Diana Wanted Baryshnikov -- Not Travolta -- for Dream Dance


Burrell details interactions with Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Hanks, Henry Kissinger, Katharine Graham, Tina Brown and Barbara Walters, among many others.

Among Diana's brushes with celebrities:

Oprah Winfrey -- Of all the guests who came to Kensington Palace, Winfrey was one of Diana's favorites. "The princess could have sat chatting with her all afternoon and into the evening," Burrell says. When Diana was contemplating a life after divorce, both Winfrey and Hillary Rodham Clinton encouraged Diana to move to the United States after her divorce, Burrell says.

Tom Cruise -- Cruise's off-screen "Mission: Impossible" was to forge a friendship with Diana, Burrell says. Diana was excited when Cruise invited her to the 1993 London premiere for "Far and Away." Diana had "taken hours to get ready, wanting to look her best" in a halter-neck, cream evening gown.

When she was seated beside Cruise, however, he spent the whole evening canoodling with his then-wife and co-star Nicole Kidman.

"He hardly spoke to me at all!" Burrell quotes Diana as saying. "He was all over her like a rash. They couldn't keep their hands off each other. It was the height of rudeness."

Cruise's media representative did not return a call to ABC News.

Burrell says that Cruise seemed to be intimidated by the princess.

"His famous self-confidence had deserted him when it came to approaching the boss," he writes, saying that he was "too shy" to call the palace, and instead had sent a go-between to extend a dinner invitation.

These overtures were "purely innocent, platonic invitations" and "never a hint of romantic intention," Burrell writes, but Diana sent her regrets.

Michael Jackson -- In the mid-1980s, when Jackson ruled the Billboard charts, Princess Diana was an eager fan. Meeting the King of Pop at Wembley Stadium in 1988 was a big disappointment, though. "If ever mystique was shattered by a personal meeting," Burrell writes, "this was it."

Burrell says Diana told him, "It looked like his nose was about to drop off," and she was surprised at how effeminate he was. Still, she said she loved him for his music, not his looks, and brought back concert T-shirts and souvenirs for Princes Harry and William.

Jack Nicholson -- When Diana ran into Nicholson in New York City, she was immediately impressed with his magnetism. Nicholson sent a handwritten note that evening, saying, "it would have been wonderful if we could have found time to have dinner," and Burrell recalls that she was more than impressed.

"A dinner date with Jack Nicholson!" Burrell recalls Diana saying. She added that "she understands why so many women had fallen for him."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 2424465. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 2424465.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...