Mar 23, 2011
Liz and Me
This is where her life and mine intertwine somehow:
Liz Taylor was in my childhood, even though I didn't see her in a movie until I saw the charming Father Of The Bride as a teen and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf when I already was an adult. My mom used to like her a lot and when I was growing up she'd tell me all the stories about Eddy Pisher (my mom's nickname) and Burton and Cleopatra and how my mom saw National Velvet and Lassie Come Home when she was a kid. She loved her. I think she loved her glamor and her moxie and the fact that even though she was dripping in diamonds and husbands, there was something real and down to earth about her.
I once did a scene from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in acting class. Hell yes. It was so intense, I didn't come off the high of being Martha for like three days. In fact, I recommend it. It is highly therapeutic. But not for the faint of heart.
I think my acting teacher said not to watch the movie. I didn't listen. And I couldn't get Taylor out of my head. After her, pity the fool who tries to step into those shoes. There may be other wonderful actresses who put their own spin on Martha and do a good job; they may even be less over the top. But Taylor's ferocity, her abandon, her fearlessness, is something to see. It is an incredibly generous performance. And it is indelible. So is Burton. He was robbed of the Oscar in that film.
And the two of them together... ay caramba. They were on fire. There is nobody today who is publicly sexy like that.
I too love Richard Burton to death.