March 24, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor-February 27, 1932-March 23, 2011

When you think of Elizabeth Taylor, so many images come to mind.  As an actress, she was truly one of our last great screen icons. She rose to fame as a child star and went on to become an Oscar winning actress. As to her turbulent romances, you had to admire that she lived fearlessly without regret when it came to her choices off-screen. A survivor, she conquered her addictions. A formidable business woman in her own right, her love of jewelry, (her collection must be massive) inspired her not only to become a jewelry designer, but launch three perfumes. Her perfume sales alone earn an estimated $200 million in annual sales. And as a philanthropist, she was one of the first celebrities that came out and championed for AIDS related charities and fundraising.

I admired her for her fearlessness. She took a chance, even if it didn’t give her the desired results, she took it. Better to try and fail than not try. No regrets. She lived in the spot light, yet did it with dignity. She conquered her vices, and took responsibility for her actions. She pioneered for AIDS awareness when no one else wanted to know it existed. She used her fame to bring about change. Gutsy, fearlessly and a fighter…..all the way to the end.

One of my friends (the great Karen Starr DelloIacono) had the pleasure of meeting her in 1987, when she worked at JFK/TWA. Her supervisor asked her to be Elizabeth’s personal TWA VIP rep and she got to hang out with her at the Ambassador’s Club. Before boarding her flight, Elizabeth handed Karen 3 bottles of her new perfume, Passion, autographed, which wasn’t available to the public yet.  

Karen remembers….”She  immediately asked if I was wearing Chanel No. 5, which I was, and we sat and chatted for the entire 90 minutes she was in the Ambassador’s Club. We talked about her dogs, my dog, my love of archaeology, fashion, travel, New York and life. Not once did I bring up being famous and her movies. You can tell when someone is interested in getting to know you and she sincerely was. I excused myself to call the gate to let them know we were coming and when I got back, there were 3 boxes of her new perfume, Passion, on the table. Autographed. I was floored. One for me, my Mom and Grandmother. I was also advised to start using it in lieu of Chanel (big smile on her face).”

When Karen escorted her to the plane they said their goodbyes. “She told me to tell my Mom and Grandmother hello and to give them her best wishes. She had a very nice time getting to know me and hoped that we would meet again. We never did but that doesn’t mean we won’t meet in another lifetime. She left an impression on me that I will always treasure. Kind, thoughtful, intelligent, wonderful.”

RIP Elizabeth-May Your Star Always Shine Brightly!

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