She was with us a long time, but not nearly long enough. Early this morning, at age 79, we lost Elizabeth Taylor to congestive heart failure. More than just a movie star, Taylor was our last bond to a version of Hollywood that has long since faded to black. That gets said about a lot of people, but unfortunately, in Taylor's case, it's true. But Liz wasn’t the type to let advancing age and deteriorating health banish her from the spotlight. She swam with sharks! She interviewed Kim Kardashian, and then tweeted about it! Those violet eyes never stopped sparkling with indomitable spirit—look closely enough, and you might catch a glimmer of her vast, softball-sized-diamond collection, each with its own ex-husband story to tell.
Turner Classic Movies has announced that it will air a 24-hour memorial tribute to Taylor on Sunday, April 10; it will include airings of both of Taylor’s Oscar-winning performances—Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)—as well as other classics like National Velvet (1944), Giant (1956) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).
While Liz is best known for her big-screen roles, she has made some memorable appearances on the small screen as well. Seeing as this is TV.com, we thought we’d highlight a few of them.
In 1954, she was the mystery guest on What’s My Line?. Extra points to the panelist who guessed Taylor's identity based on a question about one of her lesser-known husbands—though I guess there were a lot fewer to keep track of back then.
In 1981, Taylor played the part of Helena Cassadine on General Hospital. This wasn’t Liz doing an art school project like James Franco—she just really loved the show, and wanted to take part in the Luke and Laura’s Wedding-mania that was sweeping the nation. This montage of outtakes is classic, but be warned: Auntie Liz has a toilet mouth!
Taylor stumbled adorably through her presentation of the 2000 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama, but after some coaching from producer Dick Clark, she finally made it to announcing the winner: “GLAAAAdiator!” So cute.
Finally, here is the ad for Elizabeth’s fragrance, White Diamonds. I always wished they’d expanded this commercial into a feature film. It seemed like a perfect mixture of La Dolce Vita, Out of Africa, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.