Sunday, March 27, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor 1932 - 2011 Last of the Great Broads

Not long ago, when I was introduced to a new friend by a very old one, this person said to me at our first remind me of Elizabeth Taylor when she was younger.   I remember laughing at the time, as I have always been told I looked like many other people,  but never, ever like Elizabeth Taylor.

Yesterday this same person sent me an e-mail with the subject line: " Honoring Elizabeth Taylor"  that contained these photos with the caption...  "This is what YOU look like."

23 year old Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Giant

While this struck me as extremely funny,  especially since I am many years older than Taylor was in these photos, and I don't look anything like the beautiful actress,  my mind immediately went back to one of the great loves of my life who was a  life long admirer even after we broke up and whose favorite screen beauty was none other than Miz Liz herself.  It made me wonder if he too may have seen a little spark in me that reminded him of the famous beauty.

While I don't look anything like Ms. Taylor,  if someone else is silly enough to think so, well I accepted the compliment graciously.  I also went and looked in the mirror, shook my head in disgust, then remembered the five text messages still on my cell phone from a much, much younger admirer at one of West Week's  many cocktail parties, who,  though with a twenty something girl in tow, had hugged me and whispered that he had been watching me all night and had to tell me how classy and pretty he thought I was.   He invited me to his birthday party in Beverly Hills that same night and sent me several texts when I didn't show up.  Next day there were more texts asking to see me on Friday.

After thanking him for the lovely invitation, I didn't answer any more of them.  What was I going to tell him?  That I might be old enough to be his mother?  Still, I couldn't help but be flattered.    I don't understand the attention I am getting at this stage of my life by what can only be described as a very diverse group of males, but I'm thankful for it none-the-less.   While I was growing up I always saw myself as an ugly duckling.  I always wanted to look like a movie star but thought my nose was too big and my teeth too crooked.  I had nice eyes, yes... understanding eyes, even...but NOT Elizabeth Taylor eyes.   No one had Elizabeth Taylor eyes....except Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Taylor was 23 in these photos.  I sent back an e-mail to my friend with a big "I Wish" and a  photo of my 25 year old self.  Did I still bear some resemblance to THAT 25 year old?   I hope so.  She wasn't ugly at all once she got over the awkward years.

Anyway,  I guess what I am saying is that I hope that what these people see in me is a little of that saucy, but classy confidence that Elizabeth Taylor is displaying in the above photos and exuded throughout her life.  Sometimes it takes someone a while to come by it....another good thing about getting older.  But the thing is that while there were many men who found me attractive when I was young,  I think men now see something entirely different ....a very "this is me...take me or leave me" attitude that maybe attracts them.   This was borne out a little by a very handsome, flirtatious older male (married to a younger woman) who's wife got a little jealous at a party, when he pulled me outside to talk to me because he couldn't fit me in a box, couldn't figure out what I was.  That was all we were doing too...talking....he was intrigued by my brain...and maybe a little by it's housing too.

This couple works as a team, and Wednesday night he comes up behind me and whispers some double entendre (Spanish) thing in my ear...trying to get a rise out of me.  I think he does it for shock value.  It's only the third time I've met him and I think he wants to rile me a little.   He teases me about  being proper and not letting my guard down to wallow a little in the mud.  Alcohol has never motivated me to act foolishly, so that could be the reason he does it.  He wants to know what makes me tick...still.

Later in the evening, after a few digs of the same kind...and knowing he is looking for a fiery response,  I finally looked at his hand, which had found its way to resting on my thigh (quite of few of us were sitting very close on a piece of furniture) lifted it, smiled and told him (in Spanish to give more meaning)  that I lived by the saying my mother had taught me that  "a woman should be a lady in the living room (in public) and a whore in the bedroom"  and I turned around and smiled at his wife, who was one too many drinks from noticing too much of what her husband was doing and started talking to her.   I heard him repeating to another friend later that I was one very smart woman.  That was  a compliment from him I could live with.   And, of course, my mother never said any such thing to me....but I always thought it was a very good way to be anyway.

After dropping off some friends that same night, I turned down on Robertson and drove by The Abby.  It was filled with people and there were news trucks from several TV stations parked in front.   I figured they were there covering  some kind of tribute  to Elizabeth from a  community who had gathered together to mourn the passing of one of their beloved champions....a champion who often visited to celebrate life with them, just as she had ,years earlier,  marshaled forces to combat what was then only known as a "gay" disease...HIV  Aids.

Liz and her much loved Monty.
With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor,  Hollywood and the world has lost not only a fine actress,  but one of the most famous beauties to ever grace the silver screen.  And while most of us knew her as the violet eyed beauty a lot of us wanted to look like and our boyfriends were in love with,  Elizabeth Taylor was in turns feisty,  loving,  lusty, foulmouthed, kind, loyal to her friends, brave, devil take you if you didn't like her or what she did, passionate,  old fashioned (where her family was concerned), untiring in her crusades for the good and an honest to goodness  broad with a throaty laugh,  a love of diamonds, and a wicked sense of humor.

Those are the many things said and written about her by those her knew her best.  Some of it we got from watching her life  as chronicled by the media.

Rest in peace, Dame Elizabeth.  Your lovely face and spirt is ever young and lives on with Monty's and Dean's and Richard's and Roddy's and Roy's (Rock) and all the other lovely co-stars and dear friends who, along with you,  lit up the screen in timeless movies like  Little Women,  Giant,  A Place in the Sun,  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,  Suddenly Last Summer,  Raintree County, The Taming of the Shrew,  Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, and yes, even Cleopatra,  that only get better with age.

We shall miss you.
Elizabeth and Mike Todd

Elizabeth and Richard

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

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