Elizabeth Taylor — one of the most striking, legendary and seeming indestructible actresses in the history of Hollywood — has died, multiple media outlets are confirming.
Taylor, 79, had congestive heart failure and had spent the past two months at L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center seeking treatment. Much will undoubtedly be said today, and in days to come, about her acting talent, her violet-eyed beauty, her admirable work to support those suffering from AIDS and, yes, her many much-covered marriages.
But in this moment, here in Celebritology, we pay tribute to Elizabeth Taylor for being, perhaps, the ultimate celebrity. She was at once a woman whom all women wanted to be and a woman accused of being a home wrecker because of that whole Eddie Fisher affair. She was occasionally the butt of jokes in her later years, but also someone who was admired enormously for her ability to persevere in the face of illness and personal turmoil. She was a businesswoman with her own perfume long before every reality star under the sun was hawking her own fragrance. She was someone so iconic — yes, that word is appropriate here — that the short version of her name, Liz, was all we needed to say in order for others to know who we meant.
She will be missed by many for a host of reasons, but perhaps most notably by the Celebritologists among us for creating the template — for both better and worse — for what it means to be a true celebrity.