She showed star quality with her violet eyes and rich emotion from her earliest films as a child, Lassie Come Home and her breakout role in National Velvet. Her career was filled with memorable performances -- Little Women, Father of the Bride, Quo Vadis, Ivanhoe, Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Taming of the Shrew. She even had a noteworthy recurring role on the television soap opera General Hospital.
Her off-screen life fed the gossip-starved masses, from her multiple marriages to her friendship with Michael Jackson (whom she herself dubbed "the King of Pop," a monicker that would stick. What I will remember most is her courage in the 1980s to be the first well-known celebrity to use her voice to bring attention to the AIDS crisis after the death of her long-time friend Rock Hudson.
My mom has told me often of the time she saw Liz Taylor in person and, even though she was shorter and frailer than she had imagined, she still resonated superstardom. She will be missed.
Apparently, her long-time friend Zsa Zsa Gabor, who has been dealing with health issues of her own lately, was hosptilized after growing hysterical at the news of Taylor's death, allegedly commenting that "celebrities die in threes and I'm next." Hopefully, there will be a long pause before the Grim Reaper claims another well-known name. May Elizabeth Taylor rest in peace.