The end of a legend
Today I was going to write about a fantastic Michigan Law reception that I went to last night but this morning Elizabeth Taylor died and now I’m too devastated to think about having fun.
I loved Liz Taylor. For one thing, she was one of those stars who has been so much a part of the world since so long before I was born that it’s hard to imagine a world without her. But mostly, I loved her because for all of my life I have always wanted to be as graceful, charming, adorably dramatic and devastatingly beautiful as Elizabeth, Grace, Ingrid, Audrey, and all of the other 50s actresses who starred in my imagination long after they had stopped appearing on screen. A good amount of time and energy in my younger years (and by “younger” I mean “this morning”) was spent trying to emulate them, and there was no one with the smoky, sensual, and seductive power of Elizabeth Taylor.
The sad fact is, as our legends pass away we have no one to replace them. There will never be another Michael Jackson, no matter how hard Usher tries. There will never be another Grace Kelly, just a bunch of girls dying to wear her bag. There will never be anyone like Audrey Hepburn, although Natalie Portman does come awfully close. And Paul Newman? Forget about it. They don’t make men like him, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and the wonderful Cary Grant anymore. They just don’t. The tragedy in losing these legends is compounded by the fact that we are saying goodbye to an era when glamour, grace, beauty, and talent are becoming things of the past.
And I know, I’m romanticizing a little bit. Yes, Elizabeth had a dozen husbands (although honestly, we don’t even get that kind of drama anymore). Yes, 50s movie stars had drug problems that were at least as bad as what we see happening now. And yes, if Twitter had been around in Judy Garland’s day, she would probably be Twitpic-ing Rock Hudson’s abs as we speak. (Is that so bad?).
But still. You can’t watch Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and not lament the fact that those days are gone. You can’t sit through a showing of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and not cry just a little that there will never be another cowboy movie quite like that. And you can’t go near Facebook without wishing that just one of our stars had the quiet dignity and graceful strength of one of the old school leading ladies.
And you can’t hear that Elizabeth Taylor died without having to hold back the tears. Or at least, I can’t.
These words don’t really sum up the way I feel, but I think this look says it all:
R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor. We’ll miss you.