoring lovers.
But studio bigwigs did their best to keep her relationship with Pawley under wraps. The studio wanted Taylor to date famous football player Glenn Davis.
An angry Taylor wrote: "I don't care what they say anymore. From now on, I'm going to live my life the way I want to."
Her letters to Pawley are filled with sweet moments like: "As I'm sitting here writing to you, I'm just stuffing myself on a box of candy. Honestly, I've got to stop eating so much."
She even offered to give up her career for him. Taylor wrote in one letter: "I'm only ready to say farewell to my career and everything connected to it."
In the end, Pawley was jealous of all the attention showered on his beautiful fiancée. Their engagement ended after six months and a heartbroken Taylor returned his ring.
In a letter to Pawley, Taylor wrote: "I know with all my heart and soul that this is not the end for us. It couldn't be. We love each other too much."
She married her first husband, Nicky Hilton, just eight months later.
Trent asked Pawley, "Were you heartbroken?"
"I was indeed. I didn't marry for 25 years," said Pawley.
"Did it take you that long to get over Elizabeth Taylor?" asked Trent.
"I haven't gotten over her yet," said Pawley.