2016年8月31日 星期三

Juan Gabriel, a Pop Music ‘Icon’ in Mexico, Dies at 66

Published on Jun 21, 2016
LOS MEJORES EXITOS EN VIVO: Asi Fue, Amor Eterno, Abrazame Muy Fuerte, Querida, Hasta Que Te Conoci, Costumbres y Muchos Mas.

Juan Gabriel in 2015. CreditRebecca Blackwell/Associated Press
Juan Gabriel, the prolific singer and songwriter who was one of Mexico’s most successful musical artists, died on Sunday at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 66.
Juan Gabriel’s publicist told The Associated Press that he had died on Sunday morning. Univision said he had had a heart attack.
Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, offered his condolences on Twitter, calling him “one of the great musical icons of our country.”
Juan Gabriel released the first of several dozen albums in 1971 and continued to release records at a relentless pace, including two this year. He was nominated for six Grammy Awards and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1996, he was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame.
Four of Juan Gabriel’s albums had reached No. 1 on the Billboard Latin chart in the last 18 months. He sold three million albums in the United States over his career, a number dwarfed by his sales in Mexico. In 2009, when he was declared the Latin Recording Academy person of the year at the Latin Grammys, the academy released a statement saying that he had sold over 100 million albums.
Juan Gabriel was active until the end. He performed for two hours at the Los Angeles Forum on Friday, clad in one of his typically bright-colored outfits. In its review of the concert, Billboard called him “the ultimate showman.”

Fans Mourn Juan Gabriel, Mexican Singer

People in Mexico City honored the singer and songwriter on Sunday night after news of his death at 66.
 By REUTERS and THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish DateAugust 29, 2016. Photo by Yuri Cortez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. Watch in Times Video »
He was adept at keeping up with shifting genres, combining a contemporary pop sensibility with traditional Mexican music, often appearing with a full mariachi band in tow. A populist at heart, he wrote and sang songs that focused on the everyday dramas of life and love.
He also had collaborative spirit, working with well-known Latin American artists like Ana Gabriel and Marc Anthony, many of whom covered his songs.
Reviewing a concert in The New York Times in 2000, Jon Pareles called Juan Gabriel “a puckish figure onstage — part Tom Jones, part Liberace — with a teasing smile, an occasional hip wiggle and some surprisingly graceful dance steps.”
Juan Gabriel was born Alberto Aguilera Valadez on Jan. 7, 1950, in the state of Michoacan, on the Pacific coast west of Mexico City. One of 10 siblings, he was initially raised by his mother and began writing his own songs at age 13.
His father, Gabriel Aguilera, was committed to a mental hospital, and his mother took the family to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, across the Texas border from El Paso. Unable to support Gabriel, she placed him in a children’s home when he was 5. It was there that he met Juan Contreras, a deaf musician who had played in a band. Juan Gabriel chose the stage name in honor of both his father and Mr. Contreras, his first teacher.
In an interview with the Mexican newspaper La Jornada in 2012, to mark the 40th anniversary of his musical career, Juan Gabriel said both the pain and the joys of his childhood coursed through his music.
“Everyone who gave me food, who took away my hunger, inspired me to compose,” he said. “They told me their stories, and I had no other way to console them than with a piece of music, and that is how I learned. I did not resolve their problems with my songs, but I created a moment of release. They would cry, and they had more affection for me, and that is how I grew up.”
Juan Gabriel in 1980. CreditBolivar Arellano
He ran away from the children’s home at 14. “One day I took out the garbage and never went back,” he said.
He played in the nightclubs of Ciudad Juárez, but he had set his hopes on a bigger prize and set out for Mexico City. Accused of stealing a guitar, he spent a year and a half in the city’s Lecumberri prison.
His luck changed when the ranchera singer Enriqueta Jiménez heard him and persuaded her producers to hire him.
Early hits like “No Tengo Dinero” (1971) focused on his humble beginnings, making him something of a folk hero.
Juan Gabriel stopped recording and performing for several years in the 1980s while battling his record label, BMG, for control of his music. He eventually came to an agreement with the company and gained control of many of his songs.
There was no immediate word on his survivors.
In a tell-all book, “Juan Gabriel and I,” a former secretary of Juan Gabriel’s, Joaquín Muñoz, said that he and Juan Gabriel had had a sexual relationship, The A.P. reported, an assertion that Juan Gabriel did not confirm or deny. Years later it became known that he had fathered four children with a friend, Laura Salas.
Antonio Martínez Velázquez, a co-founder of Horizontal, a cultural and political magazine, posted a tribute on Facebook in which he described Juan Gabriel as “our emotional pastor.”
“His were not simple concerts, they were religious, mystical and communal experiences,” Mr. Velázquez wrote. “His lyrics made up not songs, but rather hymns.”
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馬克·呂布(Marc Riboud), Photojournalist Who Found Grace in the Turbulent, Dies at 93

Marc Riboud, Photojournalist Who Found Grace in the Turbulent, Dies at 93

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Marc Riboud | 1923-2016

Marc Riboud | 1923-2016

CreditMarc Riboud/Magnum Photos

Marc Riboud, the celebrated French photojournalist who captured moments of grace even in the most fraught situations around the world, died in Paris on Tuesday. He was 93.

The cause was Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Catherine Chaine, said.

Mr. Riboud’s career of more than 60 years carried him routinely to turbulent places throughout Asia and Africa in the 1950s and ’60s, but he may be best remembered for two photographs taken in the developed world.

The first, from 1953, is of a workman poised like an angel in overalls between a lattice of girders while painting the Eiffel Tower — one hand raising a paintbrush, one leg bent in a seemingly Chaplinesque attitude.

The second, from 1967, is of a young woman presenting a flower to a phalanx of bayonet-wielding members of the National Guard during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration at the Pentagon.

Both images were published in Life magazine during what is often called the golden age of photojournalism, an era Mr. Riboud (pronounced REE-boo) exemplified.

A protégé of Henri Cartier-Bresson, he was on the front lines of world events, including wars. Even so, Mr. Riboud did not consider himself a record keeper. “I have shot very rarely news,” he once said.

Rather than portray the military parades or political leaders of the Soviet Union, for example, he was drawn to anonymous citizens sitting in the snow, holding miniature chess boards and absorbed in their books.Photo
Marc Riboud worked on the front lines of world events, but he also loved taking photographs of anonymous citizens. CreditBruno Barbey/Magnum Photos

Of the many hundreds of shots he published from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Tibet and Turkey, only a handful are of figures written about by historians.Continue reading the main story

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Born on June 24, 1923, in St.-Genis-Laval, near Lyon, he was the fifth and, by his account, the most shy of seven children from a bourgeois family that expected him to take up a respectable vocation. It was his father, an enthusiastic traveler and amateur photographer, who led him astray by giving him a vest-pocket Kodak when Marc was a teenager.

His first photographs were of the Paris Exposition in 1937. After World War II, in which he fought around Vercors as a member of the Resistance, Mr. Riboud studied mechanical engineering at the École Centrale in Lyon. He took a factory job in the nearby town of Villeurbanne after graduating in 1948.

Not until he found himself taking pictures of a cultural festival in Lyon during a weeklong vacation in 1951 did he at last decide to commit to the unstable life of a freelance photojournalist. He moved to Paris in 1952.

There he met Cartier-Bresson, who became his mentor. Already a celebrity in his field, this “salutary tyrant,” as Mr. Riboud called him, dictated “which books to read, what political ideas I should have, which museums and galleries to visit.”

“He taught me about life and about the art of photography,” Mr. Riboud said.

Among the lessons imparted was that “good photography” is dependent on “good geometry.” The Eiffel Tower photograph from 1953, the first that Mr. Riboud published, proves how well the pupil absorbed the lesson. In a radio interview more than 50 years later, he still recalled the English-language caption given to the image by the Life copy writers: “Blithe-ful on the Eiffel.”

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In 1953, Cartier-Bresson nominated his protégé to join Magnum, the photo collective he had helped found. Until 1979, when he left to go out on his own, Mr. Riboud traveled and photographed for the agency constantly.Photo
Mr. Riboud, center, with the photographers Martine Franck and his mentor, Henri Cartier-Bresson, in 1993. CreditRene Burri/Magnum Photos

In 1955, he drove a specially equipped Land Rover to Calcutta from Paris, staying for a year in India. He was also one of the first Westerners to photograph in Communist China, and he spent three months in the Soviet Union in 1960.

Throughout the 1950s and ’60s he documented the anticolonial independence movements in Algeria and West Africa, and during the Vietnam War he was among the few able to move easily between the North and South.

In the United States, he documented not only protests against the Vietnam War but also a pensive Maureen Dean listening to her husband, the Nixon aide John W. Dean, testify at the Watergate hearings in 1973.

Among the events he documented in recent decades were the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to Iran; the Solidarity movement in Poland; the trial of Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief in Lyon during World War II; the end of apartheid in South Africa; and the mood in the United States before the election of President Obama.

During the last third of his life, Mr. Riboud was recognized by museums in many of the countries where he had worked. Photographs from his travels were collected in more than a dozen monographs, including “Marc Riboud: Photographs at Home and Abroad” (1986), “Marc Riboud: Journal” (1988) and “Marc Riboud in China: Forty Years of Photography” (1996).

Among many other shows, Mr. Riboud was honored with exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, in 1964, and the International Center of Photography in New York, in 1975, 1988 and 1997. He was the subject of retrospectives at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1985 and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris in 2004.

Unlike some artists who resent that the public’s infatuation with a few of their works has turned them into clichés, Mr. Riboud did not mind describing the circumstances behind “The Eiffel Tower Painter.”Photo
Mr. Riboud at an exhibit in Paris celebrating his 50-year career in 2009.CreditJoel Saget/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

No, he did not ask the workman to pose, he would answer patiently. To have spoken to the man might have caused him to slip. “I’ve always been shy, and I’ve always been trying to ignore the people I was photographing so that they ignore me,” he said.

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Of the flower girl at the Pentagon, a 17-year-old high school student namedJan Rose Kasmir, he ventured, “I had the feeling the soldiers were more afraid of her than she was of the bayonets.” (The two later reunited in London, where he photographed her carrying a poster of the 1967 image at a demonstration against the Iraq War in 2003.)

The immense popularity of these two photographs, assisted by countless reproductions, could well have warped perceptions of Mr. Riboud’s highly diverse body of work. And yet they did truly represent the gravitational bent of his personality.

“I have always been more sensitive to the beauty of the world than to violence and monsters,” he wrote in an essay in 2000. “My obsession is with photographing life at its most intense as intensely as possible. It’s a mania, a virus as strong as my instinct to be free. If taste for life diminishes, the photographs pale, because taking pictures is like savoring life at 125th of a second.”

In 1961, he married Barbara Chase, the American sculptor, poet and novelist. The marriage ended in divorce in the 1980s.

Besides his second wife, Ms. Chaine, a journalist and author, Mr. Riboud is survived by two sons from his first marriage, David and Alexei; and a daughter, Clémence, and a son, Théo, from his second marriage.

Mr. Riboud’s weakness for sentimental subjects and left-wing causes marred his reputation with some critics. But this optimism, coupled with his overt sympathies for the downtrodden and a working style that put an emphasis on freedom of movement, unencumbered by any equipment except a camera and his wits, also served to keep him photographing until the end of his life. Until a few years ago, he would begin each day by loading film into his Canon EOS 300.

“My vision of the world is simple,” Mr. Riboud said when he was in his 80s. “Tomorrow, each new day, I want to see the city, take new photographs, meet people and wander alone.”

Sewell Chan contributed reporting.

Initium Media 端傳媒


法國攝影師馬克·呂布(Marc Riboud)昨夜與世長辭,終年93歲。他拍攝了阿爾及利亞和非洲等多次民主運動,而多次造訪中國拍攝的照片,更成經典。我們的攝影師精心挑選了他的部份作品,與你一起回味…http://bit.ly/2bQFnRJ


馬克·呂布 攝影巨人離世
法國攝影師馬克·呂布(Marc Riboud)昨夜與世長辭,終年93歲。呂布1923年出生於法國里昂,代表作之一是 Eiffel Tower Painter。他拍攝了阿爾及利亞和非洲等多次民主運動,而多次造訪中國拍攝的照片,更成經典。

顧立雄:記者無理頭的問話而「動怒」;最短時間內 凍結國民黨現有財產;司法體系終能糾正國家暴力的錯誤行為;警若隱匿證據 將告王卓鈞 ;民主的根基;民間司法改革基金會 : 國家耍流氓,人民當自強!


UDN.COM|作者:UDN.COM 聯合新聞網

《星期專訪》顧立雄:最短時間內 凍結國民黨現有財產




四年四區塊 全力追討黨產








委員會成員月底到位 下月行動




組最好團隊 應付國民黨提釋憲




募款取代黨產 國民黨才能重生









法律白話文運動 Plain Law Movement

‪#‎法律白話文PLM‬ 白字第4號IG文

Que: 暴民好可怕,不把暴民打暈怎麼鎮暴

Ans: 林明慧在去年318反服貿運動中參與佔領行政院行動,並與同伴以非暴力方式於行政院主建築外手勾手靜坐,卻在警方強制驅離過程中遭警棍毆打頭部,當場一度昏厥並受創流血後,向法院起訴請求國賠。



顧立雄:警若隱匿證據 將告王卓鈞
劉明堂/台北報導 2014-04-11 17:26





顧立雄等人今天收到台北地院行政法庭的裁定書,隨即舉行記者會對警方提出警告。法院裁定保全證據範圍,包括從3月23日晚上7點到24日上午6點,在行政院院區內及院區四周路段固定式錄影設備之電磁紀錄,及員警蒐證錄影之電磁紀錄;以及 專案勤務的計畫編組表、警力部署圖等。




2016年8月30日 星期二

Elizabeth Taylor玉女/玉婆,Naomi Watts (Princess Diana biopic)

 死後1992年才有由Elizabeth Taylor 飾演的電影。
“I have been told by responsible journalists that there was more world interest in Cleopatra, which I produced, and in its stars— Elizabeth TaylorRichard Burton, and Rex Harrison—than in any event of 1962.”
—Walter Wanger from MY LIFE WITH CLEOPATRA: The Making of a Hollywood Classic by Walter Wanger

倫敦7日訊)以已故戴安娜王妃生前事蹟為藍本的傳記片《戴安娜》(Diana),下月17日在香港公映,日前率先於倫敦萊斯特廣場舉行首映禮。扮演戴妃的澳洲女星納奧美華特斯(Naomi Watts)悉心打扮現身,以博取更高見報率,然而電影未能討好英國傳媒,近乎一面倒地給予劣評。



影評人Peter Bradshaw更毫不留情地寫道:「可憐的戴妃,我曾猶豫使用『車子撞入戲院』這些字,但更可怕的事實是,97年那恐怖的一天在16年後,她再次嚇人地死去。」比起《泰晤士報》和《衛報》只給1分,《每日電訊報》的2分看來好一點,不過仍是在問:「到底《戴安娜》的重點是什麼?」


Princess Diana biopic panned by British critics: Naomi Watts flick called ‘atrocious’
The film about Lady Diana, the ‘People’s Princess,’ didn’t get the same royal treatment by British critics.

Reg Lancaster/Getty Images

While many critics have slammed the romantic drama, at least one positive review heralds Watts’ performance as brilliant, passionate and believable.

British critics are not happy with Naomi Watts' "Diana" biopic.
Several reviewers slammed Oliver Herschbiegel's take on the Princess of Wales' love affair with Dr. Hasnat Khan after it premiered in London on Thursday.
Several British papers have panned the flick, due out in American theaters in October.

Alex Moss/FilmMagic

Several British papers have panned the flick, due out in American theaters in October.

It's a "cheap" and "cheerless" effort, according to the U.K.'s Mirror, while the Sunday Times ripped apart its "embarrassing" script. The Academy Award-nominated Watts, 44, is apparently a mere victim of bad writing.
Naomi Watts stars as Princess Diana in the official trailer for 'Diana' also featuring Naveen Andrews.

BeckerFilmGroup via YouTube

Naomi Watts stars as Princess Diana in the official trailer for 'Diana' also featuring Naveen Andrews.

"Even when these lines are delivered by the fragrant Naomi Watts, doing her level best with a squirmingly embarrassing script, this film is still atrocious and intrusive," the Sunday Times reviewer wrote.

BeckerFilmGroup via YouTube

The Hirschbiegel film was labeled ‘cheap’ and ‘cheerless’ by one critic.

The retelling of Princess Diana's romance with the heart surgeon painted a picture that "even Bridget Jones would cross the street to avoid," according to the Mirror writer, adding that the beloved late royal was rendered a "sad-sack singleton."
One stale line in the film, when Watts says "now that I have been loved, I don't feel lonely anymore," particularly irked the critics.

BeckerFilmGroup via YouTube

The film about Lady Diana, the ‘People’s Princess,’ didn’t get the same royal treatment by British critics.

"The awful truth is that, 16 years after that terrible day in 1997, Diana has died another awful death," wrote a Guardian newspaper reviewer.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/princess-diana-biopic-panned-british-critics-article-1.1448107#ixzz2eHz0VxII

2011今天3/24 CNN 會有四小時的節目:


自由時報 - ‎5小時之前‎
一代巨星伊莉莎白泰勒昨日病逝於洛杉磯的醫院,享年79歲。從12歲主演「玉女神駒」轟動影壇,伊莉莎白泰勒共有70部作品,直到2001年她69歲時, 都還有演出作品。她曾三度以「戰國佳人」、「朱門巧婦」、「夏日癡魂」獲得奧斯卡提名;以「青樓豔妓」與「靈慾春宵」兩度贏得 ...
Outtake from the July 14, 1947 cover of Elizabeth Taylor. According to LIFE: "Elizabeth Taylor is about the best-looking 15-year-old girl known to the public at large. Under contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Hollywood, she made her first movie appearance in Lassie Come Home (1942) and will shortly be appearing in Cynthia and Life with Father. Elizabeth receives her education at the M-G-M studio school, keeps pet dogs, cats and chipmunks and steps out occasionally with Actor Jerome Courtland, a strapping 20, who has not yet told her whether or not he likes her. She is supposed to be in bed each night by 9 p.m. but she seldom gets there on time. (Bob Landry—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images) ‪#‎LIFElegends‬ ‪#‎1940s‬‪#‎ElizabethTaylor‬

Elizabeth Taylor, Lifelong Screen Star, Dies at 79

Elizabeth Taylor, the actress who dazzled generations of moviegoers with her stunning beauty and whose name was synonymous with Hollywood glamour, died Wednesday in Los Angeles. She was 79.
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
Elizabeth Taylor in 1957. More Photos »
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A spokeswoman at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said Ms. Taylor died at 1:28 a.m. Pacific time. Her publicist, Sally Morrison, said the cause was complications of congestive heart failure. Ms. Taylor had had a series of medical setbacks over the years and was hospitalized six weeks ago with heart problems.
In a world of flickering images, Elizabeth Taylor was a constant star. First appearing on screen at age 9, she grew up there, never passing through an awkward age. It was one quick leap from “National Velvet” to “A Place in the Sun” and from there to “Cleopatra,” as she was indelibly transformed from a vulnerable child actress into a voluptuous film queen.
In a career of more than 70 years and more than 50 films, she won two Academy Awards as best actress, for her performances as a call girl in “Butterfield 8” (in 1960) and as the acid-tongued Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (in 1966). Mike Nichols, who directed her in “Virginia Woolf,” said he considered her “one of the greatest cinema actresses.”
When Ms. Taylor was honored in 1986 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times, “More than anyone else I can think of, Elizabeth Taylor represents the complete movie phenomenon — what movies are as an art and an industry, and what they have meant to those of us who have grown up watching them in the dark.”
Ms. Taylor’s popularity endured throughout her life, but critics were sometimes reserved in their praise of her acting. In that sense she may have been upstaged by her own striking beauty. Could anyone as lovely as Elizabeth Taylor also be talented? The answer, of course, was yes.
Given her lack of professional training, the range of her acting was surprisingly wide. She played predatory vixens and wounded victims. She was Cleopatra of the burnished barge; Tennessee Williams’s Maggie the cat; Catherine Holly, who confronted terror suddenly last summer; and Shakespeare’s Kate. Her melodramatic heroines would have been at home on soap operas.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who directed her in “Suddenly, Last Summer” and “Cleopatra,” remembered seeing her for the first time, in Cannes, when she was 18. “She was the most incredible vision of loveliness I have ever seen in my life,” he said. “And she was sheer innocence.”
Mr. Mankiewicz admired her professionalism. “Whatever the script called for, she played it,” he said. “The thread that goes through the whole is that of a woman who is an honest performer. Therein lies her identity.”
It was also Mr. Mankiewicz who said that for Ms. Taylor, “living life was a kind of acting,” that she lived her life “in screen time.”
Marilyn Monroe was the sex goddess, Grace Kelly the ice queen, Audrey Hepburn the eternal gamine. Ms. Taylor was beauty incarnate. As the director George Stevens said when he chose her for “A Place in the Sun,” the role called for the “beautiful girl in the yellow Cadillac convertible that every American boy, some time or other, thinks he can marry.”
There was more than a touch of Ms. Taylor herself in the roles she played. She acted with the magnet of her personality. Although she could alter her look for a part — putting on weight for Martha in “Virginia Woolf” or wearing elaborate period costumes — she was not a chameleon, assuming the coloration of a character. Instead she would bring the character closer to herself. For her, acting was “purely intuitive.” As she said, “What I try to do is to give the maximum emotional effect with the minimum of visual movement.”
Sometimes her film roles seemed to be a mirror image of her own life. More than most movie stars, she seemed to exist in the public domain, where her indiscretions were bared under a spotlight. She was pursued by paparazzi and denounced by the Vatican. But behind the seemingly scandalous behavior was a woman with a clear sense of morality: she habitually married her lovers. People watched and counted, with vicarious pleasure, as she became Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky — enough marriages to certify her career as a serial wife. Asked why she married so often, she said, in an assumed drawl: “I don’t know, honey. It sure beats the hell out of me.”
During a lifetime of emotional and physical setbacks, life-threatening illnesses and accidents, and several near-death experiences, Ms. Taylor was a survivor. “I’ve been lucky all my life,” she said in 1992, just before turning 60. “Everything was handed to me. Looks, fame, wealth, honors, love. I rarely had to fight for anything. But I’ve paid for that luck with disasters.” At 65, she said on the ABC News program “20-20”: “I’m like a living example of what people can go through and survive. I’m not like anyone. I’m me.”
Her life was played out in print: miles of newspaper and magazine articles, a galaxy of photographs and a shelf of biographies, each one painting a different portrait. “Planes, trains, everything stops for Elizabeth Taylor, but the public has no conception of who she is,” said Roddy McDowall, who was one of her earliest co-stars and a friend for life. “People who damn her wish to hell they could do what they think she does.”
There was one point of general agreement: her beauty. As cameramen noted, her face was flawlessly symmetrical; she had no bad angle, and her eyes were of the deepest violet.
One prominent and perhaps surprising dissenter about her looks was Richard Burton, who was twice her husband. The notion of his wife as “the most beautiful woman in the world is absolute nonsense,” he said.
“She has wonderful eyes,” he added, “but she has a double chin and an overdeveloped chest, and she’s rather short in the leg.”
On screen and off, Ms. Taylor was a provocative combination of the angel and the seductress. In all her incarnations she had a vibrant sensuality. But beneath it was more than a tinge of vulgarity, as in her love of ostentatious jewelry. “I know I’m vulgar,” she said, addressing her fans with typical candor, “but would you have me any other way?”
For many years she was high on the list of box-office stars. Even when her movies were unsuccessful, or, late in her career, when she acted infrequently, she retained her fame: there was only one Liz (a nickname she hated), and her celebrity increased the more she lived her life in public. There was nothing she could do about it. “The public me,” she said, “the one named Elizabeth Taylor, has become a lot of hokum and fabrication — a bunch of drivel — and I find her slightly revolting.”
Late in her life, she became known as a social activist. After the death of her friend Rock Hudson, she was a founder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research and devoted a great deal of her time to raising money for it. In 1997, she said, “I use my fame now when I want to help a cause or other people.”
Twice she had leading roles on Broadway, in a 1981 revival of Lillian Hellman’s “Little Foxes” and two years later in Noël Coward’s “Private Lives,” with Burton, at that point her former husband. In the first instance she won some critical respect; in the second she and Burton descended into self-parody. In any case, theater was not her most appropriate arena; it was as a movie star on a wide screen that she made her impact.
In a life of many surprises, one of the oddest facts is that as an infant she was considered to be an ugly duckling. Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London on Feb. 27, 1932, the second child of American parents with roots in Kansas. Her father, Francis Lenn Taylor, was an art dealer who had been transferred to London from New York; her mother, the former Sara Viola Warmbrodt, had acted in the theater in New York, under the name Sara Sothern, before she was married. (Her brother, Howard, was born in 1929.) At birth, her mother said, her daughter’s “tiny face was so tightly closed it looked as if it would never unfold.”
Elizabeth spent her early childhood in England. It was there, at 3, that she learned to ride horseback, a skill that was to help her win her first major role. Just before the beginning of World War II, her parents returned to the United States, moving to Pasadena, Calif., and later Beverly Hills, with their son and daughter.
Ms. Taylor’s mother shared with her an infatuation with the movies, and encouraged her to act. Elizabeth made her movie debut in 1942 as Gloria Twine in a forgettable film called “There’s One Born Every Minute,” with Carl Switzer, who was best known as Alfalfa, the boy with the cowlick in the “Our Gang” series. The casting director at Universal offered this capsule criticism: “The kid has nothing.”
Despite that inauspicious debut, Sam Marx, an MGM producer who had known the Taylors in England, arranged for their daughter to have a screen test for “Lassie Come Home.” She passed the audition. During the filming, in which she acted opposite Roddy McDowall, a cameraman mistakenly thought her long eyelashes were fake and asked her to take them off.
The power of her attraction was evident as early as 1944, in “National Velvet.” MGM had for many years owned the film rights to the Enid Bagnold novel on which the film was based but had had difficulty finding a child actress who could speak with an English accent and ride horses. At 12, Elizabeth Taylor met those requirements, though she was initially rejected for being too short. Stories circulated that she stretched herself in order to fill the physical dimensions of the role: Velvet Brown, a girl who was obsessed with horses and rode one to victory in the Grand National Steeplechase. “I knew if it were right for me to be Velvet,” she said, “God would make me grow.”
In one scene, her horse, which she called the Pie, seemed to be dying, and Ms. Taylor was supposed to cry — the first time she was called on to show such emotion on screen. Her co-star was Mickey Rooney, a more experienced actor, and he gave her some advice on how to summon up tears: pretend that her father was dying, that her mother had to wash clothes for a living and that her little dog had been run over. Hearing that sad scenario, Ms. Taylor burst out laughing at the absurdity. When it came time to shoot the scene, she later said: “All I thought about was the horse being very sick and that I was the little girl who owned him. And the tears came.”
Ms. Taylor gave a performance that, quite literally, made grown men and women weep, to say nothing of little girls who identified with Velvet. In his review of the film in The Nation, James Agee, otherwise a tough-minded critic, confessed that the first time he had seen Ms. Taylor on screen he had been “choked with the peculiar sort of adoration I might have felt if we were both in the same grade of primary school.”
She was, he said, “rapturously beautiful.”
“I think that she and the picture are wonderful,” he added, “and I hardly know or care whether she can act or not.”
The movie made her a star. Decades later, she said “National Velvet” was still “the most exciting film” she had ever made. But there was a drawback. To do the movie, she had to sign a long-term contract with MGM. As she said, she “became their chattel until I did ‘Cleopatra.’ ”
At first she played typical teenagers (in “Life With Father,” “A Date With Judy” and “Little Women”). At 16 she was “an emotional child inside a woman’s body,” she later said. But in contrast to other child actresses, she made an easy transition to adult roles. In 1950, she played Robert Taylor’s wife in “Conspirator.” The same year, she was in Vincente Minnelli’s “Father of the Bride,” with Spencer Tracy. And, life imitating art, she became a bride herself in 1950, marrying the hotel heir Conrad N. Hilton Jr. After an unhappy nine months, she divorced him and then married the British actor Michael Wilding, who was 20 years older than she.
By her own estimation, she “whistled and hummed” her way through her early films. But that changed in 1951, when she made “A Place in the Sun,” playing her prototypical role as a seemingly unattainable romantic vision. The film, she said, was “the first time I ever considered acting when I was young.”
In the film, she is a wealthy young woman of social position who is the catalyst for Montgomery Clift’s American tragedy. To the astonishment of skeptics, she held her own with Clift and Shelley Winters.
“A Place in the Sun” was followed by “Ivanhoe,” “Beau Brummel” and “The Last Time I Saw Paris.” Then she made two wide-screen epics back to back, “Giant” (with Rock Hudson and James Dean, who died after finishing his scenes) and “Raintree County” (with Clift, who became one of her closest friends). Her role in the Civil War-era drama “Raintree,” as Susanna Drake, a Southern belle who marries an Indiana abolitionist, earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress in 1957. It was the first of four consecutive nominations, the last of which resulted in a win for “Butterfield 8.” Ms. Taylor was filming “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” with Paul Newman in 1958 when her third husband, the flamboyant impresario Mike Todd, was killed along with three others in New Mexico in the crash of a small plane called the Lucky Liz. They had been married little more than a year and had a newly born daughter, Liza.
A bereaved Ms. Taylor was consoled by her husband’s best friend, the singer Eddie Fisher, who in a storybook romance was married to the actress Debbie Reynolds, one of America’s sweethearts. Soon a shocked nation learned that Debbie and Eddie were over and that Mr. Fisher was marrying Ms. Taylor, continuing what turned out to be a chain of marital events. (In 1993, at an AIDS benefit, Ms. Reynolds appeared on stage 20 minutes before Ms. Taylor and said, to waves of laughter, “Well, here I am, sharing something else with Elizabeth.”) Mr. Fisher died in 2010.
After Ms. Taylor finished “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” MGM demanded that she fulfill her contract and act in a film version of John O’Hara’s “Butterfield 8” (1960). Her performance as the call girl Gloria Wandrous brought her an Oscar as best actress.
The award was bestowed less than six weeks after she was forced to undergo an emergency tracheotomy in a London hospital after being overcome by pneumonia and losing consciousness, one of several times tabloid headlines proclaimed her close to death. She and others felt that the Oscar was given to her more out of sympathy for her illness than in appreciation of her acting.
Next was “Cleopatra,” in which she was the first actress to be paid a million-dollar salary. Working overtime, she eventually made more than twice that figure. The movie was made in Rome and cost so much ($40 million, a record for its time) and took so long that it almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox and caused an irrevocable rift between the producer Darryl F. Zanuck and the director Mr. Mankiewicz.
When “Cleopatra” was finally released in 1963, it was a disappointment. But the film became legendary for the off-screen affair of its stars, Ms. Taylor, then married to Mr. Fisher, and Richard Burton, then married to Sybil Williams.
Taylor and Burton: it seemed like a meeting, or a collision, of opposites, the most famous film star in the world and the man many believed to be the finest classical actor of his generation. What they had in common was an extraordinary passion for each other and for living life to the fullest. Their romantic roller coaster was closely chronicled by the international press, which began referring to the couple as an entity called “Dickenliz.”
After finishing the film, Ms. Taylor went with Burton to Toronto, where he was on a pre-Broadway tour with “Hamlet.” In Toronto, and later in New York, the two were at the height of their megastardom, accompanied by a retinue as large as that of the Sultan of Brunei and besieged by fans, who turned every public appearance into a mob scene. In New York, as many as 5,000 people gathered outside the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on West 46th Street after every performance of “Hamlet,” hoping Ms. Taylor was backstage and eager to see the couple emerge.
They were married in 1964, and Ms. Taylor tried without success to keep herself in the background. “I don’t think of myself as Taylor,” she said, ingenuously. “I much prefer being Burton.” She told her husband, “If I get fat enough, they won’t ask me to do any more films.” Although she put on weight, she continued to act.
The life of Dickenliz was marked by excess. They maintained mansions in various countries, rented entire floors of hotels and spent lavishly on cars, art and jewelry, including the 69.42-carat Cartier diamond and the 33.19-carat Krupp diamond. (In 2002, Ms. Taylor published “My Love Affair With Jewelry,” a coffee-table memoir as told through the prism of her world-class gems.)
Since childhood, Ms. Taylor had been surrounded by domestic animals. When she was not allowed to take her dogs with her to London because of a quarantine rule, she leased a yacht for them at a reported cost of $20,000 and moored it on the Thames.
After “Cleopatra,” the couple united in a film partnership that gave the public glossy romances like “The V.I.P.’s” and “The Sandpiper” and one powerful drama about marital destructiveness, the film version of Edward Albee’s play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” As Martha, the faculty wife, a character 20 years older than she was, Ms. Taylor gained 20 pounds and made herself look dowdy. After she received her second Academy Award for the performance, Burton, who played Martha’s husband, George, offered a wry response: “She won an Oscar for it, he said, bitterly, and I didn’t, he said, equally bitterly.”
The Burtons also acted together in “Doctor Faustus” (1968), in which she was a conjured-up Helen of Troy; “The Comedians” (1967), with Ms. Taylor as an adulterous ambassador’s wife in Haiti; Franco Zeffirelli’s film version of “The Taming of the Shrew” (1967), with Ms. Taylor as the volatile Katharina to Burton’s wife-hunting Petrucchio; “Boom!” (1968), an adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore,” with Ms. Taylor as a rich, ailing woman living on an island; “Under Milk Wood” (1972), an adaptation of the Dylan Thomas play; and “Hammersmith Is Out” (1972), a retelling of the Faust legend in which she played a diner waitress.
On her own, Ms. Taylor was an adulterous Army major’s wife in “Reflections in a Golden Eye” (1967), with Marlon Brando; a fading prostitute in “Secret Ceremony” (1968); an aging Las Vegas chorus girl in “The Only Game in Town” (1970), with Warren Beatty; a rich widow who witnesses a murder in “Night Watch” (1973); and a wife who tries to save her marriage through plastic surgery in “Ash Wednesday” (1973), among other films.
After 10 high-living and often torrid years, the Burtons were divorced in 1974, remarried 16 months later (in a mud-hut village in Botswana), separated again the following February and granted a divorce in Haiti in July 1976.
Burton died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 58 in 1984 in Switzerland. Thirteen years later, Ms. Taylor said that Todd and Burton were the loves of her life, and that if Burton had lived they might have married a third time. For years after his death, she told The Times in 2000, she couldn’t watch when the films they had made were shown on television.
After her second divorce from Burton, she wed John W. Warner, a Virginia politician, and was active in his winning campaign for the United States Senate. As she had done with Burton, she tried to subordinate her career to that of her husband. For five years she acted as a Washington political wife and became, she said, “the loneliest person in the world.” Overcome by depression, she checked herself into the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. She later admitted that she had been treated as “a drunk and a junkie.”
In addition to alcohol and drugs, she had a problem with overeating, and it became the butt of frequent jokes by the comedian Joan Rivers (“She has more chins than a Chinese phone book”). Ms. Rivers later apologized to Ms. Taylor through a friend, though Ms. Taylor shrugged off the insults, saying they did not “get me where I live.” Ms. Rivers said, “From then on, I was crazy about her.” Always one to admit to her mistakes and misfortunes, Ms. Taylor wrote a book about her weight problems, “Elizabeth Takes Off: On Weight Gain, Weight Loss, Self-Image, and Self-Esteem” (1988).
When she returned to the Ford center for further treatment, she met Larry Fortensky, a construction worker, who was also a patient. In a wedding spectacular in 1991, she and Mr. Fortensky were married at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch in Santa Ynez, Calif., with celebrated guests sharing the grounds with Mr. Jackson’s giraffes, zebras and llamas. Although the press was not invited to the ceremony, a photographer parachuted in and narrowly missed landing on Gregory Peck. Five years later, the Fortenskys were divorced. Ms. Taylor, a longtime friend of Mr. Jackson’s, was a visible presence at his funeral in 2009.
Through the 1980s and ’90s, Ms. Taylor acted in movies sporadically, did “The Little Foxes” and “Private Lives” on Broadway, and appeared on television as Louella Parsons in “Malice in Wonderland” in 1985 and as the aging actress Alexandra Del Lago in Tennessee Williams’s “Sweet Bird of Youth” in 1989.
In 1994 she played Fred Flintstone’s mother-in-law in “The Flintstones,” and in 1996 she made consecutive tag-team appearances on four CBS situation comedies. In 2001, she and Shirley MacLaine, Joan Collins and Debbie Reynolds made fun of their own images in “These Old Broads,” a tepidly received television movie — written by Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Ms. Reynolds and Eddie Fisher — about aging movie stars (with Ms. Taylor, getting little screen time, as their caftan-wearing agent) who despise one another but reunite for a television special.
Ms. Taylor was often seen as a caricature of herself, “full of no-nonsense shamelessness,” as Margo Jefferson wrote in The New York Times in 1998, adding, “Whether it’s about how she ages or what she wears, she has, bless her heart, made the principles of good and bad taste equally meaningless.”
Increasingly, Ms. Taylor divided her time between her charitable works (including various Israeli causes) and commercial enterprises, like a line of perfumes marketed under her name. She helped raise more than $100 million to fight AIDS.In February 1997, she celebrated her 65th birthday at a party that was a benefit for AIDS research. At the party, which was later shown on television, Madonna ended the festivities by announcing that Ms. Taylor had always been her idol. After the party, Ms. Taylor entered Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for an operation on a brain tumor.
There were other medical setbacks. In recent years she was forced to use a wheelchair because of osteoporosis/scoliosis. In October 2009 she underwent surgery to address her heart problems. She told the press that surgeons had tried a new procedure in which a clip was inserted to fix a leaky heart valve. Earlier this year she refused to undergo back surgery, saying she had already had a half-dozen operations and wasn’t up for another. In February she entered Cedars-Sinai for the final time suffering symptoms related to congestive heart failure.
Her survivors include two sons, Michael and Christopher, from her marriage to Michael Wilding; her daughter Liza Todd, from her marriage to Michael Todd; another daughter, Maria Burton, whom Ms. Taylor and Burton adopted in 1964; 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
In 2002, Ms. Taylor was among five people to receive Kennedy Center Honors in the performing arts.
Married or single, sick or healthy, on screen or off, Ms. Taylor never lost her appetite for experience. Late in life, when she had one of many offers to write her memoirs, she refused, saying with characteristic panache, “Hell no, I’m still living my memoirs.”
Mel Gussow, the principal writer of this article, died in 2005. William McDonald and William Grimes contributed updated reporting.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 23, 2011
An earlier version misstated the first name of an actor, best known as Alfalfa, who appeared with Ms. Taylor in her first film, "There's One Born Every Minute." He was Carl Switzer, not Alfred.