Thursday, March 24, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor: The Face That Launched

As a Woman of a Certain Age for some time, Elizabeth Taylor deserves her propers.  Here's my contribution to the media frenzy.

My girlfriend's mother, Grace, was a hairdresser at MGM back in the early Fifties.  Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor were close friends and often came in at the same time for hair and makeup.  Grace said they were always in safety pins, pinning together their raggedy outfits, hair in curlers and whatnot.  She said Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful star on the lot, really did have violet eyes and a double row of eyelashes.  Grace said the two of them could really cut up and Ms. Taylor had "a mouth like a sailor". 

                                        Elizabeth Taylor by Roddy McDowall

Everyone knew she had violet eyes but I'd never heard about her lashes til Grace told the story.  I was about 16. She sounded pretty interesting to me!
At some point during the Sixties, I saw this photograph taken of Ms. Taylor by her childhood friend, Roddy McDowall.  It was published in either the Ladies Home Journal or McCalls.  (My mother subscribed to both so not sure but leaning towards LHJ)  It is supposedly a photo of her without makeup.  With or without, it remains my favorite. 



Baino said...

Definitely an icon. I remember seeing her first in National Velvet as a child.

DJan said...

You mean she was supposed to have zero eye makeup here? I'm not sure I believe it, double rows of eyelashes or not. Beautiful picture, though.

RNSANE said...

Elizabeth Taylor is immortal and will never be forgotten. I think she is/was a true beauty, along with Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly. She had fame and fortune but her life was never easy. She was a loyal friend, though. Her bright light will shine, now, from the heavens.

injaynesworld said...

Debbie Reynolds was interviewed by phone on Joy Behar last night and had some great stories to tell. Dame Elizabeth was the epitome of a great, great broad in all the best senses. I may have to rent some of her old movies to enjoy again. They're certain better than most of the stuff being made today.

Megan said...

That's a great little anecdote and and an interesting picture. No makeup, eh?

Pearl said...

She truly was a beautiful woman who led a complex and interesting life.

And I'd have given anything to have been a fly on the wall when she and Burton were together. :-)


Anonymous said...

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thgldnchld said...

Wasn't there an identical photo taken years later? I remember seeing both photos side by side. It was incredible - years later, same beauty.

California Girl said...

thgldnchld: I don't know. If there is, I love to see it. Can you find it?

maggie's garden said...

She will be missed. I hear she was a loving person...and was also glad to hear that all 4 kids were by her side when she passed. Many times these older starlets die tragically alone. Liz was a beauty inside and out!

Susan said...

I remember this picture so well. Can you imagine if National Enquirer had been around then doing those shots of stars caught without their makeup? They would have passed right by Elizabeth. She was so breathtakingly gorgeous.

Loved the personal connection. It's hard to believe that she and Debbie Reynolds would have been wearing ragtag clothes!

Dutchbaby said...

She set the standard when it came to super stardom and beauty. Back in the day the referred to foundation creme, or pancake as it used to be called, as make-up. I believe she was not wearing make-up by that definition, but I believe she was wearing eyeliner and eyebrow color. Nevertheless, she was a natural beauty and a great actress too.

I love that she didn't allow the tabloids to define her life. She lived her life on her own terms.


by Cole Scott