Sunday, May 15, 2011
"Elizabeth Taylor's Closing Act" - A Vanity Fair Success in my Book
Much to my dismay, my June 2011 edition of Vanity Fair was delivered to my door with Katy Perry on the cover, and as you all know by now ... I'm not her biggest fan.
Grace Kelly ... Yes.
Katie Perry ... Nyet.
So you can imagine the joy I felt upon opening the magazine only to find that multiple pages were devoted to "Elizabeth Taylor's "Closing Act," detailing the last 10 years of her extraordinary life.
I quickly swept the floozie on the cover to the back of my mind, and went on to devour the article about "Maggie the Cat," the woman with the "lavender eyes."
I highly recommend you buy this copy of Vanity Fair, and read the full article. But in the meantime, I'll give you some of the highlights ... or at least the highlights as I see them. ;)
Did you know Elizabeth Taylor was married 7 times, and starred with the best of the best, including Paul Newman, Rock Hudson, and Montgomery Clift?? She was also the gay man's icon, and frequented gay bars ... sipping watermelon martinis belonging to others, from her wheelchair ... until the very end.
She was the first influential HIV activist, the owner of millions of dollars worth of jewels which she lavished on her guests and her dog in the ultimate game of "luxury dress up" ...
And quite possibly the classiest woman alive.
But interestingly enough, renowned for her "dirty mouth"...
I mean, what a woman!
According to Vanity Fair, "There was no such thing as a typical day for Elizabeth. She had a genius for creating chaos around her."
"Behind the swimming pool, Elizabeth's secluded garden bloomed with gardenias, lillies of the valley and birds of paradse amid lush palms and bamboo. Orchids were cultivated in a small greenhouse..."
"She had to abandon strolling in the garden, one of her favorite activities. As she found it necessary to rely on a wheelchair she still made forays into Hollywood, wearing cowboy boots, dressed in resplendent colors and ablaze with diamonds. She favored deep coral red lipstick and nail polish and wore her hair coiffed high and dyed Liz Taylor black."
She testified before Congress in 1990 to raise awareness for HIV, and apparently ... "Congressmen and senators who were opposed to taking on such a controversial subject left the hearings completely persuaded - and dazzled - by Elizabeth."
"Orrin Hatch, the staunch Reublican from Utah, left the hearings grinning like a schoolboy who had just been kissed by the prom queen. He voted for the bill." And even better yet ... "No one wouldn't take a call from her. She'd call the Republican cloakroom, and senators would pass the phone to one another just to hear her voice."
Michael Jackson was one of her very best friends, along with Marlon Brando ... and one day, MJ called her out of the blue for advice on how to "kiss a girl" ... Her answer ... "As if you wanted to climb into the other person's soul."
"At age 74, she had herself lifted from her wheelchair and lowered into a Plexiglas shark cage. When the tour guide cautioned her to remove her jewelry because their flash and glitter would drive the sharks into a frenzy, Elizabeth reportedly answered, Isn't that the fucking point??"
"She had wanted to go (to a local gay bar) for Halloween one year, but Cooley discouraged her because there were just too many people. And anyway, there were six of her there already!"
"To the end, Elizabeth was a perfectionist when it came to her hair and makeup. The way she would do her eyes, the way she would blend those different colors of eye shadows, the different blending of lipsticks. She was very passionate about it.
"She was fearless in standing up, with out hesitation, for those she felt were being treated unfairly, whether it was a close friend, a crew member, or an entire class of people." ...
Thank you Vanity Fair, for yet another inspirational article about an incredible woman. If you are interested in the full story, I highly encourage you to buy this issue. It's filled with juicy tidbits about her life, and quite frankly, made me grin from ear to ear.
I must add, that I wrote this while donning a set of diamond earrings and a vintage Dior necklace ... in true Elizabeth fashion. ;)