RIP Elizabeth Taylor

This past week America and the world lost a true national treasure.

At age 79, actress Elizabeth Taylor died from congestive heart failure. She had been sick for several weeks.

While I have seen very little of her actual acting career, the fact that I even know of her work decades earlier is a tribute to her staying power.

For many people under age 40, Liz Taylor was seen as “famous for being famous.” She was some former actress who hung out with George Hamilton, liked Michael Jackson, and struggled with booze, pills, and weight problems. She got married every other week

This is not who she was, not by a long shot.

Long before celebrities became celebrities by simply chasing down cameras and announcing it, Liz Taylor was a real celebrity. In fact, she was “the” celebrity. She got that way by being one of the premiere actresses of her time. She was no psuedo-celeb. She earned her fame by being fantastic at what she did. She earned her plaudits.

She was the first actress to be paid 7 figures when she appeared as Cleopatra. Her gorgeous purple eyes made her one of a kind.

She was the original bride in “Father of the Bride” with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.

She used her fame for so much good, taking up the cause of fighting AIDS years before it became trendy. Once again, she was an original.

Only in reading her obituaries this past week did I even learn that she was Jewish. I never knew that. She converted to the faith decades ago, and she was active in fighting anti-Semitism. Maybe I never knew this because as famous as she was, she did not announce every good deed she did. She just did good deeds. Her already existing fame just led to others reporting on her good deeds.

Yes, she was married eight times. Yes, in her later life she struggled with addictions. Yet she always maintained her dignity, and her eyes and gorgeous smile even in her later years allowed her to appear in commercials for diamonds and perfume with much believability.

She was a classy, dignified woman who used her fame to improve the world.

Her talents were many, and now she is in Heaven. Like many people, she left us too soon.

RIP Ms. Taylor. You will be missed.


One Response to “RIP Elizabeth Taylor”

  1. Eagle 6 says:

    For those of us nearing or at 60, who wouldn’t remember National Velvet…and the 13 year old beauty whose purple eyes didn’t show up in black and white…and she was beautiful nonetheless… and by marrying Richard Burton twice, she demonstrated character…or at least consistency… and yes, her plumper “Roman” years in celebrity movies were a curiosity for us older guys who remember her charming Cleopatra days, but I suppose they were little more than the abovementioned “celebrity” tours to the younger folks. Who knows what is in one’s heart? I thought she was a screwball when she adopted the squeaky-voiced michael tyke meister, but who knows what was really behind that…and who woulda thunk she and a black guy from the rat pack would be Jewish? As the movie rags would say, TMI…

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