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Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 03/23/2011

Read this: Elizabeth Taylor in her own words; media training for lefty wonks

Elizabeth Taylor in "Suddenly Last Summer." (Columbia Pictures via Reuters)
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.

Elizabeth Taylor dies; screen legend was 79, 3/23/11

Media Matters boot camp preps liberal wonks, 3/23/11

Read earlier: At Debate, Nonverbal Cues May Speak Louder Than Words, 9/28/07

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