Lovely Liz: Goodbye to Elizabeth Taylor

Miss Taylor was gracious enough to sign my photo when I wrote her in 2008.

I got out of yoga this morning around 10 a.m. ET and had four texts telling me Liz died. I have to admit I teared up a bit when I called my mom about it after that. One of my professors even said he was surprised I wasn’t wearing all black today.  No, Elizabeth Taylor isn’t one of my all time favorite actresses.  She isn’t one of the actresses I’m trying to see all of her movies, but only because I don’t care to see most of late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s films. I have seen all of her movies made up until the early 1960s.

I’m not going to go on about how Liz was married so many times.  Or  her work for AIDS, though I admire her work that she did for her friend Rock Hudson. I just plain want to celebrate Liz’s life and career.

She first caught our attention as Priscilla, Nigel Bruce’s granddaughter in “Lassie Come Home” (1943).  She stole our hearts-and kept them for decades- with her sparkling blue-purple eyes, adorable smile and her plead to her grandfather to keep Lassie the collie in his dog kennels. Originally wanted for the role of Bonnie Blue Butler in “Gone with the Wind,” Taylor’s father wanted to keep her out of movies, however, I wonder if he anticipated how big a star she would become.

Liz with her green eyeshadow in “A Date with Judy”

Taylor was one of the few actors who gracefully transitioned from child actor to teenager to successful adult actor. She was allowed to look like a grown up young lady in “A Date with Judy” with green eye shadow, grown up gowns and older Robert Stack. Jane Powell, who was still the same age, said she was a little jealous of this as she still dressed like a teenager in the film.

Miss Taylor grew up quickly. Taylor went from a sophisticated young woman to a sexy, shapely and independent woman in the mid and late 1950s.

I think Liz looked her prettiest in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and then, for me, she started to go downhill. She started gaining weight, the 1960s began and movies started to change.  I start to lose interest in her films once you get past “Butterfield 8.”  “The Sandpiper” is lousy, “The VIPs” is star studded but overly dramatic and I couldn’t even finish “The Comedians” out of boredom.  However, I haven’t seen “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” yet, but I have it taped and plan to watch it when I get the chance.

In her white gown in “Ivanhoe” with Robert Taylor

My favorite movies of Taylor’s are “Giant”, “A Date with Judy,” “Cynthia” and “Father of the Bride,” but there are so many other great ones.   She is a great bratty, selfish Amy in “Little Women” and   looks beautiful in “Ivanhoe,” especially the white dress she wears. “Father of the Bride” and “Father’s Little Dividend” are family favorites at my house. My dad is the only man in our family (3 daughters, mom and our female dachshund) so he sympathizes with Spencer Tracy.

Elizabeth Tayor was the last really big super star of the Golden Era.  Though Doris Day, Lauren Bacall and Esther Williams are still living, they aren’t on the same scale as Miss Taylor. Taylor was Hollywood royalty with her highly publicized life and two Oscar winning roles. No one was quite like her or ever will be.

So I bow down to the last royalty of the Golden Age. Farewell, Miss Taylor. You will be greatly missed.

 I leave you with a funny side of Liz on “What’s My Line” from 1954 when she was pregnant with one of her children:

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9 thoughts on “Lovely Liz: Goodbye to Elizabeth Taylor

  1. Lovely tribute. Hard to believe she is gone. I feel like I should have my own personal movie marathon today of some of Elizabeth Taylor’s movies.

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  2. I have also taped “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and plan to watch it soon. I loved “Giant” as well.

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  3. I feel much the same way about Elizabeth’s passing. She was never one of my favorites but I mourn her loss in that it feels like the end of an era.

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    • Yeh, it’s funny because though she was in so many 40s and 50s movies, I still think of her as a “newcomer” because she was big in the 60s and 70s as well. I knew she was in bad health, so I wasn’t surprised when I heard she died-but at the same time I was because she still seems so young to me.

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  4. Hi, thanks for your recent visit to my classic movie blog. When I watched Four Daughters a month or so ago, I watched it the day after I had watched Bridge on the River Kwai and The Turning Point, and my man Bill Holden died in both of those. So, by the time I got to Four Daughters, I was weary of the guys dying. Plus, I knew it was the original of Young at Heart, so I was expecting the same ending.

    Your post about Liz Taylor is such a lovely tribute. And how exciting and gracious that she autographed your picture. She was never one of my faves, (although A Place in the Sun IS one of my top 5 movies), but it’s still so sad that all the oldie goldies are passing away. That’s the one hard thing about loving classic movies…for the most part, all my faves are long gone.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

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    • Hahah I can understand wanting a happier ending after watching both of those movies! It’s sad that John Garfield dies in “Three Daughters” but Priscilla ends up with Jeffrey Lynn (which made me happy, she should’ve been with him the whole time!)

      Thanks 🙂 It was pretty exciting that she autographed it for me. I will say there is a lot of heartache in classic movie loving when people die 😦 I’m not sure what I will do with Esther Williams and Doris Day die. It’s weird to see people so alive and young in movies, but you have to remind yourself alot that they are gone. 😦

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  5. Ahh, you have to mention “A Place in the Sun” and “Raintree County”…with her friend Montgomery Clift …too of my all time Liz favorites.

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