Cleopatra -- Short, Fat and Plain?

ByABC News
March 25, 2001, 11:10 AM

L O N D O N, March 25 -- Cleopatra, the queen of ancientEgypt, who has been portrayed on the silver screen by some ofHollywood's most beautiful women, was actually short, fat andplain, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper said.

Screen sirens Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh and SophiaLoren are among those to have starred in films as the queen, whoruled Egypt in the 1st Century BC. Historians say she used herbeuty to seduce Roman Emperor Julius Caesar and his leadinggeneral Mark Anthony.

But a new exhibition at the British Museum in London nextmonth, which features 11 statues previously thought to portrayother queens, will show Cleopatra as plain-looking, about 5 feet tall and apparently plump.

"Sadly for those who seek the secret of her personal allure,the more we study Cleopatra's surviving images, the less certainwe may be of her looks," Susan Walker, senior curator of theexhibition, told the paper.