Elizabeth Taylor has left us. Yes, she was beautiful and a wonderful actress. Those violet-blue eyes with dark hair was a lethal combination. I can never forget her performances in A Place In The Sun, Giant, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf to name a few. Her vulnerability and passion made her a powerful actress. More powerful than her acting for me was a passionate woman, who died untamed, loyal and loving in all her relationships. Elizabeth seemed to leap at any chance of love. What I loved most about her was her direct, outspoken personality. She didn’t play games and if she believed in something or someone, her passion was 100 percent.
When she separated from Richard Burton she wrote a public letter because she believed she belonged to the public as she did to herself and Burton. She wanted to explain and wrote: “ I am convinced it would be a good and constructive idea if Richard and I separated for a while. Maybe we loved each other too much. I never believed such a thing was possible. But we have been in each other’s pockets constantly, never being apart but for matters of life and death, and I believe it has caused a temporary breakdown of communication. I believe with all my heart that the separation will ultimately bring us back to where we should be-and that’s together…Wish us well during this difficult time. Pray for us.”
Elizabeth Taylor lived her life by her heart. No matter how many scandals, marriages and relationships ended, she never, ever gave up on love. Her heart was fearless, open, compassionate, brave. She was passionate in all her relationships. She absolutely refused to build walls around her heart. I love whom I love with all my heart. One in particular, sometimes I can’t even breathe from the love I feel for her. But that’s another blog.
Her relationships with Rock Hudson, Roddy McDowell, Montgomery Clift and Michael Jackson showed us a fiercely loyal woman who cherished her friends.
MJ dedicated a song to her and sang it at a celebration of her 65th birthday in February 1997.
Of her loyalty to Rock Hudson when he was discovered to have aids, Elton John said “Elizabeth did something when it required real courage.” Instead of complaining about no one doing anything, she thought “I’m not doing anything.” An early champion against the aids epidemic, she put a plan in action building the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. Humanitarianism is a word that applies to both Elizabeth and Michael.
Elizabeth’s friendship with Michael began in the early 80’s when she walked out of his concert because she couldn’t see the stage as her seats were too far away. Michael found out and called her, upset that she had left. He struggled with insecurity just like any of us. I certainly do. Hence a great friendship was born. She didn’t just stand by Michael’s side. She held him up time after time.
I see another point of connection. Elizabeth was hounded by the press her entire life especially when she was with Richard Burton resulting in constant fright and flight from fans. Michael’s entire life was spent with fans on his heels. She knew he was a creative genius who was emotionally damaged so she held onto him tightly.
Love and loyalty is the theme that keeps coming forward for me. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Kevin Sessums in POZ in November, 1997: Kevin: “You have very loyal friendships. One of the things even more controversial than your advocacy of needle exchange programs is your close friendship with Michael Jackson. You’ve even agreed to be the godmother of his child.”
-Elizabeth: “We love each other, Michael and I. That’s all there is to say. Both of us had really strange childhoods. We have a lot in common that way. We love each other. And if nobody understands it—or doesn’t dig it—then tough shit.”
When Dr. Arnold Klein blasted rumors about Michael Jackson after he died, Elizabeth tweeted: “Just what we want in our doctors. And then to say he did not betray Michael’s confidence. No wonder he has death threats,” Taylor continued. “I thought doctors, like priests took an oath of confidentiality. May God have mercy on his soul.”
Elizabeth was a loyal, caring, loving friend to Michael Jackson. She flew to be by his side when, in the midst of the Dangerous tour in 1993, he was falsely accused of child molestation by the blackmailing Evan Chandler.
“I believe totally that Michael will be vindicated. I believe in Michael’s integrity, his love and respect of children. I know it will all come out alright. He’s here all alone. He’s going through a terrible time and I just wanted to be with him.” Elizabeth Taylor
She vocally supported him again when the Me-Too Arvizos falsely accused him in 2005. She never faltered or betrayed him. She also gave MJ his first Christmas at Neverland making sure Michael felt love on the holidays and not alone.
Jackson’s brother, Tito Jackson, has issued his own statement on Taylor’s passing today. “Most memorable is her steadfast loyalty and unwavering friendship to my late brother Michael Jackson,” he said. “Liz provided a sense of relief and comfort to my brother at various difficult times in his life, and I appreciate that, may she rest in peace.”
When Michael died, Elizabeth wrote “I will always love Michael from the depth of my being and nothing can separate us.” All this rain showering us must be Michael and Elizabeth’s tears coming down on us from laughing so hard. When the sun shines tomorrow, they will be smiling down on us.
They were mirrors to each other having spent their childhoods working instead of being children. She was a loyal, other-centered friend which means Michael was too. Their relationship; based on trust, loyalty and caring was loving and supporting and a gift they gave one another. Best friends for decades, she stood by his side no matter what. Their relationship was pure, true, dedicated. She was protective, devoted and nurturing. They were soul mates. You are not alone now Michael. With Elizabeth back at your side you can run together like children; holding hands, smiling and laughing with each other, playing with the animals. Elizabeth showed us the importance of having a friend who stays by your side not just when you’re riding around in limousines but when you’re stranded by the road alone and the kids are throwing rocks and names at you.
From Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s Twitter account, circa July 22, 2010: Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind. I love you.
I love these photos of them. They were always holding hands.
“I’ve met a lot of people in my life, and very few are real, real friends … I can probably count them on one hand. Elizabeth is one of the most loving, loyal, caring people that I know.” Michael Jackson