Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The film, her life story, is already being promoted. Soon, we'll be hearing again the raves and put downs, hearing and seeing clips of Elizabeth Taylor's films -- the ones that stay, stay, and resonate in my mind and yours.

Of course, we'll hear again about her love life -- lovers, husbands, and the transformation from a virginal looking young girl into the legendary, eight-times married "Liz Taylor."

I knew her personally. My perception is that of a relatively ordinary person who's had close-up glimpses and shared some events with her.

(Not really "shared" because she was so deeply into herself) Click, and you can read what I've written.
Socks in a Drawer 6/10/09
Elizabeth Taylor Socks Syndrome 6/11/09.
Elizabeth T's Gift 10/21/09
Elizabeth Taylor revisited 6/11/10

Did you ever sing, "Twinkle twInkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky?" In my sky, there are other stars -- Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, Judy Garland ... and also other spectacularly talented actresses, who affected my life and probably yours.

I remember a party at Elizabeth Taylor's house in Bel Air. Many many other stars -- everybody who was anybody was there. (The party was given for the cast, families and friends and stage crew who were involved in the Burton-Taylor production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives.")

I stayed on the other side of the huge swimming pool, attracting a lot of attention because of my dancer looks. Elizabeth was reclining in a lounge-chair surrounded, the center of a shifting crowd of familiar, famous faces and servants.

Servants with trays were mingling with us guests. My guesstimate -- there were easily 200 guests. I wanted to cross around the tiled-edge of the pool and say hello to the hostess -- was afraid she wouldn't remember me -- knew she remembered me -- knew I bothered her because Richard Burton paid attention to me -- yes, he paid attention of hundreds of others -- Elizabeth couldn't survive if she remembered them all.

Wow, egotist Emily, rudely not greeting the hostess who'd been supportive, kind, and good friends with her husband, John Cullum. The grown up, accomplished Emily was incapable of shoving aside her own sense of importance. and back then, couldn't bring herself to curtsy to the queen.

Elizabeth Taylor was a queen, still is -- queenly and womanly, and childish, like me. Also generous. And greedy, lustful, acquiring men and applause and creating with her talent, real ART. She gave us visions -- a deep sense of little girl, teenager, young woman, love struck newlywed, mother, lover, widow -- a sense of grief, selfishness, curiosity, courage, fear, jealousy, loyalty -- all that, and more, she gave us, and even after she's gone, she still gives us a inner vision of how to feel.

You can probably name your favorite films more easily than I can. As well as your favorite stars. Favorite? For me, that's a smallish, narrow, wrong word.

Elizabeth Taylor is forever, the Star of Stars in my mind.


Maureen Jacobs said...

Incredible woman with tons of resilience. She forged the way for strong women without losing her femininity. She was an icon who showed us that she was not perfect. She stumbled on the road of life and we rooted for her. She had many successes and her life was full.

Those deep eyes said so much.... She is missed. Philanthropically, she was incredible. She was the voice of reason during the HIV/AIDS period of unknowns. She continued to be a voice for those who could not, would not, and did not reveal their plight. She was a real person. She showed us all of her, and we learned from her.

She had so much yet sometimes so little. She did what the rest of us did, lived life as best we could.

Miss her, yes, but she now is where she needs to be...... With Richard.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute blog to Elizabeth Taylor Em! I love her and miss her too. Even when grownup she still held us captive with her eyes and childlike actions. She still is one of a kind-a star of all stars and will be remembered forever. kam

Unknown said...

"I feel the rush of bittersweet." ~ my honest first impression of this posting.
* * *
It was an extremely powerful write-up from you Ms. Emily Frankel. I read all the other blogs you listed within it.
* * *
All we human beings have 'churn' in our lives, Elizabeth Taylor's life had exceptionally voluminous churn. I didn't know her, never met her, I think her voluminous churn had a lot to do with her neediness. She always seemed 'needy'. From the same place perhaps the "real ART" you described sourced itself outwardly.
* * *
I always wondered if Edward Albee's dialogue used by Richard and Elizabeth playing George and Martha in the screen version of "Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?" wasn't in fact 'code' for their seemingly always 'unfinished relationship business'?
* * *
Yes, she in fact was able to do some 'great things' to help others in her later years.
* * *
You say there is a film, her life story being promoted? As it stands right now for me, I simply couldn't imagine what actress could ever play Elizabeth Taylor except Elizabeth Taylor herself. Perhaps enough time has passed 'the youngers' won't know the difference. I know I will.
* * *
Much love to you Ms. EM, your John Cullum and FAMILY. I'm @grammakaye on twitter.

Linda Phillips said...

I breathed the same air as her on a few occasions although she was certainly not aware of my presence. The first time was in the summer of 1960 on a lavish (and now long gone) cruise ship the Grace Line, SS Santa Rosa. She and her then husband Eddie Fisher had a suite that was on a private floor. He was very friendly and in fact engaged me in conversation. She only made "apperances". I was struck by her beauty, but remembered that she had rather large hands. They had just finsihed Butterfield 8 and she had gained a bit of weight, though nothing like the balloning that she would do in later life.

The other time was only for seconds and we were nowhere near each other. It was The Actors Fund Benefit for Burton's Hamlet, which also starred another of my all time favorite actors, one John Cullum.

If memory serve me right, she was the last to be seated and was escorted down the aisle to her seat. She definetly had very regal, queenly airs about her and was clearly in love with herself (it seemed to me anyway). None the less she was a great Hollywood legend and frequently a very fine actress.

Carola said...

She was very beautiful, but I didn't care for her acting.

Anonymous said...

Did she really had violet eyes?

tom fields said...

I love and miss her every day. She was the only movie star I could not get enough of in my 67 years. The beauty was breathtaking in person. Much more so then in films or pictures.
And as a person living with AIDS for over 25 years, I thank her for that every day.