Dame Elizabeth Rosemond “Liz” Taylor (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011)
She was considered the last star of the most significant period of Hollywood History: the Golden Age era which lasted from the end of the silent in American cinema in the late 1920s to the early 1960s and produced countless of compelling movies.
Taylor died “peacefully today in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles,” said a statement from her publicist. She was hospitalized six weeks ago with congestive heart failure, “a condition with which she had struggled for many years.
Here is Elizabeth Taylor, by the numbers: 62 movies. Seven husbands. Four children. Two Oscars. First star to make $1 million for a movie (Cleopatra). Raised more than $270 million for AIDS charities. One of the first celebrities to live her life in the public eye. Style icon whose ball gown in A Place in the Sun was knocked off and bought by more than 32,000 teenage girls. At one time, owner of two of the largest known sparklers, the Krupp diamond (33 carats) and the Taylor-Burton diamond (69 carats).
In her heyday, which spans roughly from the beginning of World War II to the end of the Vietnam War, Taylor enjoyed one of the longest continuous Hollywood careers. Along the way, this great beauty matured into a great screen actress, using her eyes and surprising stillness (surprising considering her tempestuous characters) to command the screen.
An English-Born actress from american parents; She was hailed, in her prime, as the world’s most beautiful and desirable woman. Her affair with actor Richard Burton, which began on the set of the film “Cleopatra,” fueled a paparazzi rush unrivaled in its time. She marrried Burton in 64.
The Burtons also acted together in “Doctor Faustus” (1968), in which she was a conjured-up Helen of Troy; “The Comedians” (1967), with Ms. Taylor as an adulterous ambassador’s wife in Haiti; Franco Zeffirelli’s film version of “The Taming of the Shrew” (1967), with Ms. Taylor as the volatile Katharina to Burton’s wife-hunting Petrucchio; “Boom!” (1968), an adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore,” with Ms. Taylor as a rich, ailing woman living on an island; “Under Milk Wood” (1972), an adaptation of the Dylan Thomas play; and “Hammersmith Is Out” (1972), a retelling of the Faust legend in which she played a diner waitress.
On her own, Ms. Taylor was an adulterous Army major’s wife in “Reflections in a Golden Eye” (1967), with Marlon Brando; a fading prostitute in “Secret Ceremony” (1968); an aging Las Vegas chorus girl in “The Only Game in Town” (1970), with Warren Beatty; a rich widow who witnesses a murder in “Night Watch” (1973); and a wife who tries to save her marriage through plastic surgery in “Ash Wednesday” (1973), among other films.
Married or single, sick or healthy, on screen or off, She spent decades as a social activist, championing the cause of AIDS awareness, research and cure. However Ms. Taylor never lost her appetite for experience. Late in life, when she had one of many offers to write her memoirs, she refused, saying with characteristic panache, “Hell no, I’m still living my memoirs”!!