The Queen is gone.
She’s back with Dick.
Finally, for the third time.
Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday at age 79. Taylor’s publicist, Sally Morrison, confirmed that she died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for six weeks.
The actress’ four children (Michael and Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton) were by her bedside as she passed.
Says Michael: “My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor and love. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”
I remember, back in the early ’80s when I was writing my book Liza! Liza!, the unauthorized biography of Liza Minnelli that The New York Times would later name “One of the Best Books of the Year.”
I asked Liz for an interview. She said no. I then sent her a copy of a photo of she and Liza Minnelli that I was using in the book. It was a loving pose of Liz and Liza on the set of “Father of the Bride,” the film in which Liza’s dad, Vincente Minnelli, was directing Liz.
She struck a deal: If I made her a copy of the photo for her personal files, she’d grant an interview.
She talked about how she felt like Liza was her own child and all kinds of gooey stuff like that.
A few years ago, I asked Liza about her work with AIDS and she decided it was time to set the record straight . . . And that she, and not Liz, was the first to jump on the bandwagon.
I introduced Elizabeth to AIDS. There was an event at which she was getting an award. I thought, “I’m going to ask Rock Hudson if he wants to come.’ I called him and he said, ‘I’d love to—I haven’t seen you and Elizabeth or anyone in years.’ This was really early during the AIDS crises. I picked him up and Rock didn’t look good at all. At all. I thought, ‘Oh no! He’s wasting; he looks like he got it.’ Rock got up to go to the men’s room and Elizabeth said, ‘Rock looks awful!’ I said, ‘There’s something that’s starting to be called AIDS. Elizabeth asked me what it was. I told her about it—how it was being called a ‘gay disease,’ how nurses were afraid of taking care of patients, how people were afraid of getting it, how nobody was caring for people who had it, how everyone was scared. I told her about Mathilda Krim. Elizabeth said, ‘This is terrible! Somebody’s got to do something.’ I said, ‘I know, that’s why I am telling you.’ I was the one who really introduced her to the cause.”
Rest in peace, Elizabeth.