Elizabeth Taylor died today — finally.
I don’t mean that in a flippant way — it’s just that the actress has been rumored to be at death’s door so many times and for so long, I’m almost skeptical that she’s really dead.
Anyway, Taylor died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks. She was 79.
I recognize her death as the passing of a movie star from a bygone Hollywood era. But I have to admit, somewhat embarrassingly, that I don’t think I’ve ever watched a movie starring Elizabeth Taylor. I know she’s been in some classic films, such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” but I’ve never seen them. (I’m looking forward to rectifying that soon, but more about that shortly.)
Despite my enjoyment of good movies, including old ones, I’ve never made an effort to see an Elizabeth Taylor movie. Perhaps that’s because, to those of us of a certain age, Taylor is best known as three things: Michael Jackson’s friend, a no-brainer pick in the office death pool, and the punchline to jokes about multiple marriages. (Incidentally, how is it that Elizabeth Taylor never married Mickey Rooney or Larry King?)
Now that Taylor is dead, Turner Classic Movies plans to air a 24-hour tribute to her on Sunday, April 10. (You can read the schedule here. I’m not sure why “Cleopatra” is not among the 11 movies to be broadcast that day.) I’m planning to watch or record at least some of the movies. “Butterfield 8” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” are obvious ones — Taylor’s performances in those movies won her Academy Awards. I’ve also heard good things about “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “National Velvet,” but I’m wondering if there are any other Elizabeth Taylor films people think I should make sure to see.
Please post your suggestions in the comments section. Feel free to tell me what your favorite ET movie is, and why, too.