Mar 30, 2011
Screen actress Elizabeth Taylor has died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles. Taylor was one of the most photographed women in the world: a true and timeless icon in an era where we bandy the words icon and iconic around quite a bit. She was the incandescent star of classic Hollywood movies from Cleopatra, to Suddenly, Last Summer to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Far, far, far less auspiciously she has also, for the last couple of months, been my Facebook picture – as well as of course a personal hero, for the last many years. This is because Elizabeth Taylor was absolutely, one hundred percent my kind of girl. I loved her. For me and no doubt for many, many millions of other women, Taylor was the ne plus ultra of iconic women. This was because, not only was she arguably the most beautiful girl in the world, she really embodied the kind of woman I hope to one day be: wise, flawed, real, potentially a bit of handful; always classy, intelligent and engaging. The kind of woman who could pull off saying things like “big girls need big diamonds” in a way that would make you agree: well, yes, Elizabeth Taylor, I can see that you probably do. Diamonds are probably nothing less than your prerogative. Let’s face it: in actuality, it was probably the diamonds that needed her.
Taylor also once said; “the problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” How true is this? I and the rest of the world will probably remain fascinated by Elizabeth Taylor because of her human capacity to be acquisitive, to be a fool in love; to be married eight times over and survive it all – and famously laugh it off: “I’m a very committed wife. I should be committed too, for being married so many times.”
Taylor’s inspirational legacy comprises not only her body of work as an actor but her longstanding commitment to advocacy and activism in the fight against AIDS. She is survived by four children and ten grandchildren.