We suffered a sad loss yesterday with the death of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, but I have no doubt the enormous life she lived will be remembered for generations to come. Not just for the films she made and the men she married, but for her activism and her vivacious spirit which failed to diminish through sickness and old age. More than anyone I can think of, Liz Taylor was a born star. With striking features including violet eyes and a mutation that gave her an extra set of eyelashes, she could have easily ended up just another pretty face, but instead she became a legend.
My favorite Liz Taylor story is this; Princess Margaret spotted the 39-carat Krupp diamond (given to her by husband Richard Burton) on Elizabeth Taylor’s finger and exclaimed, “That’s the most vulgar thing I’ve ever seen!”. Taylor offered to let her try the “vulgar” jewel on, and watched as the Princess admired the enormous diamond. The quick-witted Taylor then famously quipped: “See? It’s not so vulgar now, is it?”.
It’s a perfect example of what was so lovable about Elizabeth Taylor. She was elegant, graceful and praised for her acting abilities, but she didn’t pretend to be something she wasn’t. She didn’t care if she was considered vulgar, in fact she enjoyed it. So many stars today are trying so hard to appear “classy” by painting themselves as humble and relate-able, but they aren’t, we all know they’re making millions and living a lavish life. Elizabeth Taylor had a forthrightness that couldn’t help but be charming. She was passionate, talented, tough, and always appeared to have a magnificent sense of humor. This is a woman who pulled a tooth from actor, and close friend, Montgomery Clift’s throat as he choked after a car accident. She survived alcoholism, spousal abuse, tabloid insults, 8 marriages, a husband’s sudden death, 5 broken backs, 2 hip replacements, a brain tumor, skin cancer, and an emergency tracheotomy. She was a matriarch, a survivor, a force to be reckoned with, and an inspiration for all women to be who they are and live their lives without apology. Here’s to you Ms. Taylor.