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In Memoriam Elizabeth Taylor

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:18 pm - March 23, 2011.
Filed under: Divas,Movies/Film & TV,Strong Women

This past weekend, I watched Father’s Little Dividend, the sequel to the original Father of the Bride.  While the story was weak, the cast was strong, particularly Spencer Tracy as the father the expectant Elizabeth Taylor.  And she was always exquisite.  Even when she seemed to phone in her roles, as it the celebrated shipwreck, Cleopatra, she looked exquisite on screen.

She was truly a movie star.  And she leaves with us a number of brilliant performances as well, particularly in films from the 1950s, including Suddenly, Last Summer and A Place in the Sun.  That great lady died earlier “today at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Hospital. She was 79“:

“She was surrounded by her children: Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton,” Taylor’s publicist, Sally Morrison, said in a statement.

In the same statement, Michael Howard Wilding, 58, memorialized his mother:

“My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love,” he said. “Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.

The New York Times reports:

In a world of flickering images, Elizabeth Taylor was a constant star. First appearing onscreen at age 9, she grew up there, never passing through an awkward age. It was one quick leap from “National Velvet” to “A Place in the Sun” and from there to “Cleopatra” as she was indelibly transformed from a vulnerable child actress into a voluptuous film queen.

In a career of more than 70 years and more than 50 films, she won two Academy Awards as best actress, for her performances as a call girl in “Butterfield 8” (in 1960) and as the acid-tongued Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (in 1966). Mike Nichols, who directed her in “Virginia Woolf,” said he considered her “one of the greatest cinema actresses.”

She will be missed, but she leaves behind an incredible, incredible body of work.



  1. Elizabeth did great things for AIDS awareness. I am hard pressed to single out my favorite Elizabeth Taylor films, but Giant noses out the rest followed by Life With Father.

    Comment by Roberto — March 23, 2011 @ 1:51 pm - March 23, 2011

  2. Just caught Cleopatra last week on cable. Elizabeth Taylor was amazing. I received a personal thank you note from her when I had worked on AIDS fundraisimg events a couple of years ago.

    Comment by rusty — March 23, 2011 @ 2:11 pm - March 23, 2011

  3. I noticed she kept a low profile over the last several years so something was wrong. To hear she’s passed away is sad, but now she’s in Heaven.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — March 23, 2011 @ 3:33 pm - March 23, 2011

  4. Rest In Peace.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — March 23, 2011 @ 5:57 pm - March 23, 2011

  5. She had been around for so, so long. And, been through so darn much. Many marriages and many illnesses. She had a lot of gay friends and made no excuse for having them. I can only pray that she did have a life that she did enjoy.

    Comment by Charles — March 23, 2011 @ 9:08 pm - March 23, 2011

  6. Elizabeth Taylor was one of the all time greats. Forced to pick my favorite role of hers, it would have to be Martha of “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?”. Her work on behalf of AIDS was incredible as well as valued at the time (ignorance and discrimination of victims was still rampant during the mid-80s). RIP, Liz. You will not be forgotten.

    Comment by Jim Michaud — March 24, 2011 @ 1:28 am - March 24, 2011

  7. […] twilight of her life, she used that limelight to good end, as our reader Jim Michaud noted: “Her work on behalf of AIDS was incredible as well as valued at the time (ignorance and discriminatio…”  You could honor this great lady by sponsoring one of our readers who’ll be riding in […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Elizabeth Taylor’s Life in the Limelight — March 24, 2011 @ 2:52 am - March 24, 2011

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