Elizabeth Taylor: (1932 – 2011)

Senior Editor
03.23.11 17 Comments

After a breakdown in the mid-80s, Taylor briefly named her dog publicist

Liz Taylor has died at the age of 79 of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles.  She had

Ms. Taylor’s life offered a mesmerizing series of sagas to rival any movie plot, and they were chronicled by the media since her boost to fame as the enchanting 12-year-old star of “National Velvet” (1944).

By her mid-20s, she had been a screen goddess, teenage bride, mother, divorcee and widow. She endured near-death traumas, and many declared her a symbol of survival — with which she agreed. “I’ve been through it all, baby,” she once said. “I’m Mother Courage.”

News about her love affairs, jewelry collection, weight fluctuations and socializing in rich and royal circles were followed by millions of people. More than for any film role, she became famous for being famous, setting a media template for later generations of entertainers, models and all variety of semi-somebodies. She was the “archetypal star goddess,” biographer Diana Maddox once wrote.

She made more than 60 films and twice won the Oscar for best actress: as a call girl who meets with tragedy in “BUtterfield 8” (1960), based on the John O’Hara novella; and as the braying, slovenly wife of a professor in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966), adapted from Edward Albee’s play about marital warfare.

She also intrigued many with her marriages to hotel heir Conrad Nicholson “Nicky” Hilton Jr.; actor Michael Wilding; Todd; Fisher; actor Richard Burton (twice); then-Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.); and construction worker Larry Fortensky. She met Fortensky in the late 1980s at the Betty Ford Clinic while both underwent treatment for substance abuse. [WashingtonPost]

The saddest thing about death is that if you live to any decent age at all, you’re all but guaranteed to be irrelevant or misunderstood to the people writing your obituaries.  Well, that and rotting in the ground for all eternity.  Boy, this isn’t a very good eulogy.  Okay, I’m kidding, I’m sure heaven will be just like a White Diamonds commercial.

How about we go directly to the source instead.

[From an article entitled “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” Taylor wrote for US Magazine earlier this year]
1. Before I made films, I had a lemonade stand in Southern California.

2. When José Eber is out of town, I love to cut my hair and anyone else’s.

3. I’m mad for Law & Order and have seen every single episode. My children and Mariska Hargitay, a dazzling actress, played together as kids.

4. I converted to Judaism in 1959.

5. My Jewish name is Elisheba Rachel.

6. My first horse was named Betty.

7. I didn’t go on a date until I was 16.

8. My legs are too short.

9. The film I’m proudest of is Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

10. I never face the day without perfume.

11. I dreamed of designing perfume 25 years before I did it.

12. I love blood-orange juice.

13. My very first memory is of pain.

14. I’m still heartbroken that Richard [Burton] never won an Oscar.

15. I am sincerely not worried about getting old.

16. I never tried to act until A Place in the Sun.

17. I am disgusted by the amount of myth about me that is accepted as fact.

18. People on Twitter named my new fragrance, Violet Eyes.

19. I’ve never had acting lessons, though many people think I need them.

20. In my twenties, I nearly lost my eye and my leg. Still have them both, tee hee.

21. Nerves are the nemesis of all actors.

22. I hate being called Liz, because it can sound like such a hiss.

23. I believe you can be close to God anywhere.

24. My dog Delilah is in love with my cat Fang. To each his own.

25. My family and people with HIV/AIDS are my life.

There you have it, she liked blood oranges, and Judaism too. This is like the worst Tom Petty song ever.

Around The Web