I’ve always liked having the name ‘Elizabeth;’ I always like fellow Elizabeths, especially those who prefer, as Elizabeth Taylor did, to go by their full name. She disdained ‘Liz.’ No, Elizabeth Taylor was/is an Uber Elizabeth– exemplifying the name’s regal flowing syllables centered by a zippy ‘z.’
While Elizabeth Taylor looked every inch the movie queen, she earned her Elizabethan ‘z’ with her unladylike zest for life and her sly sometimes zany sense of humor. Celebrated friends of hers remember her rowdy cackling laugh as well as her generous nature and good works. A detail that sticks in my mind from an interview years ago: while Elizabeth Taylor chatted away with the interviewer, one of Taylor’s infant grandchildren gnawed on one of Taylor’s oversized diamond rings.
Elizabeth Taylor acknowledged in the later years of her oversized life that she was ‘tacky’ then added slyly, ‘You wouldn’t want me any other way, would you?’
Of course not. Yet this gawdiest of stars had– onscreen, in her early star-making roles– a luminous ethereal quality. Did two earthlings ever look more lovely than young Elizabeth Taylor and young Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun? Elizabeth Taylor will always have a place in the stars. RIP, Elizabeth.
(photos: cullentarikbeck.blogspot.com; movieeye.com, community.livejournal.com, calstatela.edu)