Today we learned of the death of an American film icon, Elizabeth Taylor, at age 79, from congestive heart failure.
Her life was the stuff of legend, or at least the stuff of tabloids. She was married 8 times, divorced at 18, a widow at 26, and suffered from substance abuse, weight spiraling up and down, and numerous other problems.
I do not believe I have seen anything other than clips of her work, so I cannot attest to her greatness, or lack thereof, when it comes to her film work.
Most of what I have heard about her over the years involved two things: her violet eyes and her troubled life. It would be unfair to classify her as The Charlie Sheen Of Her Time, but she was always good for an unflattering tabloid story and picture. She once commented that tabloids did stories on her because they could not get enough dirt on other celebrities.
My daughter said all the channels interrupted their regular programming to announce her passing, and many of them carried on with that story for an extended period of time.
I would hope that I would have been equipped to deal with all the vagaries of fame had I been famous, but since we are all human, that may not have been the case. There are numerous tales about people whose work I enjoyed or who were favorites of mine from sport who did something seemingly out of character, and my opinion of them was lessened, at least for a time.
Upon hearing about the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, the first thing that popped into my mind was the first ribald joke I heard. It was from Sainted Mother, of all people (that's what I thought at the time!), to wit: What has more fingerprints than the FBI? Answer: Elizabeth' Taylor's behind.
Indeed, what price glory?
I mentioned to Wonderful Daughter that when I was about 10, I could not believe anyone did NOT want to become famous. Now, I believe I will be happy just being famous for being her Dad, and the world's first E-pah.