After years poor health (and vehement denials of that poor health), Elizabeth Taylor passed away from congestive heart failure yesterday at the age of 79. The actress was twice an Oscar winner (nominated three times more) and, in her prime, the biggest movie star in the world. In fact, Taylor defined what it was to be a movie star. Yet virtually none of her movies are available on Blu-ray at the moment. That seems unconscionable.
I say “virtually” none because Taylor did have an uncredited bit part as “Christian Prisoner in Arena” in the 1951 Biblical epic ‘Quo Vadis‘. As far as I’m aware, that’s the only of her film roles currently available on Blu-ray.
At the risk of sounding callous, I hope that the world can remember Elizabeth Taylor as she was in her heyday, not as the sad parody of herself that she ultimately became over the last three decades. Before the weight gain, the crazy hair, the alcoholism, the bizarre behavior, palling around with Michael Jackson, or the ridiculous string of failed marriages, Elizabeth Taylor was once a stunningly gorgeous woman and a fiercely talented actress.
So let’s remember her not as the old lady who ended her once-legendary career with (god help us) ‘The Flintstones’. Even if we can’t have them on Blu-ray yet, now is a good time to hit up Netflix or pull out a DVD and remember the woman who blazed across the screen in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ That’s the legacy she deserves.