Who cannot remember the feisty little girl who played the title role in “National Velvet” when her star quality shone so brightly?
Like that little girl she played in the movie, she was truly a twinkling star – not just on the Hollywood walk of fame; but in her very essence.
Her movie career spanned many decades – her marriages made headlines – and she was considered a disgrace by some in her role as Cleopatra with so little to cover that beautiful body of hers.
Sometimes when a celebrity dies we look back at their successful career and see what they accomplished and what they accumulated in this world; but we often forget that they are just plain, simple human beings who won the love (and sometimes hatred) of fans all across the world.
She was a two time Academy award winner; but that does not define who this gracious and talented lady really was. In days gone by you had to attend great movies in downtown Atlanta like the Fox, The Loew’s Grand, the Roxy or the Paramount for there were no movie houses in many rural communities. Atlanta theatres would have the first run – just released movies; and later the local small ones normally had the more family oriented re-runs.
Growing up near the Techwood Theatre in Atlanta, the kids would collect their Capitola tokens from the huge bag of flour that they came in; and take off for the Saturday Matinee. Kids were not exposed to grown up movies and situations in those days. The more adult movies were shown in the evening and at night; and even those today would seem like today’s “G” rated compared to what has become common in the movies today.
But it was the large downtown Atlanta theaters that showed the big hits. Most of the time when a great movie was presented, you would have to stand in line a very long time only to get to the ticket window and find all the seats were sold for that showing. These were the movie houses that premiered Miss Taylor’s movies.
There will be many who write about Miss Taylor’s professional career achievements – and others who will remind us of the hardships and bad decisions she made – many fans never fully forgave her for breaking up what seemed like an ideal marriage between Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
But when it comes to marriages, she will most be remembered for her many love encounters with that dashing actor of both stage and screen, Richard Burton. She played memorable roles in movies like “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” with Paul Newman as “Maggie, the cat.”
She played the role of the sweet innocent bride in “Father of the Bride,” with Spencer Tracy. The stretch of her acting ability was gigantic. Among her many memorable roles was “Giant” with Rock Hudson. People returned time and time again to see the big epic movies. Today they actually own their favorite movies to watch over and over again at home.
One of her best beloved movies was, “National Velvet,” when she co-starred with Mickey Rooney. Startiing as a chld actress she easily transitioned to adult roles that has been more difficult for other child stars.
But if she could be asked today, she would probably feel her most important role in life was to be a vigorous activist for AIDS.
She was also a mother to most women that is the most important role in life. At the time of her death she was survived by her four children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She was a close friend to many actors; but especially to Michael Jackson.
Pop-Eater gives a brief outline of her biography: http://www.popeater.com/celebrities/elizabeth-taylor/#celebrity-bio Born February 27, 1932 – Died March 23, 2011. You know what they say. It is the dash between the birth date and the death date that matters for that represents your life; and how you lived it.
You can find an extended biography of her life, loves, accomplishments and awards at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Taylor
But no matter your station in life – high – low or in-between. The scriptures say that we are all appointed a day once to die. When we are born, we never know which way the wind will blow us and how our choices will bring consequences.
But we only have this one life on earth; and whether we make the spotlight or merely live a life of service to others, what we do and accomplish will define who we were on earth.
However, all of that is like wood, hay, and stubble when we face our own mortality. It is the time when we all realize that life is precious and it is fleeting and it ends. The dash is how we will be remembered.
The folks here in Atlanta and surrounding areas offer genuine sympathy to her family; and we pray that she is resting with the angels.
Liz, you will be missed.
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