I’m a cinemaphile, and I cannot even identify the film that the above photo represents. I found few of her movies very interesting, and Elizabeth Taylor was never a fantasy girlfriend of mine. Her feminine personae were too old-fashioned and conventional, too guilty, and too campy. She always seemed to me to play roles embodying the notions about sexuality of my parent’s generation. I never even thought she could act particularly well until I saw her amazing performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Her performance as Martha permanently changed my mind about her skills and abilities.
Her passing has clearly, however, provoked a deep response and many writers are pausing to contemplate her career and cultural significance.
Camille Paglia argues that Elizabeth Taylor was not only a better actress than Meryl Streep, that she was a “pagan goddess” who wielded “the world-disordering” sexual power of the eternal femme fatale. Quite a tribute.
Elizabeth Taylor’s importance as an actress was that she represented a kind of womanliness that is now completely impossible to find on the U.S. or U.K. screen. It was rooted in hormonal reality — the vitality of nature. She was single-handedly a living rebuke to postmodernism and post-structuralism, which maintain that gender is merely a social construct.
26 little-known facts about Elizabeth Taylor
How good looking was Elizabeth Taylor? Buzzfeed supplies 100 photographs so you can judge for yourself.