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On naming a West Hollywood Street for Elizabeth Taylor

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:27 pm - April 1, 2011.
Filed under: Divas,HIV/AIDS,LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV,Strong Women

Since Dame Elizabeth Taylor passed last week, many people have blogged on that lady’s class, compassion and stardom.  Roger Simon explored what how a young (heterosexual) male moviegoer experienced this beauty in his blog at Pajamas while Camille Paglia examined her sex appeal and screen presence over at Salon.

This past weekend, I watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof again, apprecaiting it more the second time, better able to see the movie as a different story from the play on which it is based.  In the film, screenwriters transformed the gay subtext to make it more palatable to a general audience.  This allowed them to bring out her sex appeal.  And did she sizzle, especially set against the bitterness of Paul Newman‘s Brick.  We really believe that Maggie the Cat is alive.  And we root for her to win back her husband.

Had the screen Brick been a closet homosexual, her sex appeal would have been wasted.  When he first saw it, his teenage heterosexual hormones raging, Simon “suffered shortness of breath.”  And, watching it this weekend, this gay guy can get what that straight man — or any other — would want to have some, well, private time with Taylor’s Maggie.

She just looked so good in Metrocolor.  Kudos to the set design team of Henry Grace and Robert Priestley and art directors William A. Horning and Urie McCleary for creating backgrounds which allowed her to stand out in every scene.

In the LA Weekly, Patrick Range McDonald reports,  ”West Hollywood residents have been calling and writing City Hall” asking the city to name a street after this classy lady. Michelle Rex, interim deputy for Councilman John D’Amico

. . . says there has yet to be a formal discussion about the proposal among city leaders, but the public’s call for an Elizabeth Taylor Way is certainly legitimate.

Local HIV/AIDS activists told L.A. Weekly that Taylor was a major, early force in raising money and awareness to combat the deadly disease that was killing thousands and thousands of gay men. . . .

In a city with a gay and lesbian population of around 40 percent and an international reputation as a gay mecca, it seems more than appropriate for West Hollywood to dedicate a main thoroughfare after Taylor.

Count me among those who think my current hometown should name a street for Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

UPDATE:  Seems the prospects don’t look good:

West Hollywood City Hall appears unconvinced that the gay mecca should name a street after movie star and AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor, according to WeHo News.

The online newspaper reports that none of the City Council offices “reported the ‘call’ from residents to change a street name. Instead, one council office suggested the chances of renaming a street stood somewhere between nil and none.”

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3 Comments

  1. Will West Hollywood be a downgrade from just Hollywood?

    As for “Cat,” is Brick actually a closet homosexual? Sounds more like bromance.

    Comment by anon23532 — April 1, 2011 @ 3:40 pm - April 1, 2011

  2. but the public’s call for an Elizabeth Taylor Way

    Surely, it should be Elizabeth Taylor Boulevard?

    Comment by American Elephant — April 3, 2011 @ 2:26 am - April 3, 2011

  3. I recommend that Wooster St. between Gregory Way and Chalmers be changed to Liz Taylor Way. I think that area has just the right amount of class. And maybe in a couple of months Olympic Blvd can be changed to Zsa Zsa Alley.

    Comment by Tarquin — April 3, 2011 @ 11:16 am - April 3, 2011

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