Dear Ms. Taylor,
I was first introduced to your unspeakable radiance when I was 9. In, of all movies, The Flintstones. Needless to say, the movie was terrible, but you were its only saving grace. You epitomized style and elegance, even in makeshift mammoth fur coats. You had a wattage that could light a thousand towns.
It was only when I graduated from Saturday morning cartoons and evolved into the self-confessed film snob that I am when I fully understood why you’re a modern-day legend. You had the qualities and presence of a goddess. You were amazing in A Place in the Sun (1951), a sight to behold in Cleopatra (1963), and electrifying in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). I’ve yet to see Butterfield 8 (1960), but I’m sure you also gave a tour-de-force performance there. I love that word. Tour-de-force.
Oh, and speaking of “tour-de-force”, in George Stevens’ Giant (1956), you played a role that was ahead of your time – a loving but headstrong housewife with the compassion to look beyond racial barriers and the feistiness to overcome her husband’s stubborn, domineering ways. And for me, that was the role which most mirrored what you were like in real life: a steadfast woman who was determined to speak her mind in a male-dominated society. I always knew you had a little bit of Leslie Benedict in you.
It’s true. You were a fighter. You advocated AIDS research, rallied for gay rights, and you were unafraid to see your friends as who they really are, despite what the public perceived them to be (I’m referring to Jacko, of course). You were more than just a strong woman, you were an exceptional human being, a complete individual. 8 husbands could never do justice to that. (Oops. OK, we don’t have to elaborate on that if you don’t want to. Sorry).
In your Twitter account, you also said that “Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind“. I must say, I couldn’t agree more. Life is not worth living if you had nobody to live it for. We are worth what we love. And you, Ms. Taylor indeed had a lot of love to give.
So in closing, I just want to say that the downtrodden cliche holds true. You may no longer be with us, but your legacy will definitely live on. There will never be another Elizabeth Taylor, but you were a prime example of how love and strength can justify one’s existence.
So, thank you, Ms. Taylor. Thank you for being you.