If you’ve browsed through any news source today you may have noticed that Elizabeth Taylor passed away this morning. I found out once when I saw the front page of CNN and as usual when I hear of a classic Hollywood stars passing I quickly slipped into a moment of intense grief and mourning. I don’t know what it is but whenever one of those old movie stars pass away I get all crazy emotional and it’s a total buzz kill to my day. You should have seen me on the days that Deborah Kerr and Charlton Heston passed away. I WAS A WRECK. A stranger would have thought they were my grandparents or something. This just goes to show that I wasn’t joking when I ‘ve claimed to have an unhealthy fascination with all things pop culture and celebrity. All I’m saying is that the day Britney Spears kicks it I will NOT be attending my daily game of Bingo at my retirement home in Palm Springs. Lord willing I go first because I’m not sure if my heart could take the pain.
So normally during these dark times I crave a good movie marathon as a way of remembering the movie legends and I’ve found it’s a healthy way to channel my grieving. Now since my parents are still using rabbit ears to get the news, I obviously won’t be tuning into the 24 Hour TCM Elizabeth Taylor marathon *Sigh* :’(. However we already have quite a few movies of hers and I even went out and rented Cleopatra and Butterfield 8, which I’ve never seen before so I’m super stoked. I was really hoping to add National Velvet to the marathon but after spending most of my morning scouring the shelves of Shopko, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Bi-Mart, Hot Poop, and the public library I came out empty handed. It’s days like this that I loathe living in a small town because we have no selection! I was really surprised that Bi-Mart didn’t have it because 90% of their movies have a horse or John Wayne on the cover. I will give them this, they obviously know who their target audience is these days.
The main reason that I had my heart set on National Velvet is because it’s one of the first movies I remember seeing as a young tyke and and it was also the first movie starring Elizabeth Taylor. Even though it's been like 20 years I remember being super into it. I mean how could you not be? Elizabeth Taylor? Mickey Rooney? Angela Lansbury pre-animated teapot fame??? My first viewing of the movie was also around the time my mom’s favorite scent was White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, what can I say she’s a classy lady, and I totally got it for her as a Christmas present one year. Since those days I’ve become much more acquainted with her film work such as Little Women, in which she is absolutely hilarious. A Place in a Sun, which is super good and she looks AMAZING and it stars one of my other favs, Montgomery Clift. Then there’s Giant, where she stars alongside Rock Hudson and James Dean. Another fav would be Cat on a Hot Tin Roof which was written by Tennessee Williams so how could it not be good?? But I really think the quintessential Liz movie would have to be Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf. It’s just so different from anything she ever did and it’s also what got her a second Academy Award. If you haven't seen any of these movies I've mentioned, shame on you. Fix it.
Now that I think about it I guess I can’t recall a time of life when I didn’t know about Liz which I guess is why a feel a tinge of sadness with her passing. It’s strange how we can grow attached to people we’ve never met. I remember hearing about a man who was interviewed in some documentary about film addicts and he said that the day Audrey Hepburn died was worse than when he’s lost family members. HOW CRAZY IS THAT! Hopefully I don’t ever get to that point….. however I will forever love Liz and be fascinated by her life. Her work as an artist. Her Beauty. Those violet eyes. Her private life dramas. And I mean I know that she made some poor life choices, eight marriages was a bit obsessive, but I mean we’ve all made mistakes. Above all else, I do truly admire her for the work she did raising money and awareness for the fight against AIDS during a time when people were very judgmental and unsympathetic to those affected by the disease.
RIP LIZ. You rock my socks off.