Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lizardbreath Taylor

I'm a little surprised about the muted reaction to the death of Elizabeth Taylor.

At least, so far. Maybe the star-eulogizing machinery hasn't gotten up to full speed.

(Sorry if the title seems disrespectful; but it's meant fondly.)

You can tell a lot about someone's generation by their reactions to certain people's deaths.

My Mom just couldn't figure out the fuss over Elvis. "Now if it was Sinatra," she said. "I'd could understand it..." heh.

My reaction to John Lennon was strong, strong enough for me to get on the phone and call friends and family. My reaction to Curt Cobain was, meh.

Anyway, I think Lizardbreath Tayor, as we called her in our house, was a bigger deal to me than the current generation, for whom she had become a parody of herself. It seems like lots of outsized personalities become parodies of themselves at the end of their lives.

I've mentioned this before; but I still remember seeing Cleopatra in a big art house theater in Portland, with ushers and intermission and the musical fanfare as the curtains open and the whole "Event" feeling of it. And chubby Lizardbreath riding into Rome on a pyramid, or something.

And the pictures of her circa 1948 are breathtaking. So breathtaking, that I became very aware of picture touchups at the time (probably late sixties when I came across them). Because they were so unreal, I knew they couldn't possibly be right.

Ah, well. Farewell.

******Yep, spoke too soon....


Anonymous said...

The way she embraced Michael Jackson to the end. A queen for the king.

H. Bruce Miller said...

Why "Lizardbreath"? She was a very beautiful woman and a great actor. Sure, she made a couple of turkeys, but what actor with a career that long hasn't?

Duncan McGeary said...

Just a nickname.

Duncan McGeary said...

Actually, it refers to a lizard figure we had, and I called it lizardbreath Taylor one day and the name stuck.

H. Bruce Miller said...

Oh, okay. That's cute.