Tag Archives: Elizabeth Taylor

Is It Possible To Become A Gay Icon?

Cute article from Joel Stein in Time Magazine in light of Elizabeth Taylor’s passing…

Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full article at the bottom:

Irish wakes are good, sitting Shivah is O.K., jazz funerals are great, and ayatullah processions have their moments, but the people you really want to show up when you die are the gays. The Abbey, a gay bar in West Hollywood, is still mourning Elizabeth Taylor, who hung out there with her dog Daisy, drinking watermelon-and-apple martinis. Taylor was a gay-male icon: beautiful and talented with a messy personal life, addictions to drugs or alcohol, and about 14 marriages. I don’t know the details because I’m straight.

In fact, gay icons totally confuse me. I get that Maria Callas and Judy Garland are hot, talented women martyred by their art. But Marilyn Monroe was fabulous and tragic, and gays don’t care about her except as a Halloween costume. And I’ve yet to hear of one drag queen who puns off of Vincent van Gogh. Meanwhile, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Cher seem to have fine lives. Is inner strength the key? Or vulnerability? And how can you possibly iconicize all four Golden Girls? They’re so different.

But all of them have a much better deal than having straight-dude fans. The moment you stop playing your sport, they ignore you and your sad suburban autograph signings. But if you’re a gay icon and get addicted to meth, stop working and abuse your assistant, your fans just love you more for it. I needed to figure out how to become a gay icon. Even if it required drinking watermelon-and-apple martinis.

via Is It Possible To Become A Gay Icon? – TIME.


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Elizabeth Taylor, Al Jazeera and the Raid on Entebbe | The Nation

A little known bit of history that even I had forgotten…

When Elizabeth Taylor died, Al Jazeera English reported that her greatest role was Cleopatra.

They didn’t report that she had offered herself as a hostage at Entebbe in exchange for the 100 hijack victims held by terrorists at that airport in Uganda in 1976. The terrorists turned down the deal, and then Israeli commandos freed the hostages.

“The Jewish people will always remember” Taylor’s offer—that’s what the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Simcha Dinitz said in 1977, according to CNN.

Taylor had converted to Judaism in 1959, when she was 27 years old—Time magazine reported that she had taken the Jewish name “Elisheba Rachel Taylor.” Raised as a Christian Scientist, Taylor converted in part under the influence of her third husband, producer Mike Todd—“born Avrom Goldbogen,” as Time explained, “grandson of a Polish rabbi.”

The year after her Entebbe hostage trade offer, 1977, she married John Warner, who then ran for the Senate from Virginia as a Republican—she campaigned for him actively, and her star power was credited with his narrow victory. Warner reportedly resented being called “Mr. Elizabeth Taylor.”

But life as a Republican political wife in Washington made her “a drunk and a junkie,” she later said, and in 1983 she checked into the Betty Ford clinic.  The rest is history.

via Elizabeth Taylor, Al Jazeera and the Raid on Entebbe | The Nation.

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Zsa Zsa Gabor Says ‘I’m Next’

Poor Zsa, Zsa….

It’s all about her….

Upon learning that her dear friend Elizabeth Taylor has passed away on Wednesday morning, Zsa Zsa Gabor became so upset that she was rushed back to the hospital in Los Angeles, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned.

Zsa Zsa’s husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt told RadarOnline.com that his wife was watching television when the story broke of Taylor’s death.

Taylor and Gabor, 94, had been friends for decades and she “went hysterical” after she was told of her passing.

“Zsa Zsa said celebrities go in threes and I’m next,” her husband said she exclaimed.

Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor passed away after spending six weeks in the hospital for congestive heart failure. She was 79. Hollywood icon Jane Russell died in February, she was 89.

Frederic said Zsa Zsa’s blood pressure “went through the roof,” so he called an ambulance and she was rushed back to the UCLA Medical Center.

via EXCLUSIVE: Zsa Zsa Gabor Says ‘I’m Next’ After Learning Of Elizabeth Taylor’s Death, Rushed To Hospital | Radar Online.

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Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor: How to Handle a Woman

I found this lovely video on YouTube and wanted to share it…

Wonderful pictures of the all-time great celebrity couple.

Song is from “Camelot” and sung by Richard Burton.

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Elizabeth Taylor: A Film Tribute to The Last Star

Elizabeth Taylor has left the stage…

We will never see her like again…

A great Actress and a great humanitarian who lived life to the fullest…

She was one of the greatest Stars ever to come out of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Her life both on and off the screen was the stuff of legend…

She spoke out for and fought for People With AIDS when everyone else was afraid of the social stigma.  Then she raised over $350 Million for AIDS Research.

She will never be forgotten.  They don’t make’em like her anymore…

She was one hell of a Dame….

“A Place in the Sun” proved she could be a serious actress.  And she appeared in it with her great friend Montgomery Clift, perhaps the only person as beautiful as she was:

She was my favorite Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”:

“Giant”, with her great friend Rock Hudson and James Dean was to become legendary:

With “Cleopatra”, she became the first actor or actress to be paid $1Million for a film.  She met Richard Burton on the set and fireworks erupted as the two married stars began an affair. It was the scandal of the 20th Century, well after the previous scandal when she stole Eddie Fisher from Debbie Reynolds.

But she became ill and almost died, so all was forgiven. She won her first Oscar for “Butterfield 8” after her recovery and while shooting Cleopatra.  The “Cleopatra” drama almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox.

With “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, she and Burton gave incredible performances and she won her second Oscar.  Their offscreen dramas only added to the legend:

Perhaps her greatest role came later in her life.  AIDS activism.  She spoke out for people with AIDS when everyone else was afraid to do so.  She raised millions of dollars for AIDS research.

Here is a great interview from that era with Larry King:


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Elizabeth Taylor: The ‘Last Star’ – CNN.com

Great article from Gene Seymour at CNN about Elizabeth Taylor and what would have happened if she had succumbed to her legendary 1960 illness instead of living on…

Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday at 79. But suppose she had died in 1960? She could have. You could look it up. She was suffering from pneumonia that year, after starting filming on “Cleopatra.” It was serious enough for her to have been declared dead.

Those who remember hearing the news — my mother and her friends among them — swear that the whole world stopped at that moment. That’s how dominant, how unavoidable Taylor had become. And she wasn’t yet 30 years old.

By 1960, Taylor was as pervasive a presence in American culture as President Eisenhower, Mickey Mantle, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, who that same year — though no one knew it at the time — would make her last movie, “The Misfits,” before her own death two years later.

Almost 50 years have passed since then, and they’re still publishing cover stories about Monroe. If it hadn’t been for the emergency tracheotomy that saved Taylor’s life, the same would have been true for her.

Those articles would have chronicled in melancholic and rhapsodic tones how Taylor first came to prominence as the most beautiful child actress in motion-picture history. Watch her breakthrough role, at age 12, in 1944’s “National Velvet,” and maybe you’ll understand why even such grown film critics as The Nation’s James Agee fawned over her “with the peculiar sort of adoration I might have felt if we were both in the same grade of primary school.”

Her rise from MGM ingénue to an actress of such caliber that she’d been nominated for the best actress Oscar in 1957 (“Raintree County”), 1958 (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”), and 1959 (“Suddenly, Last Summer”) would have been framed in the context of great promise on the precipice of fulfillment.

Inevitably, those eulogies would have given as much space to her star-crossed, some might say “untidy,” romantic life. She had four marriages up till 1960, the last to her “BUtterfield 8” co-star Eddie Fisher who, tabloid gossips contended, was “stolen” by the dark-haired widow of producer Mike Todd from a happy marriage to golden gal Debbie Reynolds. The mythologists would have had quite a time sifting for meaning in all that mess.

By 1960, Taylor was as pervasive a presence in American culture as President Eisenhower, Mickey Mantle, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

She won that elusive best actress Oscar for “Butterfield 8.” But if she had died in 1960, she never would have finished “Cleopatra” in 1963. She never would have scored that million-dollar salary — highest ever, at the time, for a movie star — to play the title role. She would have been spared the scandal and snafus plaguing that grand folly of an epic. But she never would have met and married Richard Burton, alongside whom she would play in the 1966 adaptation of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” Edward Albee’s bawdy tragicomedy of manners, which led to her second Academy Award for best actress.

She wouldn’t have divorced Burton — and then married him again. She wouldn’t have had a couple more husbands, including a senator from Virginia named John Warner. Garry Trudeau wouldn’t have used that marriage in his “Doonesbury” comic strip as a departure point for gentle ridicule that yielded the now-indelible tag line assessing the “last star” in middle age: “A tad overweight, but violet eyes to die for.”


The extravagant jewelry, the charity work, the friendship with Michael Jackson, that peculiar turn as Fred’s mother-in-law in 1994’s “The Flintstones” (her last role, it turned out, in a Hollywood movie) — none of it would have happened if she had died 50 years ago. We will forever guess what happened to Marilyn Monroe and what would have happened if she hadn’t died. We don’t have to do that with Elizabeth Taylor.

And so what? If anything, she enhanced her legend by living through those decades of personal and professional turbulence. Not even Taylor could remain a top box-office draw forever. But if she wasn’t dominant, she remained unavoidable — and in the end, inimitable.

No leading film actress today, not even Angelina Jolie, can claim to have an off-screen life as riveting, as tumultuous, and as entertaining. When people call Elizabeth Taylor the “last star,” they speak of her as the final member in a glorious parade of personalities — Gable, Cooper, Dietrich, Hepburn, Wayne, Tracy — whose magnetism grew solely in dark rooms smelling like popcorn and illuminated on a big screen. No one could claim her place in that line now. No one should.


MORE:   Elizabeth Taylor: The ‘Last Star’ – CNN.com.

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