Colin Farrell: 'I wanted to be' Elizabeth Taylor's 8th husband

In another lifetime, Colin Farrell and Elizabeth Taylor might have been great lovers. Speaking with Ellen DeGeneres on Monday, Dec. 16, about his unique friendship with the legendary screen siren, the "Saving Mr. Banks" actor hinted at a deep affection for the actress that was never fully realized because they met so late in life.

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Farrell, now 37, met Taylor toward the end of her life, when his youngest son, Henry, was born at Cedars Sinai Hospital. (The "Cleopatra" actress, 79 at the time of her death in 2011, was there getting a stent put in her heart.)

"I said, 'Will you tell her I said hello? She probably won't know who I am,'" he recalled of running into her manager and close friend Tim Mendelsohn. "And they go, 'No, she knows who you are.' And I went, 'Wow, cool. Well, tell her I said hello and I wish her the best,' and they said, 'Will do.'"

Photos from Us: Liz Taylor's legendary life

That might have been the end of it, but Farrell couldn't get Taylor off his mind. So he called his publicist, Danica, and asked if he could send some flowers — not knowing that the violet-eyed actress had had the same thought and sent him an orchid, along with a handwritten note.

A week later, Farrell asked if he could visit her. "I asked Danica, and she made some calls, and I got to have an audience with her," he told DeGeneres. "And that was the beginning of a year and a half or two years of what was a really cool (relationship). It was kind of like the last — it feels like in my head, not hers, I'm projecting — but the last kind of romantic relationship I had. Which was never consummated."

Photos from Us: Liz Taylor's many marriages

Farrell went on to detail their late-night phone calls. "It was really cool, and she wasn't much of a sleeper at night, like I'm not, so at two o'clock in the morning, I'd call her," he said. "I'd call her at two in the morning, and the nurse would answer the phone, and I'd say, 'Is she awake?'... And then I'd be on the phone and I'd hear, 'Hello?' And I'd go, 'How's it going?' And we'd talk for a half an hour, an hour, into the wee hours." 

"I just adored her," the Irish actor gushed of the actress/activist, who was married seven times in her life. "She was a spectacular, spectacular woman. I wanted to be (husband) number eight, but we ran out of road."

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    Elizabeth Taylor: Legend

    With two Academy Awards, eight marriages and a long history of AIDS activism, Elizabeth Taylor was a Hollywood icon.

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    Tiny Taylor -

    Young Elizabeth Taylor stands with her brother, Howard, and their pets in a garden, circa 1930s.

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    First role -

    Taylor's first big-screen role was in the 1942 film, "There's One Born Every Minute," in which she co-starred with Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer and Catherine Doucet.

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    Pure velvet -

    Taylor gained prominence playing Velvet Brown in 1944's "National Velvet," the story of a girl who nurtures a special horse and races him in England's Grand National Steeplechase.

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    Doggone good -

    In 1946, Taylor starred opposite Lassie in the dog's third (and Taylor's sixth) film, "Courage of Lassie." In this film, the legendary dog outsmarts the Nazis during World War II.

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    Greeting fans -

    Teenage Taylor, wearing white gloves and an evening gown, signs autographs for eager fans at a nightclub in 1946.

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    Growing up -

    Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor embrace on the set of 1949's "Conspirator," as the crew looks on. This was Taylor's first adult role.

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    Marriage No. 1 -

    Taylor and her first husband, hotelier Nicky Hilton, on their wedding day, May 6, 1950. The two divorced on Jan. 29, 1951.

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    Finding a 'Place' -

    Taylor and close friend Montgomery Clift co-starred in George Stevens' 1951 film, "A Place in the Sun." She played a spoiled socialite who attracts the attention of Clift, who then murders his working-class pregnant girlfriend (Shelley Winters). Clift and Winters were nominated for Oscars, but Taylor was snubbed.

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    Marriage No. 2 -

    Taylor married her second husband, Michael Wilding, on Feb. 21, 1952. The two were divorced on Jan. 26, 1957.

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    Under contract -

    Taylor starred opposite George Sanders and Robert Taylor (not pictured) in Richard Thorpe's 1952 film, "Ivanhoe." Taylor was reportedly not pleased that MGM cast her in this forgettable film.

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    Simply lovely -

    Taylor poses for a promotional photo in 1955.

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    Iconic cast -

    Taylor starred opposite James Dean and Rock Hudson in George Stevens' 1956 film, "Giant." Dean and Hudson were nominated for Academy Awards, but once again, Taylor was passed over.

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    My two sons -

    Taylor with her sons Michael (born Jan. 6, 1953) and Christopher Wilding (born Feb. 27, 1955).

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    Tragic turn -

    Taylor married her third husband, American film producer Mike Todd, on Feb. 2, 1957. He was killed in a plane crash on March 22, 1958.

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    Here, kitty, kitty -

    Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor starred together in Richard Brooks' 1958 film, based on the Tennessee Williams play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." She received her second Oscar nomination (the first was for 1957's "Raintree County") for her role as Maggie the Cat.

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    Marriage No. 4 -

    Taylor married actor Eddie Fisher on May 12, 1959. It was a major 1950s Hollywood scandal when he left actress Debbie Reynolds (and his children Carrie and Todd Fisher) to be with Taylor. The two divorced on March 6, 1964.

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    Passion play -

    Richard Burton played Antony to Taylor's Cleopatra in the 1963 film of the same name. Taylor received $1 million for her role, and the two stars had a well-publicized affair during the filming. The couple would marry, for the first time, on March 15, 1964.

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    Golden girl -

    Taylor holds the Oscar she won for her role in 1966's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in which she starred opposite husband Richard Burton. It was her second Oscar; she won her first for her role in 1960's "Butterfield 8."

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    Twice as nice -

    Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton hold their granddaughter, Leyla, on Jan. 15, 1973, in Gstaad, Switzerland. The couple divorced on June 26, 1974, but then remarried on Oct. 10, 1975. They divorced for a second time on July 29, 1976.

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    Marriage No. 7 -

    Taylor married American politician John Warner on Dec. 4, 1976. The couple divorced in 1982, while he was serving as a Republican senator from Virginia. He previously served as Secretary of the Navy.

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    Checking in -

    Taylor visited "General Hospital" in 1981, where she portrayed Helena Cassadine opposite singer-actor Rick Springfield's Dr. Noah Drake. Here they're pictured with "GH" executive producer/director Gloria Monty.

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    AIDS activist -

    Elizabeth Taylor appears before the Labor, Health and Human Services Senate Subcommittee on May 8, 1986, in Washington, D.C. Taylor appeared as chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and appealed for more research funds. The actress helped create amfAR after the 1985 AIDS-related death of her friend, actor Rock Hudson. She also created the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

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    Two child stars -

    Taylor and singer Michael Jackson hold one of two awards he won on Jan. 25, 1993, at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. She was a vocal Jackson supporter during his 2005 trial on charges of sexually abusing a child.

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    Marriage No. 8 -

    Taylor married former Teamster Larry Fortensky, 20 years her junior, at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch on Oct. 6, 1991. The two met while patients at the Betty Ford Clinic. The couple divorced on Oct. 31, 1996.

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    Honored -

    President George W. Bush shakes hands with Taylor, a Kennedy Center honoree, on Dec. 8, 2002, at The White House. Left to right, the other honorees are actor James Earl Jones, music conductor James Levine, dancer-actress Chita Rivera, singer-songwriter Paul Simon and Taylor.

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    Birthday bash -

    Taylor arrives with her children, Michael Wilding Jr., Christopher Wilding, Maria Burton, and Liza Todd Burton, for Taylor's 75th birthday party on Feb. 27, 2007, in Henderson, Nev.

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    Acting up -

    Taylor starred opposite James Earl Jones in the A.R. Gurney play "Love Letters" in 2007. The performance raised $1 million for Taylor's AIDS foundation.

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    Saying goodbye -

    Taylor attends Michael Jackson's funeral service at Glendale Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2009.

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    The legend -

    Taylor on the catwalk at the 27th Annual Macy's Passport party in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sept. 24, 2009. Despite suffering from a cold, the 77-year-old Hollywood legend managed to make an appearance grand enough to warrant a standing ovation. Taylor told the crowd, "As my beloved friend Michael [Jackson] said, 'We are the world.' And it is up to us to take care of those who are sick and dying, in this country and particularly in Africa."

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    Legacy -

    The American Film Institute named Taylor No. 7 among the Greatest Female Stars of All Time. On the list, she came right after Marilyn Monroe and just before Judy Garland. She died on March 23, 2011, in Los Angeles with her children at her side. She was 79 years old.

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