Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Last Star

She was a Hilton long before Paris Hilton.
Decades before Survivor she defined what it means to survive and thrive.
Long before "American Idol" her beauty and talent made her a modern day icon.
She never needed Maybelline because she was born with double rows of eyelashes on each eye. And before botox and collagen and silicon her natural endowments made all of us star struck.
Before anyone even knew the word "bling" she collected diamonds and precious gems as if they were rock candy. But none of the gems ever dazzled quite as much as her luminescent, violet eyes.
By now you must know that I’m talking about Elizabeth Taylor, the last of the great Hollywood stars.
While many of today’s stars come off as shallow and transitory Elizabeth Taylor endures. Through six decades, eight marriages, seven husbands, 59 films and numerous near-death experiences she has remained a shrewd, complex and captivating personality: a loyal friend, a clever businesswoman, a compassionate citizen and even a savvy politician.
She predated the sexual and individual-rights revolutions by making her own rules and charting her own course, for better or worse. Long before most people even thought of women as entrepreneurs she built successful businesses and amassed hundreds of millions of dollars. Her perfumes are among the best selling fragrances of all time, earning an estimated $200 million in annual sales. Her net worth has been estimated at more than a billion dollars.
To call Elizabeth Taylor a trailblazer would be an understatement. Do you admire Oprah’s generosity or Angelina’s self-proclaimed concern for children or any star’s triumph over substance abuse? Elizabeth Taylor’s been there, done that.
Before anyone was even willing to talk about AIDS Elizabeth Taylor created one of the first and most important organizations for AIDS research and funding. Through the American Foundation for AIDS Research and now the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Elizabeth Taylor has raised more than $300 million for AIDS research.
She has faced her own demons, bid adieu to dozens of friends and lovers, and even begged forgiveness from those she may have hurt along the way. Through it all, she endures.
Happy Birthday today to the Last Great Star of the movies, Dame Elizabeth Taylor!

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