Elizabeth Taylor

Maggie the Cat is alive! Alas, no more, is the woman who portrayed her. The 79 year-old icon passed away from congestive heart failure today.

One of the most famously beautiful actresses of all time, Liz Taylor is often regarded as the last true Hollywood Star. She won two Oscars. Born in February 1932 in London, she starred in her first movie at the age of 10 after moving to Hollywood. The following year brought Lassie Come Home, and Taylor continued as a child star until her celebrated teen roles in National Velvet and Little Women.

Elizabeth Taylor survived the transition into more grown-up roles as she appeared in Father of the Bride and Raintree County, for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. My favourite performance is of Liz’s unnervingly tense portrayal of Maggie in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Her desperate, sensual turn won her great acclaim at the time.

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Other notable roles include Oscar-winner Butterfield 8 and – most dazzlingly – the leading role in the extravagant Cleopatra, where she met Richard Burton, to whom she was married twice (accounting for two of her eight marriages). They appeared in eleven films together. She won a second Oscar for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

There were many other roles, but those were the moments when Liz Taylor’s star burned particularly bright. A tireless campaigner for AIDS-related charities, she’ll be remembered as a great philanthropist and unforgettable actress.

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