We all knew the end was near. Elizabeth Taylor had numerous health problems over the last almost ten years; broken bones, a benign brain tumor, pneumonia, and the congestive heart failure that ultimately took her life this morning in Los Angeles. She was wheelchair-bound when we saw in public, a far cry from the radiant movie star who grew up in the business, won 2 Oscars, married eight times–twice to Richard Burton, was an early voice and advocate for the fight against AIDS, and she was famous for being a close friend to the late Michael Jackson.
Taylor was one of those movie stars who truly defined glamor, grace, and sensibility. And she could act! When I think of Taylor, I think of two projects: the film adaptation of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the world’s introduction to Helena Cassadine on General Hospital. They are both different, but the same. Taylor’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Martha, an alcoholic wife with a assistant professor husband, played by Richard Burton of course, is cruel to the core when she drinks, tearing down her husband at every chance. George (Burton) has an answer for every jibe, yet he’s pushed to finally physically harm Martha. There are way too many scenes to choose from, but I like this one:
Truly a thrill to watch, I highly recommend it. On the other hand, if there was to be a spoiler for the wedding of the century, Luke and Laura’s, Helena certainly tried. I’m still mad Taylor wasn’t able to reprise the role when Helena came back to Port Charles in the 90’s; she was over the top and her portrayal could NOT be beat:
I guess it’s kind of silly to pick just those two roles, okay, I’ve never seen all of Cleopatra, but I know I’ll get around to it….R.I.P. Liz.