"The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" ... Bogart, Shakespeare, The Maltese Falcon, Those Great Movies

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reflections in a Violet Eye -- Elizabeth Taylor

 A great many classic movie lovers will be posting tributes to Elizabeth Taylor.  She died today at the age of 79.  Elizabeth has been an integral part of movies and the Hollywood mystique from the time she was a very young child, and continued to be so until today.  My mother's generation watched her grow up on screen, and tabloids made a lot of money with the controversial parts of her life.  She married multiple times, had several serious illnesses, grieved the sudden death of her husband Mike Todd.  She bore her one-half share in the highly-publicized breakup of the marriages of Eddie Fisher and Richard Burton (the men bear the other half).  She endured public humiliation when she gained weight, came back strong and proved her incredible friendship to Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson and Michael Jackson in their own tragedies. 

We will never know the real story behind the events of Elizabeth's life.  Only she and her loved ones could ever know such things.  We do know she was a strong and resilient woman, still able to flash her beautiful smile even when she became aged and sick.  We know her through her movies, a wide range of performances in an eclectic mix of films, including National Velvet, Father of the Bride, A Place in the Sun, Suddenly, Last SummerGiant, Cat on a Hot Tin RoofWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Reflections in a Golden Eye.....just some of my personal favorites.  These performances show us the Elizabeth we remember.  So do these pictures:

From lovely child .....
to gorgeous 16-year old .....

From close friendship with Montgomery Clift .....
To Richard Burton, the true love of her life .....

From beautiful mature star .....
to difficult days enduring cruelty and piercing jibes of comics .....

..... And back again, surmounting her own personal difficulties.  She became the first celebrity to dare to speak publicly about AIDS, supporting dear friend Rock Hudson's bravery in stepping forward about his personal life and our responsibility to overcome bigotry to fight the disease.

R.I.P. Elizabeth ..... you will be remembered .....


  1. Becky,
    A lovely tribute for a very beautiful star, inside and out. A sad day for Hollywood and for those of us who loved her.

  2. Thank you, Page. I'm afraid you commented in the middle of my attempts to get the post to look right -- you know how difficult it can be to straighten out pics and captions! It is a sad day -- it is hard to seem them go.

  3. So sad to learn that the local news used the word "legend" appropriately. Elizabeth Taylor is a legendary actress who lived a legendary life.

  4. I can't believe she's gone. A tremendous star - and I mean star.

  5. nice post to a rather incendiary star

  6. Thanks for stopping by, you guys. It is a loss when her generation begins to go, the last of the really big movie stars. You know, sometimes I think Elizabeth Taylor was somewhat of a female Errol Flynn -- beautiful, charming, doing things she shouldn't, doing good things, living a completely eventful life in everything.

  7. Thank you, Becky, for a lovely post to a favorite of mine. Your comparison to Errol Flynn got me thinking, and I don't think any male star even compares to her. She lived her life to the fullest, warts and all, but she survived. And not only survived, but we are left with incredible performances that most actors would give their right arm for; humanitarian efforts that shame others and the bravery to do what was right when no one else wanted to; savvy businesswoman; and the ability to fight back. Yes, her very public life could be a mess, but she fared far better and accomplished much more than many actors/celebrities with public lives. I think many could learn something from this woman.

  8. Becky,
    You were right about my loving this new photo of Elizabeth! So stunningly beautiful.

  9. Few are graced with the talent and beauty Elizabeth Taylor possessed...ultimate star, legend, icon - they all apply to her...nice work, Becky.

  10. Becky, What a wonderful tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. Not only am I sad about Elizabeth's passing, I lost my furry friend of 15 years, "Amy Girl", yesterday.

  11. Page, Kim and Eve, thank you for your kind words. CFB, you have a good point about Elizabeth's staying power, unlike poor Errol. She was quite a woman in so many ways.

    Dawn, I am so sorry about Amy Girl...I know what you have been going through, and after losing my dear kitty Harry after 17 years of love for him, I know how you feel. It's a real loss.