Friday, March 25, 2011

In Remembrance of a Legend

The world has once again lost a true Hollywood legend. Actress, Elizabeth Taylor, died early Wednesday morning of Congestive Heart Failure.

Beginning as a child star then throughout her adulthood, she was known for her acting talent, glamour, beauty, love of jewelery, and striking violet eyes; as well as a much publicized private life that included eight marriages, several life-threatening illnesses, and decades spent as a social activist, championing the cause of AIDS awareness, research and cure. Taylor, a two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress, is considered one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age. The American Film Institute named Taylor seventh on its Female Legends list. 

Taylor struggled with health problems much of her life,and many times newspaper headlines announced that she was close to death. She is known to have smoked cigarettes into her mid-fifties and feared she had lung cancer in October 1975 after an X-ray showed spots on her lungs; she was later found not to have the disease. She broke her back five times, had both her hips replaced, survived a benign brain tumor operation and skin cancer, and faced life-threatening bouts with pneumonia twice, one of which (1961), resulted in an emergency tracheotomy. In the 1980s, she received treatment for alcoholism. She was treated for drug addiction at the now infamous Betty Ford Clinic in 1983, and again from the autumn of 1988 until early 1989. In November 2004, she announced that she had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, a progressive condition in which the heart is too weak to pump sufficient blood throughout the body, particularly to the lower extremities, the ankles, and feet. She used a wheelchair and when asked about it stated that she had osteoporosis and was born with scoliosis. In 2009 she underwent cardiac surgery to replace a leaky valve. In February 2011, new symptoms related to congestive heart failure caused her to be admitted into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for treatment, where she remained until her death at age 79 on March 23, 2011, surrounded by her four children. -Wikipedia

Liz was a leading child star by the age of 12 after her performance in MGM's National Velvet. It wasn't long before she was knocking critics dead as a serious adult actress with films like Giant, Raintree County and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She reigned the box office as the quintessential movie star taking the breath away from viewers with her glamorous looks and those velvet eyes... See full bio on IMDb »

Born:Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor  February 27, 1932 in Hampstead, London, England, UK
Died:March 23, 2011 (age 79) in Los Angeles, California, USA

Elizabeth Taylor is considered one of the last, if not the last major star, to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system. And not just any studio, the top of the heap: MGM. Her early movies, as a child in the early 1940s, starred such Hollywood luminaries as Orson Welles and Spencer Tracy. She quickly grew up, however, and by 1950 was, if not starring in, assuming major responsibilities for the success of motion pictures she appeared in. Then with major roles onscreen, came worldwide attention off-screen, most notably due to a succession of famous and/or rich husbands and a series of health crises throughout her life. To put it simply, Elizabeth Taylor has lived a life far more exciting and dramatic than any movie she's ever appeared in and probably most any other movie you could name. She's known internationally for her beauty, especially for those violet eyes, with which she captured audiences early on in her youth and has kept the world hooked on ever since. She's won the Oscar twice and she's earned her place in and out of the sun.- IMDb 

Wednesday on "The View", Barbara Walters opened the show with a few clips from their conversations to honor her friend, the Oscar winner and social activist. One clip, from 1999, showcased Taylor's trademark humor. Walters inquired what the actress wanted on her tombstone, to which she responded, "Here lies Liz. She lived. Wait, no...Here lies Elizabeth. She hated being called Liz. But she lived," she said with a laugh.

"She had a sense of humor so bawdy that I’d say 'really, did that just come out of your mouth?'" "The View's" Whoopi Goldberg recalled. "She was a great broad and a great friend."

Walters agreed that in addition to being a great actress, Taylor could be "very salty," but that's also what everyone loved about her.

A special edition of "Nightline" featuring Barbara Walters: "Remembering Elizabeth Taylor" aired on Wednesday night, March 23 on ABC at 11:35pm.