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Liz Taylor fires at TV biography

By Compiled From Wire Service Dispatches With Analysis From Monitor Correspondents Around The World, Edited by Anne Collier / October 22, 1982



New York

Elizabeth Taylor's lawsuit against ABC-TV may have far-reaching implications for future television fictionalized biographies, sometimes called ''docu-dramas.''

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Monitor TV critic Arthur Unger reports that Miss Taylor filed suit in Federal District Court here to prevent the airing on ABC television of an unauthorized drama purportedly based on her life. She said, ''I am my own commodity. I have my career at stake. . . . If somebody is able to fictionalize my life, it is taken away from me.''

One of her lawyers said she is seeking an injunction against promotion or broadcast of the film as well as unspecified damages.

An ABC-TV spokesman declined to make any comment until details of the legal action were studied further.

In the past, American television has presented fictionalized versions of the lives of Jacqueline Kennedy, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and the Prince and Princess of Wales. Embassy Pictures, a Norman Lear company, is now in the process of preparing a ''docu-drama'' about Princess Grace of Monaco.

Although there have been protests in the past from living subjects of fictionalized biographies, legal action was rare, since it has been generally acknowledged that people in the public eye are considered in the public domain. Miss Taylor's suit promises to bring the whole matter up for a court decision. TV entertainment biographies have often been criticized for distorting history.