Some of My Best Leading Men Have Been Dogs and Horses

Elizabeth Taylor? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor was paired with many high-profile costars such as Paul Newman, Richard Burton, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, and James Dean during her long career. Nevertheless, she humorously once said that her best leading men were animals, e.g., dogs and horses. Would please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1981 “The Times” of London published an interview with Elizabeth Taylor conducted by John Higgins who mentioned two of her popular early movies. “Lassie Come Home” told the tale of a determined and resourceful dog. “National Velvet” featured a horse who participated in the Grand National steeplechase. Taylor commented on the films. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

Miss Taylor liked both those films. “Did you know that Lassie was a he and not a she?” No, I did not. The question did not cross my mind when I was moved to childish tears on first seeing the picture. “Well, Lassie was a he. And, on reflection, I reckon some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.”

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Some of My Best Leading Men Have Been Dogs and Horses


  1. 1981 February 18, The Times, A challenge for Elizabeth Taylor by John Higgins, Quote Page 18, Column 3, London, England. (The Times Digital Archive Gale Cengage)