Now, Liz was a star…in every sense of the word. Created by the Hollywood system and maintained by it. She was drop dead gorgeous and all of it, God given and genetically endowed.
I had an interesting encounter with her once. It was in the early 90’s when she was hawking her White Diamonds Parfum. She was making a special appearance at Foley’s, a one time Houston based retail giant.
Let me say that even in her early 60’s, this was still a stunning woman. And her drawing power, even though she hadn’t really done anything save for voicing one word for Maggie in a recent episode of “The Simpsons”, was still amazing. The crowd was huge and consisted of everyone from housewives to devoted male fans to a few drag queens her emulated her likeness on stage at some boy bar in Montrose every weekend. She was in the midst of one of her infamous weight fluctuations and sge wore a white caftan like gown.
The media was seated front row center. I was probably eight feet away from her. She agreed to take questions and I raised my hand and those gorgeous violet eyes made contact with my milk chocolate brown ones. She asked me to stand.
I did and then I asked the most ridiculous question, but one that seemed to endear her to me.
“Miss Taylor you are gorgeous, but I have to ask, are there ever days when you just look in the mirror and feel like a dog?”
She smiled and started laughing. As did the crowd.
“Why of course!” That’s when the crowed applauded.
She then smiled a wry little smile and blew me a little kiss.
I have always loved Elizabeth Taylor. Her performance as Martha in “Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf” was epic. Her beauty in “Butterfield 8” was undeniable. She was every bit the cat on Tennessee William’s hot, tin roof.
Time and heart failure have silenced her at age 79.
But she had a terrific career and certainly an enviable life….at times. For all her fame; her riches, I think she also knew vast amounts of dissapointment, heartache and betrayal. She married seven times (eight if you include both marriages to Richard Burton) and suffered at least one miscarriage and of course, she lost so many good friends in sad, tragic ways. From Rock Hudson to Montgomery Cliff to Michael Jackson, not to mention the untimely death of her husband and the man she claimed to be the love of her life, Mike Todd.
I hope the Hollywood that exists today…the cheap, tawdry one that produces the likes of talentless loudmouths such as Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan… can realize its loss. Elizabethe Taylor was truly, “Hollywood’s last real star”.
There’s no one else. The stars of her genre are all gone and their absence leaves Tinsel Town far more tarnished.
Survivors include her daughters Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey, sons Christopher and Michael Wilding, 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, hoards of fans all over the world, which includes one, still awe struck, Laurie Kendrick.