When I heard the news of Elizabeth Taylor's death it was like all of old Hollywood died with her. We were the exact same age -- actually she was one day older than I am -- and I grew up in the world of her larger than life life and her grab-bag of movies -- ranging from awful to great -- but in even the worst of them she was Elizabeth Taylor -- beyond critical judgment... And what a life it was. Great vision, courage and compassion during the AIDS crises -- greed for luxury in her life that made her seem silly and shrewd at the same time -- greed for love that made her seem voracious and needy yet very human (weren't her scandals more fun than those of Hollywood today?), and yet within her was the child from National Velvet to Maggie the Cat to the virago Martha in Virginia Wolf -- she was a better Cleopatra in life than she was in the movies and like all screen idols she was never supposed to die... Lives that represent an era that pass from the scene have a particular power to move us. Perhaps they remind us of our own mortality, after all if the screen gods and goddesses can die -- we are all so vulnerable. But when someone like Elizabeth Taylor dies I believe that we feel more for her passing than we do for our fears. Her bold and vivid life was always enough to distract us briefly from our own life concerns and for that we are grateful. About her it can be said, "She lived a life." RIP Elizabeth.
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