Thursday, March 24, 2011

BitchBuzz: Why Elizabeth Taylor Mattered

My column pays tribute to the luminous Ms. Taylor; I want to sit down and enjoy Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with some friends. Such a good and harrowing film! I altered the last line of my bio as a nod to the movie :-)

Why Elizabeth Taylor Mattered

By K.A. Laity
I don't think President Bush is doing anything at all about AIDS. In fact, I'm not sure he even knows how to spell AIDS. - Elizabeth Taylor

Accolades abound upon hearing the news that Dame Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79. The most common theme seems to be that she was the last of Hollywood's glittering stars, rocking the old school glamour. From her dewy-eyed youth as the doomed Helen Burns in Jane Eyre and of course the allegedly-boyish National Velvet to her seven tempestuous marriages and her rock star lifestyle, the camera loved her luminous face.

But there was much more to the star as she ably demonstrated in her finest film role: Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Viriginia Woolf? where Taylor transformed into the foul-mouthed Martha to duke it out verbally with the love of her life, Richard Burton, as the hapless yet vicious George. Under all the glamour, she was one tough broad who didn't get enough credit for her accomplishments and her loyalty.

Read the rest:

Still working at getting the photos up: bit by bit they're getting there. I'm adding captions as I go along so you can know where things are. Oodles of things to do in the meantime. It never ends!


pattinase (abbott) said...

I remember that so well.
Interesting piece on Salon by Camille Paglia that notes she also was one of the last actresses to have the body of real women. She goes off on a bit of a rant, but it's true. They might have had faces in the silent era, but they had bodies in the Taylor era.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Paglia goes off on a rant?! I'm shocked, shocked.

We got stick figures in the 60s and have never quite recovered. They all seem so devoid of sexuality. I suppose "unnatural" is also "unattainable" which is what gives it prestige, but it's so unhealthy.

Todd Mason said...

Meanwhile, I never "got" Taylor as sexy...I liked WHO'S AFRAID from an early age (and [un]surprisingly little of her other work) and her latter-day spaciness about most matters didn't help, but the AIDS activism was a big plus, and a service to the larger world. Among the non-starved of her generation, Patricia Neal was sexy, the Meadows sisters were sexy, many others, Taylor not so much.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Audrey and Jayne? You are always surprising, Todd.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Word on that, Patti ;-)

C. Margery Kempe said...

She may just not be your flavour, Todd. But consider seeing A Place in the Sun. 'Luminous' embodied there.

Todd Mason said...

More Audrey than Jayne, I'll admit. Her (ET's) eyes never did that much for me, either (rather the source of her luminosity, I think)...but I'll try A PLACE IN THE SUN when it next goes by.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Nope, I meant her skin.