There's nothing I can say about Elizabeth Taylor that you won't see all over the Internet, see on the TV news, or read in newspapers this week. She is a Hollywood legend for many reasons.
Liz Taylor was a genuine, loyal friend to those she knew. No, ELizabeth was never a Splendour guest, but she was a Wagner family friend and Dennis met her on occasion at the Wagner home, but what he remembers most is how Elizabeth showed up at the Wagner house immediately after Natalie died to console everyone who had gathered to mourn the loss of Natalie. Liz even had a few kind words for Dennis when she saw how distraught he was. She was not there to "move in" on the new widower. She was not there because she was expected to be there. She was there because she was absolutely crushed by Natalie's death, yet she took it upon herself to circulate the room, relentlessly and selflessly, to offer what help and inner strength she could to Natalie's surviving family and friends.
Elizabeth Taylor teamed up with Robert Wagner a few years later to make "There is a Pony" for TV, no doubt, to show the world she stood behind Wagner, the widower constantly in the tabloids. Many years later, Liz, stood by her friend, Michael Jackson, through the lawsuits against him, and through his trials and tribulations. Her loyalty is unquestionable. Elizabeth for decades fought hard for the advancement of AIDS awareness and research because she cares about people worldwide. She is, without a doubt, a caring woman, a true friend, and a humanitarian.
Liz starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Paul Newman in 1958, directed by Richard Brooks. Later, Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner starred in the same production with Sir Laurence Olivier. Natalie had always admired Liz in the role of Maggie, Brick's wife, and was artistically challenged to bring a more sexually explicit flair to the role in the made-for-TV production in 1976 when censorship had eased up. BOTH iconic actresses presented a powerful Maggie character and BOTH stole the show!
Sam Kashner, who wrote the March 2000 Vanity Fair article which finally exposed the deeper parts of what really happened the night Natalie Wood died, just last year worked with Liz Taylor and presented his bestseller, "Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century."
Liz was married many times but married Burton twice, just as Natalie married Wagner twice. Both marriages were touted as "The marriage of the Century" by media. Liz's second marriage to Burton ended in divorce while Natalie's second marriage to Wagner ended with her untimely, mysterious death.
Natalie once said, tongue in cheek, that Liz was more broken up over her first divorce to Wagner than Natalie herself was.
We'll never know what Liz really thought about Natalie's mystery death because as a loyal Wagner family friend, she never talked publicly about it. She did stand by Wagner, as a loyal friend would, and she never clarified for us whether she ever had an affair with Wagner, as he hints in his book that they did (after previously saying they have always been nothing more than good friends).
Old Hollywood is quickly fading, but we have the brilliant work of these iconic stars to always remind us of an era that set unmatchable standards. Truly, is there ANYONE we can name today who holds a candle to Liz or Natalie?
I am happy for Liz that she had one thing Natalie was robbed of: a full life. Now she is gone, too, but, like Natalie, never forgotten.
Added note: Three women had the most famous eyes in all of Hollywood, Liz included:
Natalie Wood, of course, with her huge, dark, soul-reaching gorgeous eyes, Betty Davis with her slanted, mysterious, pretty eyes, and Elizabeth Taylor with her unmatchable, beautifully-hued violet colored, caring eyes.