Thursday, March 24, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor, Icon of a Generation - by Patty Mooney

Cropped screenshot of Richard Burton and Eliza...Image via Wikipedia Elizabeth Taylor was a huge star when I was a girl. She was the talented, beautiful, strong woman that girls like me wanted to be when we grew up. Her passionate romance with Richard Burton was inspirational, too, while it lasted.

In her later years she fell under the radar, as many celebrities do when they are no longer ingenues, and when the only roles available are for matrons or crones. People like Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood both died young leaving "beautiful corpses," and now history will always portray them as young enchanting women at the peak of their careers.

It must be very difficult to have once been Cleopatra herself, and then find yourself relegated to a wheelchair throughout one's last, waning years.

I remember Elizabeth Taylor in "National Velvet," "Cleopatra" and "Who's Afraif of Virginia Woolf," all roles that seemed to define her. Her cavalcade of marriages and propensity for fried chicken always made headlines. In a way, she was one of the last "grand dames" - movie stars who held the attention of the world for decades. These days there are so many "It Girls" on the scene and none that unequivocally claim the Queen's throne. Not like Elizabeth Taylor, a woman who held sway on that throne for decades and whose movies, grace, philanthropy and inner beauty are gifts to all of us.

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