A Beautiful Life

Elizabeth Taylor is still stealing headlines weeks after her death. Who was Liz Taylor? Why was she called “Liz” when she didn’t even like the nickname? How could someone who was so adored by the public seem to be constantly seeking love?

I’m too young to appreciate who Elizabeth Taylor was in her glory days. I can look at her pictures, at that fabulous hair, itty bitty waist, gorgeous skin, and dark eyes (some people say her eyes were violet). She was an accomplished actress and Oscar winner, well known for her roles such as Cleopatra. She was actually a British citizen, born in London, ballet dancing virtually from birth. Her father was an art dealer, her mother, a stage actress. Practically after setting foot on American soil at the age of ten, she was in the movies.

Less than a decade later, she was pursuing what some considered her second career: marriage. Seven husbands, eight marriages, spanning over 40 years. How could someone so loved by the public struggle to find love?

It seems people are drawn to dreams of fame and fortune, yet so few who gain celebrity status are able to find joy, love, and peace as they try to meet the demands of their admirers. They discover that no amount of stuff makes anyone happy.

In reality, then, anyone can choose to have a full, rewarding life, whether fortune smiles on them or not. Isn’t it ironic that some celebrities retire from their careers because after they’ve had “it all,” they decide they want to spend time with their families and pursue philanthropy? They are seeking after the mundane, everyday experiences of love and generosity that you and I have the opportunity to participate in everyday! Is it a case of the grass being greener? Or is a desire for fame merely a craving for love and acceptance? Is a desire for fortune merely a longing to pursue our passions without financial concern?

I’d like to believe that at the end of her life, Liz Taylor was at peace with who she was.  In 1993, she was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her work raising money for AIDS research. The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation is a lasting legacy of the true Elizabeth Taylor- a beauty inside and out.

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