(Swans - March 28, 2011) Elizabeth Taylor was as close to a filmic icon as a woman can ever get. The people who adored her were in the millions. That black-haired beauty and those luminous eyes inspired wet dreams in men throughout the nation for over three decades.
She was married eight times but the only one that actually propelled her talent to take flight was the union with Richard Burton, which expanded her range and endowed her with larger dimensions. She needed a strong rambunctious partner to prod her down roads she had never traveled before and Burton, despite marital discrepancies and excess alcoholism, did just that. She began making films at the age of nine and audiences were able to monitor her development from flimsy films such as Lassie Come Home to the brutal energy displayed in works such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. It was as if a monstrous sorceress lay hidden inside the perfectly balanced attractive girl next door suddenly transmuted into a termagant.
Then there was Taylor the militant champion of gays and enemy of fatuous politicians; the stalwart superstar who declined to attend the 75th Annual Academy Awards because of her opposition to the Iraq war; another aspect of the dragon concealed behind the gorgeous fašade.
But the most lasting memory of Elizabeth Taylor will always be her breathtaking beauty -- as if the gods put her on the earth to shame all the plastic female pretenders who try to manufacture a beauty which belongs to her alone. In whatever sphere of heaven she now resides, I am sure she is surrounded by furtive angels seeking autographs.
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