Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Tonight, the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest actresses of all time. Elizabeth Taylor, an iconic figure sprung from Hollywood's Golden Age, died today in Los Angeles at the age of 79. She will forever be remembered for her explosive acting talent, sophisticated glamour, and the turbulent private life that captivated the nation and redefined what it meant to be a true movie star.
I had planned on watching Goodfellas(1990) tonight, but in light of today's tragedy, I thought it would only be fitting to raise my glass to our fallen star (figuratively speaking, of course) by reliving one of her greatest performances.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) held so much more meaning for me watching it for the first time on the eve of its star's demise. Elizabeth Taylor has this glowing, vibrant energy emitting from her every second that she holds the screen- a force we no longer have in Hollywood; the likes of which we may never see again.
Tin Roof delves deeper into the human soul than I had braced myself for. It brings us down into the troughs of love, trust, and brotherhood before carrying us back up onto the crests of triumph over guilt and fear. The powerful presence of Paul Newman fuses with Taylor's radiant shine to create an acting duo so tremendous that it will never be erased from cinematic consciousness.

Burl Ives (playing a memorable "Big Daddy") spoke this of Taylor's character in the film:

"Yes indeed, this girl has life in her body. And that's no lie."

I heard that line tonight and almost choked up thinking of how profoundly true his statement rang, rings today, and will continue to ring as long as there are cameras rolling somewhere in this world. Elizabeth Taylor had an effervescent life in her that infected a nation and tore open an entirely new dimension on the silver screen. Her adulthood may have been marred by rabidly-followed controversies, but I believe that history will remember her as the extraordinary artist that she was, counting her among the most influential individuals ever to step onto a set.

Hollywood would never be the same after "One-Shot Liz" rolled through, and we wouldn't have it any other way. The dimming of her candle marks a definitive end to the bygone era in American cinema that is considered the very best of all- our glimmering Golden Age. It is with a heavy heart that we bid adieu to America's most beloved screen personality. A trend-setter. A trail-blazer. A legend. A Giant.

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