How will the world remember Elizabeth Taylor – a famed belle, a gossip magnet, a grand actress? TEODORA GAYDAROVA looks back at a remarkable life and a colossal talent
Elizabeth Taylor was just nine when she first appeared on the big screen a cameo role alongside the legendary Orson Welles in Jane Eyre (1942).
Establishing herself as an actress who could play characters much older than her, Taylor’s acting career climbed steadily, bringing her five Academy nominations in the span of two decades.
She was awarded the precious statuette twice – for her roles in Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), while her portrayal of the infamous Egyptian queen in the epic blockbuster Cleopatra (1963) was her most emblematic and memorable performance.
Elizabeth Taylor’s face, with her probing eyes, adorned the front pages of newspapers and magazines for decades.
The interest of the media, however, was not so much in her career,as in her tumultuous personal life. Despite her huge professional success, happiness in Taylor’s personal life seemed elusive.
A long struggle to overcome alcoholism anjd other addictions added to her problems. Her personal mishaps, and above all her constantly changing relationships were closely followed by the paparazzi and criticised by the press more fiercely than she deserved.
Such media attention could have doomed any other actress – but not Taylor. Despite negative coverage, her climb to professional stardom was steady.
Nowadays it’s common for Hollywood stars to be famous for nothing other than good looks or provocative behaviour. Taylor, however, did not seek to create a buzz on purpose. Neither was she fake in her behaviour or artificial in her appearance.
Taylor’s legacy speaks more clearly of her than anything ever written in the press. Her screen presence, her haunting performances and her charismatic personality were overpowering, leaving her image lingering long after the end credits had rolled.
In the 1970s Liz Taylor’s acting career began to wane but she refused to remain anonymous even during her later years. She was a compassionate and passionate charity campaigner, relentlessly raising funds for the fight against HIV and raising awareness of AIDS.
Image of perfection
In 2000, the English-born superstar was awarded the title Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Elizabeth Taylor was a phenomenon in every aspect of her life and an image of perfection – a breathtakingly beautiful woman, an exceptionally gifted multi-award winning actress and a humane charity worker.
Her captivating violet eyes and her soothing velvety voice will speak from the screen to the coming generations, an everlasting example of an extraordinary woman and actress.