Tribute – April

Tribute To Elizabeth Taylor

By Teryl Warren

Photo Credit: Kimintn


It’s really no surprise that Elizabeth Taylor became a Hollywood legend. From the beginning, she lived a life that was absolutely made for pictures. Born on February 27, 1932 in England to American parents, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor would spend more than 65 of her 79 years in the spotlight. After captivating audiences as the titular character Velvet Brown in the 1944 classic film National Velvet, she became a star at the age of 12.

At 19, she became a screen goddess and was dubbed “the most beautiful woman in the world.” At 26, she became a widow – losing Mike Todd, the 2nd of her 8 husbands, in a tragic plane crash. At 32, she became a queen – commanding the highest salary paid to a woman at the time in the Joseph Mankewicz-directed epic Cleopatra. And at 66, she became a dame – the female equivalent to a knight – an honor bestowed on her by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of her extensive philanthropic work.

By most accounts, Elizabeth Taylor was the quintessential celebrity siren. She was glamorous, and scandalous, petite in stature, and larger-than-life. But even more than that, Elizabeth Taylor taught us how to be beautiful from the inside out. True, she was romantically linked to some of her era’s most extraordinary men; but she was also a friend in times of need to some of Hollywood’s most maligned. While troubled actor Montgomery Clift battled his inner demons, while former sex symbol Rock Hudson battled the stigma of AIDS, and while pop star Michael Jackson battled criminal charges of child molestation, Elizabeth Taylor remained vocal and steadfast in her loyalty to each of them– despite the scrutiny that usually came with it.

Quite simply, no one lived and loved the way Elizabeth Taylor did, and it’s doubtful that anyone ever will. She held our collective imagination in her tiny bejeweled hands long after her film career ended, and despite battling crippling health problems of her own, she used her celebrity and influence to raise more than $50 million dollars in support of HIV/AIDS research.

Make no mistake about it. We don’t honor Elizabeth Taylor because she was a 3-time Academy Award-winner. We don’t honor her because she was an iconic beauty whose lavender eyes set the silver screen ablaze. We don’t honor her because she was a tireless advocate who worked for more than three decades to keep a four-letter word—AIDS—at the forefront of the world’s consciousness. We honor her because she was all of these things and much, much more.

Elizabeth Taylor
February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011

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