Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Farewell Liz Taylor
I missed the real Liz Taylor, the audacious star of the Golden Age of cinema.
To me, I'm sad to say Liz has always been a frumpy and slightly batty middle aged woman with a Mrs. Mop hairdo, who married numerous husbands who came to look more and more like boiler repair men the futher she moved down the foodchain.
All this is a shame because Liz in her heyday was a stunningly attractive actress who had a Goddess like screen presence.
I like to think Liz in her prime would never dream of claming friendship with someone like Michael Jackson, whose only other best friend was a chimp called Bubbles.
Maybe all the high living and Hollywood excess got to Liz and meant she could never grow old gracefully like Sophia Loren.
Like some of the other icons of her time, there are few contemporary stars who could attain the screen presence of Liz in her prime which was when she played the iconic role of Cleopatra in the 1963 movie of the same name.
Cleopatra was legendary for her seductions of powerful men; first Julius Caesar and then Mark Anthony.
So when Taylor became involved in a tempestuous affair with co-star Richard Burton, who was cast as Mark Anthony, the actress became forever associated with the Egyptian queen.
However, unlike Cleopatra, who died suddenly and violently, Liz experienced a long and sometimes less than graceful decline.
The relationship between Burton and Taylor became the stuff of Hollywood legend. By comparison Brangelina, or any other 21st century movie relationship seems like a day out at Wal-Mart.
Burton and Taylor will live on as the ultimate movie couple of the 21st century, even if the reality was their relationship was fuelled by heavy drinking and it eventually fell apart.
So the death of Elizabeth Taylor draws a veil over a half forgotten age when movie stars were larger than life and you didn't become famous by virtue of an appearance on a half baked talent or reality TV show.
I'd like to say I'll miss Liz, but I never really knew her just like I never knew a glittering age inhabited by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Bogart.
You can't miss what you never had but just sometimes watching those black and white films and those iconic stars of the silver screen I feel a tingle of magic enter the room, and hear a faint echo of the glory long passed.
Before I look up and see the neon lights of the Shell station passing me by.