Adieu Elizabeth Taylor ; My Childhood Icon

Cropped screenshot of Elizabeth Taylor from th...

Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA               APRIL 02 , 2011                      06.45 P. M.

News of the sad demise of Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor , better known as Elizabeth Taylor , a.k.a. Liz Taylor came as a rude shock. She was my childhood icon, my first Hollywood celebrity, who made me familiar with Hollywood film industry. My admiration for her grew when I heard that she demanded and got one million dollars and a hefty percentage of the profit as her remuneration for ” Cleopatra ” [ 1963 ] . I was awestruck and became a huge fan. Her husband Richard Burton was also an icon , whom I used to adore.

Cropped screenshot of Richard Burton and Eliza...

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra

Cover of

Cover of Cleopatra

When I went to Allahabad for higher studies in 1969, I started watching Hollywood movies regularly. I used to watch her movies religiously. In those days , when I knew nothing about acting , I was particularly enamoured by her voice and dialogue delivery. Her chiseled face , razor’s edge voice and violet eyes had lasting impression on me and it refuses to subside even after so many years and shall remain a part of me even after her death.

Cropped screenshot of Elizabeth Taylor from th...

Elizabeth Taylor in Father of the Bride

I am unable to say much about her as I don’t know her personally. But few facts of her career are well-known to the world. She was born in London and moved to United States of America during her childhood. There she started working in Hollywood movies as child artiste. Her first movie as child artiste was ” THERE’S ONE BORN IN EVERY MINUTE ” [ 1942 ] . ” LASSIE COME HOME ” [ 1943 ], ” WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER ” [ 1944 ] and ” NATIONAL VELVET ” [ 1944 ] were some of her hit films as child actor. The last mentioned ” NATIONAL VELVET ” [ 1944 ] was her biggest hit as child actor. She was 12 years old when she worked in this film. During the filming , she fell from the horse and this was the beginning of her lifelong chronic back problem.

Her first adult role was ” CONSPIRATORS ” [ 1949 ]. She got success with her second film ” FATHER OF THE BRIDE ” [ 1950 ] and much critical acclaim with her third film ” A PLACE IN THE SUN ” [ 1951 ] . After this film she was nominated for Oscars 4 times for her following films consecutively  : ” RAINTREE COUNTRY ” [ 1957 ] , ” CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF ” [ 1958 ] , ” SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER ” [ 1959 ] , ” and BUTTERFIELD 8 ” [ 1960 ]. She got her first Oscar for ” BUTTERFIELD 8 ” [ 1960 ]. Such staggering successes sealed her box office position and she became numero uno in the Hollywood industry. She got her second oscar again for ” WHO IS AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLF ” [ 1960 ] . In this film she starred opposite her husband and mighty star Richard Burton. Together they starred in 6 more films including ” DR. FAUSTUS ” [ 1967 ] based on the play of Christopher Marlowe. I have seen the film and it is still one of my all time favourites. I was mesmerized by her beauty in some other films like ” REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE ” [ 1967 ] , her starrer with Marlon Brando, another favourite of mine.

Her private life was no-less momentous. Her 8 marriages to 7 husbands was talk of the gossip – mongers. I used to read about her charity works in various papers and was always fascinated by her life. But after the above mentioned film with Marlon Brando , I couldn’t follow her films regularly.

It is sad that she is gone . Life is ephemeral . In her later years Elizabeth Taylor was wheel-chair bound. But her zest for life was unparalleled.

I deeply mourn the death of my childhood icon. There shall never be another Elizabeth Taylor in my life again.

Adieu Ms. Taylor ! You shall always be fondly remembered .




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