I was sorry to wake to the news today that Elizabeth Taylor has passed away at the age of 79.
I particularly liked Taylor's early films at MGM as a child and teen actress, as well as the films she made as a young woman up through the late '50s. LASSIE COME HOME, JANE EYRE (on loan to Fox), NATIONAL VELVET, COURAGE OF LASSIE, LIFE WITH FATHER (for Warner Bros.), CYNTHIA, A DATE WITH JUDY, JULIA MISBEHAVES, LITTLE WOMEN, FATHER OF THE BRIDE, FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND...I saw them all, most of those titles many times. They were an important part of my movie viewing as I grew up, and I continue to enjoy them today.
I think I most admired her performance as the spunky, determined wife of a Texas rancher in GIANT (1956). Her Leslie is committed to learning Texan ways and making a success of her marriage, while at the same time refusing to give up acting on her beliefs about right and wrong.
After CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958) her movies and personal history frankly lose my interest, but I have the greatest appreciation for the first two dozen or so films of her career, which have brought me hours of viewing pleasure. I also admire her fortitude and strength in the face of repeated adversity, as well as her commitment to helping others.
Turner Classic Movies will host a 24-Hour Tribute to Taylor on Sunday, April 10th.
Elizabeth Taylor was undeniably one of the biggest movie stars of all time, and she leaves behind a rich legacy of work on film which will continue to be enjoyed and appreciated by future generations.