RIP Elizabeth Taylor

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RIP Elizabeth Taylor

Post  eddie on Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:32 am

Elizabeth Taylor obituary thread from the old ATU site:

[See below]


Last edited by eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:25 am; edited 1 time in total

eddie
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Re: RIP Elizabeth Taylor

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:26 pm

^

Material replicated below in the event of link expiry:

Eddie wrote:

Associated Press obituary:

Elizabeth Taylor




LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed film goddess whose sultry screen persona, stormy personal life and enduring fame and glamour made her one of the last of the old-fashioned movie stars and a template for the modern celebrity, died Wednesday at age 79.

She was surrounded by her four children when she died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks, said publicist Sally Morrison.

"My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love," her son, Michael Wilding, said in a statement.

"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."

Taylor was the most blessed and cursed of actresses, the toughest and the most vulnerable. She had extraordinary grace, wealth and voluptuous beauty, and won three Academy Awards, including a special one for her humanitarian work. She was the most loyal of friends and a defender of gays in Hollywood when AIDS was still a stigma in the industry and beyond. But she was afflicted by ill health, failed romances (eight marriages, seven husbands) and personal tragedy.

"I think I'm becoming fatalistic," she said in 1989. "Too much has happened in my life for me not to be fatalistic."

Her more than 50 movies included unforgettable portraits of innocence and of decadence, from the children's classic "National Velvet" and the sentimental family comedy "Father of the Bride" to Oscar-winning transgressions in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Butterfield 8." The historical epic "Cleopatra" is among Hollywood's greatest on-screen fiascos and a landmark of off-screen monkey business, the meeting ground of Taylor and Richard Burton, the "Brangelina" of their day.

She played enough bawdy women on film for critic Pauline Kael to deem her "Chaucerian Beverly Hills."

But her defining role, one that lasted long past her moviemaking days, was "Elizabeth Taylor," ever marrying and divorcing, in and out of hospitals, gaining and losing weight, standing by Michael Jackson, Rock Hudson and other troubled friends, acquiring a jewelry collection that seemed to rival Tiffany's.

She was a child star who grew up and aged before an adoring, appalled and fascinated public. She arrived in Hollywood when the studio system tightly controlled an actor's life and image, had more marriages than any publicist could explain away and lasted long enough to no longer require explanation. She was the industry's great survivor, and among the first to reach that special category of celebrity — famous for being famous, for whom her work was inseparable from the gossip around it.

The London-born actress was a star at age 12, a bride and a divorcee at 18, a superstar at 19 and a widow at 26. She was a screen sweetheart and martyr later reviled for stealing Eddie Fisher from Debbie Reynolds, then for dumping Fisher to bed Burton, a relationship of epic passion and turbulence, lasting through two marriages and countless attempted reconciliations.

She was also forgiven. Reynolds would acknowledge voting for Taylor when she was nominated for "Butterfield 8" and decades later co-starred with her old rival in "These Old Broads," co-written by Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Reynolds and Eddie Fisher.

Taylor's ailments wore down the grudges. She underwent at least 20 major operations and she nearly died from a bout with pneumonia in 1990. In 1994 and 1995, she had both hip joints replaced, and in February 1997, she underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. In 1983, she acknowledged a 35-year addiction to sleeping pills and pain killers. Taylor was treated for alcohol and drug abuse problems at the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Her troubles bonded her to her peers and the public, and deepened her compassion. Her advocacy for AIDS research and for other causes earned her a special Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, in 1993.

As she accepted it, to a long ovation, she declared, "I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being — to prove that we are a human race, to prove that our love outweighs our need to hate, that our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame."

The dark-haired Taylor made an unforgettable impression in Hollywood with "National Velvet," the 1945 film in which the 12-year-old belle rode a steeplechase horse to victory in the Grand National.

Critic James Agee wrote of her: "Ever since I first saw the child ... I have been choked with the peculiar sort of adoration I might have felt if we were in the same grade of primary school."

"National Velvet," her fifth film, also marked the beginning of Taylor's long string of health issues. During production, she fell off a horse. The resulting back injury continued to haunt her.

Taylor matured into a ravishing beauty in "Father of the Bride," in 1950, and into a respected performer and femme fatale the following year in "A Place in the Sun," based on the Theodore Dreiser novel "An American Tragedy." The movie co-starred her close friend Montgomery Clift as the ambitious young man who drowns his working-class girlfriend to be with the socialite Taylor. In real life, too, men all but committed murder in pursuit of her.

Through the rest of the 1950s and into the 1960s, she and Marilyn Monroe were Hollywood's great sex symbols, both striving for appreciation beyond their physical beauty, both caught up in personal dramas filmmakers could only wish they had imagined. That Taylor lasted, and Monroe died young, was a matter of luck and strength; Taylor lived as she pleased and allowed no one to define her but herself.

"I don't entirely approve of some of the things I have done, or am, or have been. But I'm me. God knows, I'm me," Taylor said around the time she turned 50.

She had a remarkable and exhausting personal and professional life. Her marriage to Michael Todd ended tragically when the producer died in a plane crash in 1958. She took up with Fisher, married him, then left him for Burton. Meanwhile, she received several Academy Award nominations and two Oscars.

She was a box-office star cast in numerous "prestige" films, from "Raintree County" with Clift to "Giant," an epic co-starring her friends Hudson and James Dean. Nominations came from a pair of movies adapted from work by Tennessee Williams: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Suddenly, Last Summer." In "Butterfield 8," released in 1960, she starred with Fisher as a doomed girl-about-town. Taylor never cared much for the film, but her performance at the Oscars wowed the world.

Sympathy for Taylor's widowhood had turned to scorn when she took up with Fisher, who had supposedly been consoling her over the death of Todd. But before the 1961 ceremony, she was hospitalized from a nearly fatal bout with pneumonia and Taylor underwent a tracheotomy. The scar was bandaged when she appeared at the Oscars to accept her best actress trophy for "Butterfield 8."

To a standing ovation, she hobbled to the stage. "I don't really know how to express my great gratitude," she said in an emotional speech. "I guess I will just have to thank you with all my heart." It was one of the most dramatic moments in Academy Awards history.

"Hell, I even voted for her," Reynolds later said.

Greater drama awaited: "Cleopatra." Taylor met Burton while playing the title role in the 1963 epic, in which the brooding, womanizing Welsh actor co-starred as Mark Antony. Their chemistry was not immediate. Taylor found him boorish; Burton mocked her physique. But the love scenes on film continued away from the set and a scandal for the ages was born. Headlines shouted and screamed. Paparazzi snapped and swooned. Their romance created such a sensation that the Vatican denounced the happenings as the "caprices of adult children."

The film so exceeded its budget that the producers lost money even though "Cleopatra" was a box-office hit and won four Academy awards. (With its $44 million budget adjusted for inflation, "Cleopatra" remains the most expensive movie ever made.) Taylor's salary per film topped $1 million. "Liz and Dick" became a couple on a first name basis with millions who had never met them.

They were a prolific acting team, even if most of the movies aged no better than their relationship: "The VIPs" (1963), "The Sandpiper" (1965), "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966), "The Taming of the Shrew" (1967), "The Comedians" (1967), "Dr. Faustus" (1967), "Boom!" (1968), "Under Milk Wood" (1971) and "Hammersmith Is Out" (1972).

Art most effectively imitated life in the adaptation of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" — in which Taylor and Burton played mates who fought viciously and drank heavily. She took the best actress Oscar for her performance as the venomous Martha in "Virginia Woolf" and again stole the awards show, this time by not showing up at the ceremony. She refused to thank the academy upon learning of her victory and chastised voters for not honoring Burton.

Taylor and Burton divorced in 1974, married again in 1975 and divorced again in 1976.

"We fight a great deal," Burton once said, "and we watch the people around us who don't quite know how to behave during these storms. We don't fight when we are alone."

In 1982, Taylor and Burton appeared in a touring production of the Noel Coward play "Private Lives," in which they starred as a divorced couple who meet on their respective honeymoons. They remained close at the time of Burton's death, in 1984.

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London on Feb. 27, 1932, the daughter of Francis Taylor, an art dealer, and the former Sara Sothern, an American stage actress. At age 3, with extensive ballet training already behind her, Taylor danced for British princesses Elizabeth (the future queen) and Margaret Rose at London's Hippodrome. At age 4, she was given a wild field horse that she learned to ride expertly.

At the onset of World War II, the Taylors came to the United States. Francis Taylor opened a gallery in Beverly Hills and, in 1942, his daughter made her screen debut with a bit part in the comedy "There's One Born Every Minute."

Her big break came soon thereafter. While serving as an air-raid warden with MGM producer Sam Marx, Taylor's father learned that the studio was struggling to find an English girl to play opposite Roddy McDowall in "Lassie Come Home." Taylor's screen test for the film won her both the part and a long-term contract. She grew up quickly after that.

Still in school at 16, she would dash from the classroom to the movie set where she played passionate love scenes with Robert Taylor in "Conspirator."

"I have the emotions of a child in the body of a woman," she once said. "I was rushed into womanhood for the movies. It caused me long moments of unhappiness and doubt."

Soon after her screen presence was established, she began a series of very public romances. Early loves included socialite Bill Pawley, home run slugger Ralph Kiner and football star Glenn Davis.

Then, a roll call of husbands:

— She married Conrad Hilton Jr., son of the hotel magnate, in May 1950 at age 18. The marriage ended in divorce that December.

— When she married British actor Michael Wilding in February 1952, he was 39 to her 19. They had two sons, Michael Jr. and Christopher Edward. That marriage lasted 4 years.

— She married cigar-chomping movie producer Michael Todd, also 20 years her senior, in 1957. They had a daughter, Elizabeth Francis. Todd was killed in a plane crash in 1958.

— The best man at the Taylor-Todd wedding was Fisher. He left his wife Debbie Reynolds to marry Taylor in 1959. She converted to Judaism before the wedding.

— Taylor and Fisher moved to London, where she was making "Cleopatra." She met Burton, who also was married. That union produced her fourth child, Maria.

— After her second marriage to Burton ended, she married John Warner, a former secretary of the Navy, in December 1976. Warner was elected a U.S. senator from Virginia in 1978. They divorced in 1982.

— In October 1991, she married Larry Fortensky, a truck driver and construction worker she met while both were undergoing treatment at the Betty Ford Center in 1988. He was 20 years her junior. The wedding, held at the ranch of Michael Jackson, was a media circus that included the din of helicopter blades, a journalist who parachuted to a spot near the couple and a gossip columnist as official scribe.

But in August 1995, she and Fortensky announced a trial separation; she filed for divorce six months later and the split became final in 1997.

"I was taught by my parents that if you fall in love, if you want to have a love affair, you get married," she once remarked. "I guess I'm very old-fashioned."

Her philanthropic interests included assistance for the Israeli War Victims Fund, the Variety Clubs International and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

She received the Legion of Honor, France's most prestigious award, in 1987, for her efforts to support AIDS research. In May 2000, Queen Elizabeth II made Taylor a dame — the female equivalent of a knight — for her services to the entertainment industry and to charity.

In 1993, she won a lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute; in 1999, an institute survey of screen legends ranked her No. 7 among actresses.

During much of her later career, Taylor's waistline, various diets, diet books and tangled romances were the butt of jokes by Joan Rivers and others. John Belushi mocked her on "Saturday Night Live," dressing up in drag and choking on a piece of chicken.

"It's a wonder I didn't explode," Taylor wrote of her 60-pound weight gain — and successful loss — in the 1988 book "Elizabeth Takes Off on Self-Esteem and Self-Image."

She was an iconic star, but her screen roles became increasingly rare in the 1980s and beyond. She appeared in several television movies, including "Poker Alice" and "Sweet Bird of Youth," and entered the Stone Age as Pearl Slaghoople in the movie version of "The Flintstones." She had a brief role on the popular soap opera "General Hospital."

Taylor was the subject of numerous unauthorized biographies and herself worked on a handful of books, including "Elizabeth Taylor: An Informal Memoir" and "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry." In tune with the media to the end, she kept in touch through her Twitter account.

"I like the connection with fans and people who have been supportive of me," Taylor told Kim Kardashian in a 2011 interview for Harper's Bazaar. "And I love the idea of real feedback and a two-way street, which is very, very modern. But sometimes I think we know too much about our idols and that spoils the dream."

Survivors include her daughters Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey, sons Christopher and Michael Wilding, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A private family funeral is planned later this week.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated PressEmail


eddie
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Re: RIP Elizabeth Taylor

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:30 pm

Precinct 14 wrote:

1. Amazing to think that she 'slummed' it with Burton on a Chelsea Embankment houseboat, at the height of their fame, in the 60's.

2. Looking at the photo that Eddie has posted, it's pretty hard to detect any hint of the Liz-patented violet in those eyes.

3. I bet Bob's in mourning.


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Re: RIP Elizabeth Taylor

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:23 am

Elizabeth Taylor remembered by Shirley MacLaine

She had a way with men, but also great humour and humanity, recalls her friend and fellow actress

Shirley MacLaine

The Observer, Sunday 11 December 2011


Elizabeth Taylor on the set of the the 1956 movie Giant: 'She knew she was seen as a product and might as well use it.' Photograph: Frank Worth/Getty

I will remember looking at her jewellery in the sun. In recent years, I would go up to Elizabeth's home all the time to make sure she was exercising or I would send someone else to make her get in the pool. She was not a fan of exercise, so most of the time we would end up taking out her jewellery and just looking at it in the sunlight.

We first met when I was 21 and she was 23 and found we were very relaxed together. I can't remember how it happened, but then I can't remember much now about when I was 21. A man I knew was in love with Elizabeth, I think, and I knew both of them.

At that time, people were not fawning all over her – except the men, of course. We would talk mainly about work. We were both working six-day weeks and she was looking for the next piece of work. She never had a scheme, though. She was the kind of person who felt that things just happened when they should happen. Her marriage to Michael Wilding was ending and, although he was a nice person and was very nice with her, Elizabeth had adventures to go on. And, when I think of it, one of those adventures she never got around to having was to be anonymous. She talked to me about being a regular housewife. She honestly wanted that – to look after a home and kids.

She had been a star since she was a child and was not as naturally outgoing as me anyway. When I was pregnant, I would go to her house and eat ice-cream and she would tell me what the rest of pregnancy was going to be like. Later on, she would come to my one-room shack on the beach. She told me so much about her life there, not just about her childhood but about things that had happened to her and which I will never tell.

I introduced her to Mike Todd, her third husband, on Around the World in 80 Days and then watched the negotiations between them. And they were negotiations. She was very funny. She used to bargain with him about going out to dinner.

Later, she told me about asking for $1m to do Cleopatra and she laughed. She never expected anyone to pay it. But she was a good businesswoman and later she turned all that into a multimillion dollar concern. She felt that, since she was perceived as a product, she might as well use it. Elizabeth was always regarded as a prize and she knew how to manipulate that with men, too.

She did not see herself as "Elizabeth Taylor" at all. She was much more like a Yiddisher momma, to be honest. She used to say she was going to have to be "Elizabeth Taylor" and put on that show. That was the gig, after all. It's what she had to do.

She was so much more down to earth than you would imagine. I miss her deep, deep humanity – something you don't find very often. And, of course, her humour. We wanted to make fun of the world together. Not to look down on it, though. We just watched.

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Re: RIP Elizabeth Taylor

Post  eddie on Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:21 am

Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra wig up for sale

Famous hairpiece from 1963 screen epic could fetch up to $11,000 at auction

Steven Morris

guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 December 2011 16.09 GMT


Elizabeth Taylor wears the wig as Cleopatra in the 1963 film. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext Collection/Sportsphoto

One of the most famous cinematic hairstyles of all time, the wig worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film Cleopatra, has emerged for auction.

Made of dark brown human hair, the wig (pictured left) is styled in a long bob with bangs and braids adorned with gold-coloured beads and coils. Taylor wore it when her character tried to convince Caesar (Rex Harrison) to accept supreme control of the empire.

After filming, the wig was kept by its British wigmaker, Stanley Hall, who then passed it on to a Hollywood makeup artist. It is now being sold by Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas, and is set to fetch around $11,000 (£,7000).

Margaret Barrett of Heritage Auctions said: "Cleopatra was filmed in Italy and Stanley Hall, who was an international wigmaker to the stars, made all the wigs for it. Elizabeth Taylor's character had tens of different hairstyles in the film and there were three wigs for each style.

"About 30 years ago Stanley Hall gave the vendor about 40 or 45 wigs from the film. Of all the wigs used in Cleopatra this must be the most iconic. If you think of the movie and Elizabeth Taylor in it you can see her in this wig.

"It is made of real human hair and has gold beads woven into it. It looks very authentic and is a real quality wig.

"Elizabeth Taylor has only recently passed away and she was one of the last great movie stars and there is a lot of interest in memorabilia related to her at the moment," she added.

Cleopatra was the most expensive film of its day, with lavish sets and costumes. Taylor went on to twice marry another of the film's stars, Richard Burton (Mark Antony).

Following her death earlier this year, the Guardian's film critic, Peter Bradshaw, wrote that Cleopatra was the role Taylor was born to play, a role of "atom-splitting power" that "ignited a new global gossip industry". Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext Collection

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