Manny P. here…
Much will be written over the next week about the tumultuous life and times of Elizabeth Taylor. She was a true icon from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Her personal life was fiery and newsworthy. She lost a great love in a plane crash; she stole a husband away from another screen legend; her relationship with Richard Burton was magically tragic. And, her close friends included Roddy McDowell, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, and Michael Jackson.
Yet, most will recall Taylor’s love affair with the camera, above all. Her violet eyes were striking, even on the black and white screen. She effortlessly graduated from the ranks of child actor to adult star. She won two Oscars. Her screen credits include Lassie Come Home, National Velvet, Little Women, Father of the Bride, A Place in the Sun, Quo Vadis, Ivanhoe, Giant, Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer, Butterfield 8, Cleopatra, The V.I.P.’s, The Sandpiper, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Anne of a Thousand Days, and The Taming of a Shrew.
It’s unfair that Elizabeth Taylor will also be remembered for her many marraiges to Richard Burton, Conrad Hilton, Michael Todd, Michael Wilding, Eddie Fisher, and Larry Fortensky. Our collective memories should include her unyielding work against the AIDS virus. She was given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1992 for her efforts . In 1999, Taylor was appropriately appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
photo by Roland Godefroy
She was also a friend to the hospital employees she met while suffering the many illnesses throughout her life and career. I don’t say this with any hint of sarcasm. Gloria Pacheco (my mother) attended to the actress during various stays at St. John’s Hospital in Southern California. She recounted how gracious and friendly Taylor was; never treating the staff with anything but dignity. This speaks volumes for the star known for a well-documented temper. Believe me, if Liz had been anything but kind, I surely would have heard about it from my mom!
Turner Classic Movies will honor the actress with a day-long memorial tribute on April 10th. In addition, the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood will feature a 60th anniversary screening of her top-notch performance in George Stevens’ A Place in the Sun. A personal thanks to Gary Lycan of the Orange County Register for providing me this special piece of TCM news to share with my bloggers.
Elizabeth Taylor was 79, and died of congestive heart failure.
Until next time> “never forget”