Elizabeth Taylor: the daith o a Holywood leigend


The news wis announced yestreen o the sad daith o screen starn Elizabeth Taylor.  The actress losst hur lang fecht agin multiple halth problems and deed o congestive hert failure in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  Bi the wey o hur publicist Sally Morrison, Miss Taylor haed hur fower bairns bi hur side whan she deed.

Elizabeth Taylor wis born in 1932 in Lunnon, saicont bairn an ainerlie dochter o an American faimlie bydin in Ingland.  Hur faither wis a walthie airt merchant, hur mither a weill-kent stage actress.  In 1939 wi the threit o war hingin ower Europe, the faimlie decidit tae flit back ti Americae whaur thae funn a new hame in Los Angeles.   

Een as a wean Elizabeth Taylor wis possesst o a rare beautie an presence.  Thanks ti hur mithers contacks wi the actin profession in Hollywood, she wis offert hur furst screen role in 1942 at the age o juist 9.  A string o successes follaed, her maist weill-kent fillum frae this period is Lassie Come Home, whaur she starred alangside the yung Roddy McDowall.  Hur frienshap wi McDowall wud conteinae aa thair lifes.

Hit wis the stert o a lang career, starrin in mair nor fuftie fillums.  Elizabeth Taylor wisnae juist a beautie, she haed a muckle talent fur actin an aa, but hit wisnae until she wis a yung wummin at hur talent began tae shein out.  Throu the 50s and airlie 60s hur an Marilyn Monroe wis the twa opposeit eimages o Holywood glamour, the blonde Monroe an the bleck herred Taylor.  

As she grew as a wummin she grew as an actress, winnin twa Oscars fur Best Actress in a Leading Role, fur the fillum Butterfield 8 in 1960 whaur she starred alang wi hur than man Eddie Fisher an fur hur role in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe in 1966, pleyin alangside Richard Burton.  

Aiblens the fillum she’s maist weill-kent fur but, didnae win onie Oscars.  Cleopatra wis an epic in mair weys nor yae, fillumin hit wis a disaster o epic proporcions an aa.  Hit wis whan makin this movie at she met Richard Burton, the twa wis suin haein an affair tho baith wis mairrit ti ithers at the time.  Hit wis the tabloid sensacion o hits day.

Hur personal life wis as muckle a fascinacion ti the public as hur onscreen roles.  Hit haes been sayed at the maist famous role pleyed bi Elizabeth Taylor wis her role as Elizabeth Taylor.  An hit wis a role mair complex an convolutit nor onie she pleyed in the fillums.  She wis mairrit aicht times ti seiven men, maist famouslie merriein Richard Burton twyst, in 1964 whan the mairrage lastit 10 yeir, an efter a greeance a saicont time in 1975, at lastit juist 18 month.

Anent hur monie marital problems wi Richard Burton, Taylor yinst sayed: “”We enjoy fighting.   Having an out-and-out, outrageous, ridiculous fight is one of the greatest exercises in marital togetherness.”

But as she got aulder, she stertit tae cowp the cog an endit up addictit ti alcohol.  Ill-counselt ettles tae help gied hur an addiccion ti prescripcion drugs an aa.   She pit on wecht an got a slaggin frae monie in the media.  In 1983 she haed tae gang inti the Betty Ford Center in Californie fur traitment.

Yit she wun ower hur ain problems an devotit hursel ti the problems o ithers.  When hur frein Rock Hudson deed o the AIDS in 1985 she stertit a campaign fur tae raise awareness and siller tae trait the deidlie traik.  Hit wis the midst o the AIDS crisis, an AIDS patients wis traitit wi feir an suspeicion.  Monie dreed an deed in silence.  Taylor wis the furst internacionallie weill-kent public feigur tae speik out on thair behauf an tae fecht fur guid traitment an care.   The publicitie, an the glamour, Taylor brocht ti the fecht wis instrumental in chyngin the wey societie haunles the unweillness.  

“She was among the first to speak out on behalf of people living with HIV when others reacted with fear and often outright hostility,” sayed a representative o the American Foundation for AIDS Research.  Taylor wis the organisacions oreiginal nacional convenor.

The last yeirs o hur life wis spent fechtin agin monie different halth problems.  She haed tae hae mair nor 20 major operacions an aamaist deed frae the pneumoniae in 1990.  In 1994 and 1995, she haed the jynts o baith hurkle banes replaced.  In Februar 1997 she haed surgerie fur tae tak out a brain tumour.  In the last whein yeir she wis forced tae mak public appearances in a wheilchair, kis o problems wi hur riggin bane.

In a prepared statement hur son Michael Wilding sayed: “My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love.  We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

Ther yae less starn in the Hollywood skyes, but hur licht wull shein bricht til the morn come nivver.

Wurds ye mibbie no ken

starn – star

byde – live, dwell

flit – move house

greeance – reconciliation, agreement

cowp the cog – hit the bottle

traik – illness, plague

dree – to suffer, to endure

hurkle bane – hip bone

riggin bane – spine

til the morn come nivver – forever

A note on Scots spelling: hae haes haed.  This verb has many different forms.  Some people say hae, others huv.  Some say hae when the word isn’t stressed but huv or hiv when it is stressed.  You can write either form.  I decided to pick hae as the base form for the sake of consistency, because it’s widespread in different dialects, and because it’s easy to see its relationship to the present tense haes and past tense haed.  Pronounce these as you would in your own dialect.  In my accent haes is pronounced huz or hiz, haed is pronounced hud or hid.