Movie legend Elizabeth Taylor died yesterday at age 79. Her sparkling violet eyes will be missed but she leaves a legacy of beauty, movies, and advocacy with us that will not be forgotten.
You will find a well made video tribute below where her natural beauty shines through — some with and some without the Hollywood glitter. The video includes many glamour shots of course, but also less famous pictures. It gives the viewer a small glimpse of an Elizabeth Taylor we don’t often read about in the press. First, you see here as a young child when she was probably still in London, England. She was born in London in 1932 but her parents (US citizens) moved back to the US in 1939 before World War II started (she kept her british nationality — she had a dual British-American citizenship). You also see Elizabeth as a young mother. Thankfully, her four children were with her to say goodbye (she is also survived by 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren). And of course there are many pictures with Richard Burton, the man she married twice and with whom she had an explosive relationship. Some are beautiful romantic shots, but my favorite is the one where she kicked up her feet on his leg (looks like it was during the movie “Who is Afraid of Virginia Wolf?”) — a nice intimate moment.
The pictures below are just a few of shots that capture inspiring facets of Elizabeth Taylor’s beauty and femininity — hope you enjoy:
Elizabeth Taylor (1959), Suddenly Last Summer
Elizabeth Taylor (1955), Giant
Elizabeth Taylor & James Dean (1955), Giant
Elizabeth Taylor (1958), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Here with Richard Burton, her eyes say is all. Elizabeth Taylor wrote about Richard Burton: “I’ve always admitted that I’m ruled by my passions, and I can’t pretend I didn’t know what I was doing when I became involved with Richard.”
Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton
Elizabeth Taylor’s Legacy
Of course, her legacy includes the 50 plus movies she acted in (e.g. Suddenly Last Summer, Giant, Cleopatra, The Cat under the Root, etc.). There were also the 8 marriages to seven different men. But one of her greatest roles was that of philanthropist. She was the Founding National Chairman of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). Her dedication started back in 1985 when she joined Dr. Mathilde Krim to create amfAR. At that time, nobody wanted to talk about the issue but she had the courage of her convictions. Now her philanthropic work lives on. In recognition of her AIDS advocacy work, France honored her in 1987 by giving her the Legion of Honor (Légion d’Honneur) — the most prestigious award you can receive in France. In May 2000, Queen Elizabeth II made her “Dame Elizabeth Taylor” for her charity services and work in the entertainment industry.
Some touching statements from friends & family:
“Elizabeth Taylor was a dear friend. I knew her from our days together at MGM when she was just a teenager, and I watched her grow into one of Hollywood’s finest actresses. She was passionate – and compassionate – about everything in her life, including her family, her friends, and especially the victims of the AIDS. She was truly a legend and we will miss her.”
“We have just lost a Hollywood giant, but more importantly we have lost an incredible human being. Elizabeth Taylor earned her fame with her extraordinary talent as a young actress, making her first movie at the tender age of nine. She earned our adoration for her stunning beauty and for being the very essence of glamorous movie stardom. And she earned our enduring love and respect for her compassion and her courage in standing up and speaking out about AIDS when others preferred to bury their heads in the sand.”
Frédéric Mitterrand, Culture & Communication Minister of France
“C’était la dernière star, comme on dit le dernier empereur, la dernière reine.” (She was the last star, like you say the last emperor, the last queen)
“une femme exquise, généreuse, qui aimait profondément la vie et le cinéma et avait le génie de savoir mélanger les deux choses” (an exquisite woman, generous, who deeply loved life and cinema and had the genius to know how to mix both”
But her son Michael’s tribute says it all:
“My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love. Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”