If you read only one obituary of Elizabeth Taylor today, make it the one by the Post’s Adam Bernstein. He’s our go-to chronicler of Hollywood’s golden-era stars, and he turns in a predictably magnificent portrait of Liz, relying heavily on her own words.
• By her mid-20s, she had been a screen goddess, teenage bride, mother, divorcee and widow. She endured near-death traumas, and many declared her a symbol of survival — with which she agreed. “I’ve been through it all, baby,” she once said. “I’m Mother Courage.”
• “I’ve been able to wear plunging necklines since I was 14 years old, and ever since then, people have expected me to act as old as I look,” she said after her first divorce. “My troubles all started because I have a woman’s body and a child’s emotions.”
• “Well, Mike is dead and I’m alive,” she said [on taking up with Eddie Fisher after death of husband Mike Todd]. “What do you expect me to do? Sleep alone?”
• “You can call me Dame Elizabeth,” she told the media [after being honored by the queen]. “I’ve been a broad all my life. Now I’m a dame.”
(Updated, 10 p.m.: And don’t forget the years Taylor spent in D.C. with John Warner as a Senate spouse.) Also worth reading: Last year’s Vanity Fair story chronicling the Liz Taylor/Richard Burton love story, for which she shared his epic love letters. And a glorious gallery of Elizabeth Taylor photos.
In other news, Jason Horowitz profiles KNP Communications, the media-training team that whips lefty wonks into TV-ready shape to do combat on Fox News. We first met these fellows a few years ago, when we got them to analyze the body language of the 2008 Democratic candidates.
Read earlier: At Debate, Nonverbal Cues May Speak Louder Than Words, 9/28/07