published Friday, March 25th, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

She burst upon the American consciousness in the early 1940s. And “burst” is really the correct word.

Elizabeth Taylor was just a little girl. The movie that would propel her to stardom — “National Velvet” — was about a girl’s love for horses. But all these years later, the movie, and its star, are unforgettable.

Everyone immediately loved Elizabeth Taylor. She was alternately “dewy-eyed” and “violet-eyed.” She was sweet and beautiful — and naive.

Yet she came to be one of the ultimate movie stars. She won two Oscars, and millions of fans, in such varied films as “Cleopatra,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Butterfield 8,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and scores of others.

It would have been hard to imagine in her early years that the little girl would become a femme fatale, and it’s hard to forget now that she was really one of the most breathtaking beauties of our times.

She was a talented actress — but also a tragic celebrity.

Eight of her tragedies were marriages, too painful to name. And she suffered one serious illness, injury and accident after another — about 70 all told, according to one source.

There was no actress quite comparable to her. And even over several decades — and beyond her film career — she maintained her popularity.

Her life came to a close Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

But her wonderful movies — and her heartbreaking tragedies — surely will be long, and emotionally, remembered.

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