And so Elizabeth Taylor has died. She will be remembered – not only for her brilliance on screen but also for her loyalty to her friends – including gay friends such as Montgomery Clift and Rock Hudson (the first major celebrity to come out as someone with AIDS).
Elizabeth Taylor was a beautiful woman and played beautiful women in films such as Giant ( with Rock Hudson & James Dean),Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or Reflections in a Golden Eye but she was also unafraid to play cantankerous, slovenly, grumpy or eccentric women. Her portrayal of Martha opposite Richard Burton’s George in “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” was mesmerising – the edge of hysteria and sheer viciousness of her character gained her a richly deserved Oscar for best actress in 1967.
In recent years her ill health prevented her from attending the fund raiser in Cannes for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (which she founded in the 1980s when AIDS was a hugely unpopular cause) but it continues without her.
Elizabeth Taylor was not afraid to buck the trend in her private life, her acting career or in her support for people with AIDS, -– she will be remembered by many with that same loyalty and with admiration.