The sad, but not unexpected, news broke Wednesday that Elizabeth Taylor died. She had been in declining health and in and out of hospitals several times recently, but 79 seems too young to die (I must be getting old to feel that way).
We got to see her live and in person in 2000 or 2001, I forget which year it was. She was a featured guest at the Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival. First we saw a screening of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and afterwards she spoke and answered some audience questions. Now, I have to tell you that when we went to see the movie, we had never heard of it and knew nothing about it. We were completely unprepared for the movie; I don't know if that made it better or worse. It certainly made it bizarre.
It's one of the most bizarre movies I've ever seen and it's definitely the most bizarre married couple I've ever seen portrayed in a movie.
After the movie was over, we had to wait quite awhile for "her highness" to arrive. Apparently she wasn't feeling well; the high altitude (7,000 feet) didn't agree with her. She was staying with a friend of hers, a local artist, R.C. Gorman.
It was worth the wait, though. I don't remember much of what she said, but I do remember it was interesting, even fascinating. I do remember one audience member asked her how making the movie affected her marriage (or something like that) since her co-star husband was also her real-life husband and the movie marriage was highly dysfunctional. She said that making the movie allowed them to "work through" some of the stuff in their real-life marriage.
One other memorable thing about her appearance was that she brought her dog on stage with her, a little white fluffy lap dog named Sugar. At one point she asked her assistant Ken to, "Come get Sugar" and he did.
Overall, we had a great time and I think Ms. Taylor did, too. It was exciting to see such a famous movie star so close. One of the TV stations in Albuquerque sent a reporter and cameraman to do a brief interview with her; it was really big news to have her in New Mexico.