Elizabeth Taylor's legacy & the personal connection I have with the Legend herself



It's funny how only when someone dies do you truly appreciate the work they had done over their long, illustrious career. Elizabeth Taylor died yesterday morning at the age of 79. I knew all about her and the legend she had created through my grandmother who had been a Taylor fan since watching Cleopatra more than 47 years ago in a movie theatre. Not only was she a fan but she would always mention how people thought she looked like Taylor. I saw it too in old pictures and even as we speak she looks like older taylor. My grandmother not only looked like her in the pictures I had seen that dated way back to the 40's and 50's but she acted like her too. Taylor was a tough cookie that took nothing from nobody. She stood her ground and helped raise awareness for causes that caught her heart, most importantly the millions she donated to AIDS charities. She had gay friends that impacted her greatly, most notably Rock Hudson who died of AIDS himself in the 80's.

My grandmother -behind all the madness I see in her and the ferocious, sometimes abnormally tough character she might have- has a heart of gold that translates into giving to others and caring too much to bear. She's always talked to me about Taylor's eyes, the purple that laid in them and the rarity that came with having such awestruck beautiful eyes. She'd talk about watching Cleopatra and other films of hers. I have never been a big fan of the film myself and you won't find many film connoisseurs warming up to it either, it was a colossal flop in its day but something about it grabbed many mainstream film goers into its lovingly grandiose design -Grandma included. Everything that made Taylor a superstar was in the film, her looks were to die for and the overall grandiosity of her character on screen made for a larger than life portrayal of a biblical figure.

She was seen more as a superstar than as an actual actress by my Grandmother and that's in fact what many loved most about Taylor. The royalty that came with her and the men that went down to their knees begging to marry her (8 marriages in fact). Behind all that was an actress and not more an example than in Who Killed Virginia Woolfe? which rightfully won her an Oscar in 1967. A brave performance in which Taylor de-glammed herself and became the opposite of what Grandma envisioned of her. In the thick of things Taylor had beauty but she also had heart on screen, almost everybody will admit she had her duds but you couldn't deny the presence on screen or the formidable impact she had on Hollywood. When I got the news she died yesterday morning my heart floundered, I thought of my Grandmother and how she would take the news. A woman she had looked up to for decades was gone but in typical fashion it was as if nothing happened. Her reaction was like any other, she was sad but was more concerned with the daily trials that were happening in her own life. Elizabeth Taylor would have acted the same way.
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