I always loved the fact that my middle name is Elizabeth; not just for my great aunt who I was named after but because it sounds so glamorous-like Elizabeth Taylor.
When Elizabeth was born the doctor told her mother she had a mutation, her mother didn’t seem too worried when she found out it was an extra row of eyelashes. From the very beginning Elizabeth had all the extras for that movie star quality and presence. She came to be universally acclaimed as one of the most beautiful women of the twentieth century.
Elizabeth wanted what she wanted when she wanted it with movies, men, babies, drinks, diamonds…
She once said, “I’ve been lucky all my life. Everything was handed to me: looks, fame, wealth, honors, love… But I’ve paid for that luck with disasters, terrible illnesses, destructive addictions, broken marriages.”
Elizabeth Taylor was a fearless fighter who had an enormous passion for life. There was no one like Elizabeth Taylor. Known as “the grand dame”, she said, “I never planned to acquire a lot of jewels or a lot of husbands.”
She won two Academy Awards, had many loves (including eight husbands, endless animals, four children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren), battles with substance abuse and humanitarian causes. She was also a loyal friend. Shirley MacLaine said after her death last week “I don’t know what was more impressive- her magnitude as a star or her magnitude as a friend. Her talent for friendship was unmatched.”
I remember being a little girl watching National Velvet and recognizing then that Elizabeth was glamorous even at age twelve with her violet eyes. She was mesmerizing. She had said early on, I sometimes think I prefer animals to people.
In college I read Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof then saw the movies…Jessica Lange 84′ and Elizabeth 58′. Elizabeth Taylor will always be the real Magpie. It was also at that time that my signature scent was one of her many famous perfumes, Passion. I remember feeling glamorous when I wore it, even in jeans!
She was known for always being late. She kept her entourage waiting for hours and even joked that she would be 15 minutes late to her own funeral, and she was!
Elizabeth was an American fashion icon; she defined glamour. One of her gifts was her ability to make uncomplicated clothes seem très chic, naturally. She would wear jeans with diamonds; lots of diamonds (really big diamonds)! There’s no need for a special occasion! Wear those diamonds now while you can because they make you feel fabulous! She said, “Enough is never enough” when describing her personal style.
In Butterfield 8, Elizabeth wore a simple white slip that was an everyday undergarment for women in the 1960s. But in the movie she made the staple seem like the sexiest thing in the world to wear. Her Grecian white dress in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof hit the same high note; iconic yet simplistic. Another movie I adore is Father of the Bride. In all of her eight marriages, this was her most memorable wedding dress! The movie Cleopatra earned Taylor a Guinness World Record title of the most costume changes in a film.
Elizabeth Taylor made more than sixty movies in all. Like many movie stars of her time, she battled drug and alcohol abuse. She also became a leader in the fight against AIDS and HIV. She helped found amFAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
One of my favorite Sex and the City episodes is when Charlotte has a miscarriage and watches E! True Hollywood Story about Elizabeth Taylor. Charlotte gets inspired to rise up like Elizabeth and puts on her best Elizabeth Taylor dress, jewelry, and hairstyle and goes to a party. I believe that if life presents a problem that I need to rise above, I will have a much better day if I dress for it. If you want to feel fabulous you must look fabulous! I know Elizabeth must have felt the same way.
Elizabeth Taylor was our American princess. She charmed us and left us with many memories. She will be missed.