On screen, Elizabeth Taylor was special

Updated

Let me finish tonight with Elizabeth Taylor.

This is about Hollywood, its legends, as they are called, the power of these icons in our lives, these larger-than-life “stars.”

There’s something about the power of celluloid, appearing on that big screen, on 35 millimeter film, something about really only knowing someone that way.

Elizabeth Taylor was in Lassie - along with Roddy MacDowell - back in 1942. 

She did “National Velvet” the same year.  Look at her in that picture and you can see her already beautiful face.  There’s really never been anyone like her, like that.

She did my favorite of her movies in 1951 - the great George Stevens film “A Place in the Sun” with Montgomery Clift based on the Theodore Dreiser novel - The American Tragedy.

There’s a scene in that picture that no one is likely to forget. It’s when the rich girl comes to visit the doomed poor boy on death row, who loved her more than life itself.

She was 19 in that scene.

She did “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” when she was 26, won the Academy Award at 28 with “Butterfield Eight,” the John O’Hara story.

After “Cleopatra” and mating up with Richard Burton the two of them did a great picture, the Edward Albee classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”  Talk about rough marriages.

From there comes a mixed bag - Graham Green’s “The Comedians”…

Joan Didion’s “The Only Game in Town” with Warren Beatty and the rest.  

I caught her at the Kennedy Center with Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” in which she was very good.

Who knows about all the marriages.  Mike Todd got killed in a plane crash.  That may have been the best one for her and she lost him, ended up with Eddie Fisher, and then, of course, my hero Burton. 

I’ve got just two things to say:  pay tribute to Elizabeth Taylor for all she did for AIDs long before the government did anything. Then treat yourself to one of the great movies ever made. 

Go see “Place in the Sun” and find out what young men’s dreams are made of.

 

On screen, Elizabeth Taylor was special

Updated