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Fashionably late Liz Taylor dazzles at 75th

Elizabeth Taylor, decked out in diamonds and fur, arrived fashionably late to her 75th birthday party.
/ Source: The Associated Press

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

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

Some guests had been at her party more than two hours when Taylor arrived, smiling and batting her trademark violet eyes as photographers sang “Happy Birthday.” Aides said her plane was delayed arriving from the Los Angeles area.

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

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

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 Cafe and Terrace at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas.

Among Taylor’s closest friends are pop star Michael Jackson, whose spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday in a news release that he is now living in Las Vegas.

Taylor said she spoke with Jackson earlier in the day but didn’t expect him to attend her party. Besides Christopher, her children Michael Wilding, 54; Elizabeth “Liza” Todd, 49; and Maria Burton, 45 were at the fete.

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

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 female movie stars of all time.