Elizabeth Taylor who just died at age 79 evokes words that seem to have been created just for her.
Violet eyes: Who ever heard of violet eyes? And how disturbing can it be to look into them? How many men would drown in them? (At last count, the eight who married her, including Richard Burton, twice.)
Legend: In Hollywood’s heyday, there was an entire pantheon of those, gradually pared down by death. And then there was just her. Sure, there are immense stars still around—Pacino, de Niro, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep. But actual legends?
Myth: Not quite the same as legend. “Legend” relates to the person and “myth” to the life. In the coming days, rivers of writing are bound to be added to the already substantial “Elizabeth Taylor” sub-category in book catalogs. Myth it is. The extraordinary beauty, the career over six decades, a love life that cannot be qualified as other than tumultuous. A number of beloved children by various husbands. Great friendships with James Dean or Rock Hudson. And finally the courage not only to bear years and years of health problems but to stand up staunchly for causes she believed in, like AIDS, or for friends in trouble such as Michael Jackson.
Ms. Taylor is ready for her final close-up.