The last of the true Hollywood superstars was buried in Los Angeles today, after dying at the age of seventy-nine. Perhaps best known for her lead role in Cleopatra, the most expensive movie ever made, Elizabeth was also made a Dame of the British Empire in recognition for her charity work by Her Majesty the Queen (she helped raise over $200 million for HIV and AIDS causes, worldwide) and she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her performances in Butterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She also won four Golden Globes, three BAFTAs, was nominated for another, as well as two more Golden Globes and three Oscars. Along with Cleopatra, her performances in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Ivanhoe, Little Women, Beau Brummel, The Taming of the Shrew, A Place in the Sun, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Raintree County, Giant and Suddenly Last Summer, are all considered some of the finest movie performances given by a Hollywood actress. Her celebrity perfume, White Diamonds, is the only one to still be selling two decades after its release and it continues to out-sell many newcomers to the fragrance industry. Some of the movies she made as a child - Lassie, National Velvet, Jane Eyre and Father of the Bride - are still, rightly, considered classics.
Today, her funeral was carried out in accordance with her Jewish faith, which she converted to in 1959. Luckily, the vile Westboro Baptist "Church" were planning to picket her funeral to protest against her position as a gay rights activist and campaigner. Or for being Jewish. Or for being divorced. Or for God knows what reason.
Luckily, the funeral passed off without a hitch and my new favourite story of the day is that Elizabeth left a stipulation in her Will that the funeral was to begin fifteen minutes later than scheduled, so that she could exit in the same way she lived - late for everything.
A friend sent me this link to one of the on-line tributes to Dame Elizabeth and I thought it was pretty moving.