We knew Elizabeth Taylor as one of the world's most beautiful women, style icon, acclaimed actress and wife times eight (well one was to the same man twice). While she was continually in the public eye from the time she appeared in National Velvet (1944) at the age of twelve up until her death, she remained a fiercely private person and a woman we really didn't know.
My wonderful publicist and author Joseph Papa shines a spotlight on the legend in her own words, focusing on the wit and wisdom culled from a life well lived and then some. His book Elizabeth Taylor, A Passion for Life: The Wit and Wisdom of a Legend (Harper Collins, 2011) covers her thoughts on everything from acting, career, love and marriage to beauty, aging, and extravagances along with her poignant thoughts on sense of self. From throwing herself into the role of Maggie the Cat to her humanitarian work fighting AIDS, passion was the driving force in everything she did. For those who love her work, the book is a wonderful addition to your library.
Here are a few choice quotes from Dame Elizabeth herself coupled with former Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld's style tribute that appeared online in the Telegraph last month. Roitfeld teamed with photographer Mario Testino to design a 72 page "fash-a-thon" (their words not mine!) of the late actress in the September issue of V Magazine.
|"I don't think of myself as beautiful, I never have."|
On the set of Suddenly Last Summer, 1959
|"With Richard Burton, I was living my own fabulous, passionate fantasy."|
|"Happiness wasn't bestowed on me; I earned it."|
Looking happy in the surf on the set of Suddenly Last Summer
|"Maybe with Eddie I was trying to see if I was alive or dead." |
On the set of Cleopatra with soon to be ex-husband Eddie Fisher in 1962
|"My mother says I didn't open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, |
the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked."
|"I, along with the critics, have never taken myself very seriously."|
|"The Elizabeth Taylor who's famous, the one of celluloid, really has no depth or meaning to me. |
It's a totally superficial working thing, a commodity."
|"So much to do, so little done, such things to be."|
The actress in a bejeweled caftan, 1969
Photo Credits: Harper Collins, Rex, The Telegraph