Elizabeth Taylor 1932-2011
Elizabeth Taylor, AKA "Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor" born on February 27, 1931 in London, England. Won Best Actress Oscars for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) and Butterfield 8 (1960). Nominated for Best Actress 1957 for Raintree County, 1958 for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and 1959 for Suddenly, Last Summer. Died March 23, 2011.
She began working in Hollywood at the age of 10 (There's One Born Every Minute, 1942), and became an immediate star after "National Velvet" (1944). She grew up within the studio system, but her gossip-column fame easily transcended Hollywood celebrity once the studios crumbled into freelance companies during the early 1960s, and copious newsprint attention was paid to her yearly until her death. She died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79.
Elizabeth Taylor 1948, A Date with Judy
More Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor obit at Salon "the most fleshly of actresses"
Written by Dana Stevens, this quick overview at salon.com of Taylor's life and films makes several good succinct points, also provides a trove of good links to other Elizabeth Taylor items that are on the internet.
"In a tribute to Taylor that aired on Turner Classic Movies, Paul Newman called her a "functional voluptuary." It wasn't just in roles like Cleopatra, or the debutante Angela Vickers in A Place in the Sun (1951), a woman so unattainably desirable she drives Montgomery Clift's character to murder that Taylor had something of the odalisque about her. Long after she had stopped being a box-office draw, Taylor remained a gossip-magazine blockbuster, not just for her beauty and wealth ....all starlets have that... but for her extravagant and freely displayed appetites: for food, drink, sex, husbands, jewels, pets. The Kalizma, the yacht she owned with Richard Burton and lived on for long stretches, was overrun with unhousebroken Pekingeses and, in one journalist's memorable retelling, a small, terrified African primate known as a bush baby."
Elizabeth Taylor and Cary Grant
This photo of Elizabeth Taylor is attributed to Art Shay.
Screen Stories Elizabeth Taylor 1962
Elizabeth Taylor, 1967
From the film Dr. Faustus
Elizabeth Taylor obits
See an assortment of 58 newspaper and web site obituary notices from around the world. Click to view here.
[Below: Internationally famous for her long career in films that played around the world, her death was front page news seemingly everywhere. Below, front page of the Taipei Taiwan Daily Newspaper on March 24, 2011.]
The death announcement at the UK Daily Mail mentions the reputed Elizabeth Taylor diary or actual completed autobiography that may exist for posthumous publication:
She kept handwritten diaries through much of her life and was said to have discussed a deal to publish them as an explosive memoir following her death.
Doctors were said to be hopeful that she could return to her Bel Air mansion just days before her long-term congestive heart problem took a dramatic turn for the worse.
Her death comes exactly 53 years after she was widowed when third husband, film producer Michael Todd, died in a plane crash.
Dame Elizabeth turned 79 on February 27 but celebrated with her friends and family a month early as ten days later she was admitted to hospital to undergo surgery to repair a leaky heart valve.
...Dame Elizabeth had struggled with her health for a number of years - and towards the end of her life was confined to a wheelchair.
She broke her back at least five times, had three bouts of pneumonia of which one, in 1961, required a tracheotomy, and another, in 1990, nearly killed her.
There were two hip-replacement operations and surgery to remove a benign golf ball-sized brain tumour, plus two stays at the Betty Ford clinic.
Elizabeth Taylor by Roddy McDowell
Click to enlarge photo
There are shelves of books written about Elizabeth Taylor, some of them are:
Elizabeth: The Life of Elizabeth Taylor By Alexander Walker
Paperback: 448 pages, Published by Grove Press (July 10, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0802137695, ISBN-13: 978-0802137692
How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood By William J Mann
Paperback: 528 pages, Published by Mariner Books (2010)
ISBN-10: 9780547386560, ISBN-13: 978-0547386560
Elizabeth Taylor versus "The Androids of Hollywood"
Camille Paglia on the "A luscious, opulent, ripe fruit" of Elizathbeth Taylor
March 23, 2011
Paglia has a retrospective on Elizabeth Taylor which emphasizes the changes in Hollywood that have occurred over the decades, and particularly how Elizabeth Taylor has transcended current trends, and how that contrast makes modern female film stars look (from Salon online):
"To me, Elizabeth Taylor's importance as an actress was that she represented a kind of womanliness that is now completely impossible to find on the U.S. or U.K. screen. It was rooted in hormonal reality -- the vitality of nature. She was single-handedly a living rebuke to postmodernism and post-structuralism, which maintain that gender is merely a social construct. Let me give you an example. Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids Are All Right" is a truly wonderful film, but Julianne Moore and Annette Bening -- who is fabulous in it and should have won the Oscar for her portrayal of a prototypical contemporary American career woman -- were painfully scrawny to look at on the screen. This is the standard starvation look that is now projected by Hollywood women stars -- a skeletal, Pilates-honed, anorexic silhouette, which has nothing to do with females as most of the world understands them. There's something almost android about the depictions of women currently being projected by Hollywood.
...Taylor was a tough broad. She had survival instincts. And that's another thing about her, the way she could bounce back from all her tragedies and near-death experiences and draw on her suffering in her acting. Who could forget when she was near death from pneumonia in London in 1961? There were dramatic pictures of her being carried out on a stretcher, when she had an emergency tracheotomy. Then she bounces right back and gets the Oscar! That was one of the great television nights of my entire life, as I watched the Academy Awards and was praying and praying she would win. Then she goes up to the podium with her bosom exposed and her throat bare, with no bandages, not even a band-aid, so everyone could see the scar, and says in a frail, breathy voice, "Thank you so much." I was delirious!"
[Screen shot of obit notice at Time Magazine News Feed online.]
"Hollywood movie legend Elizabeth Taylor has died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure, her publicist announced on Wednesday. She was 79."
Elizabeth Taylor Films
In Suddenly, Last Summer , Taylor is in a lunatic asylum where she's been hidden to keep her from "babbling" about what happened to Cousin Sebastian, the faceless lecher who used his mother Violet Venable (Katherine Hepburn) and then cousin Catherine Holly (Taylor) to attract young men. Read the review here.
Original Page September 2009, updated Nov 2014
Dark of the Sun 1968 - Mercenaries are hired to go into the Congo civil war to rescue civilians and to also bring back a $25 million dollar cache of diamonds. Rod Taylor leads the mercenaries (James Brown, Peter Carsten and others) on a three day mission that soon includes Yvette Mimieux before everything begins to careen out of control.
Forbidden 1932 - Barbara Stanwyck throws away her career as a librarian for a more exciting lifestyle, but gets bogged down in a long-running relationship with a married statesman (Adolphe Menjou) and director Frank Capra has a hard time making sense of it all in this "weeper" from 1932.
Ball of Fire 1941 - Barbara Stanwyck introduces Gary Cooper to "yum-yum" and it turns his world upside down. Why did she do this? He was perfectly happy secluded in an old house with 7 other bachelors working on writing an encyclopedia. She, however, needed a place to hide from the police and these "eight fish in a barrel" seemed like the perfect cover. Mayhem ensues.
Penguin Pool Murder, 1932 - James Gleason and Edna May Oliver star in a wise-cracking murder mystery set in the New York City Aquarium. He's a police detective and certain she's a meddling old maid until he notices she's not only smarter than everyone else in the room, but she's going to solve the case with or without his help.
The Killing -1956 - Sterling Hayden leads a group of small-time crooks in executing a daring precision racetrack robbery, until a few tiny details screw everything up. A fast-action, time-bending story of an (almost) perfect crime. Marie Windsor and Coleen Gray also star. Kubrick's direction is tight and as efficient as the crime being shown onscreen.
3 Days of the Conder, 1975 - Robert Redford as CIA analyst Joe Turner, trapped between warring factions within the CIA itself. Confused by why everyone is shooting at him, he goes on the run with kidnapped Faye Dunnaway in tow. Sydney Pollack's direction is tense and has clear storytelling. Max von Sydow is on hand as an amused veteran hitman who learns Joe Turner a thing or two. A great big slice of 1970s paranoia powers the film and lays down the template for many films that have followed afterward.
Easy Living, 1937 - Jean Arthur is poor Mary Smith who suddenly becomes the target of every salesman in town trying to gain access to the wealthy, all because of her impromptu friendship with millionaire investor J. B. Ball (Edward Arnold) who she meets by accident when he tosses his wife's fur coat off the top of an apartment building. Classic screwball comedy with script from Preston Sturges.
The Alligator People, 1959 - Tragic case of a man slowly becoming an alligator, and his determined wife (Beverly Garland) who wants to find him (he's in hiding) and get answers. With a hook-handed Lon Chaney Jr as a maniacal alligator hunter in the bayou. Appeared the same year as the famous Elizabeth Taylor film Suddenly Last Summer, and shares many remarkable similarities.
The Last Valley 1971 - Michael Caine and Omar Sharif find refuge in a valley untouched by the ravages of the Thirty Year War devastating Europe. As the snow flies, a peaceful calm settles over the encamped soldiers (who are really more like bandits) and villagers (who have secrets), but Spring is coming.
Heaven Knows, Mr Allison - 1957 - Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum. He's a marine and she's a nun on a Japanese occupied island during World War II. Well-done John Huston directed film that somehow finds a way to square a circle when we see that our two characters are completely unable to pursue the love they obviously share.
The Quiet Man, 1952 - Director John Ford's favorite personal project and a comic masterpiece (which he was afraid he had botched while filming it in Ireland) with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara as newlyweds who must battle their village and themselves to achieve marital peace.
Bachelor Mother 1939 - He's (Niven) the son of the owner (Coburn) of a department store who thinks he's doing a good deed by reuniting an employee (Ginger Rogers) with her child given up to an orphanage. Only the kid isn't hers, and nothing she does can convince anyone of the truth. A screwball comedy classic.
The Lady Eve - 1941 - Preston Sturges directed this most stately of his farcical comedies as a personal challenge to tailor a comedy around Barbara Stanwyck. He provides so much ammo she needs to play two characters, with a befuddled Henry Fonda relunctant to sort it all out (though William Demerst has no trouble doing so).
Night of the Hunter 1955 - British arch-actor Charles Laughton directed only one film, and it features Robert Mitchum as a demented and homicidal preacher (with "love" and "hate" tattooed upon his hands) who is trying to chase down a pair of orphaned children who know the location of hidden bank loot. The only thing standing in his way is a determined Lillian Gish and her shotgun.
X From Outer Space 1967 - Japanese sci-fi tale in which egg-shaped spores catch a ride on a space exploration craft, eventually coming to earth to grow into a Godzilla-sized 'super chicken' that rampages through Tokyo. Though made in the image of a Toho monster movie, this Shochiku Studios effort has a strangely unique take on monster movies cliches.