Cleopatra was my very first epic film. I was very young in 1980, I mean primer young! I was in love with the story. I know, I know - historical inaccuracies and all, but I still loved that movie.
Part of the draw was Elizabeth Taylor.
She was larger than life. She filled every corner of my living room and her entire being oozed romance. One little tidbit that I didn't know at 8 years old. She was paid a cool $1,000,000 for her role in that movie: she was the very first actress to fetch that type of dough.
I remember my mother saying that, "Liz's had more men that Carter's got liver pills!" Whatever that meant. She'd been married 8 times. Twice to the same dude - Richard Burton. He gave her a 69-carat diamond ring... can you imagine? 69-carats!
Most of all things, I loved that Elizabeth Taylor wasn't afraid of living. Regardless of public scrutiny, she made her decisions, good or bad ("I'm not taking anything away from Debbie (Debbie Reynolds) because she really never had it (Eddie Fischer)."), and she stuck to them.
Unapologetic, she was a warrior. She seemed to exude grace and elegance, and just underneath the surface, she was a powder keg of excitement.
So, this morning, I pay homage to the Great Dame - Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. May she rest in peace. She will be greatly missed.
"Richard came on the set and sort of sidled over to me and said: "Has anybody ever told you that you're a very pretty girl?" 'I thought, Oy gevalt, the great lover, the great wit, the great Welsh intellectual, and he comes out with a corny line like that! But then I noticed his hands were shaking as if he had Saturday night palsy. He had the worst hangover I'd ever seen. And he was obviously terrified of me. I just took pity on him. I realized he really was human. That was the beginning of our affair."
- Elizabeth Taylor -
1932 - 2011