Vatican mourns Taylor as `last diva of cinema'

March 24, 2011

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican's official newspaper eulogized actress
Elizabeth Taylor as the "last remaining star in the firmament of old
Hollywood," and praised her contributions on AIDS and other charitable

"The curtain falls on the violet eyes of Hollywood" read the
headline over Taylor's obituary in the Friday (March 25) edition of
L'Osservatore Romano.

Lauding her as a "great actress who became too soon an icon of the
star system," the article noted that Taylor's career, which began in
childhood, was later marked by an "impressive series of health problems
and accidents on the set."

Author Emilio Ranzato lamented Taylor's turbulent private life,
including her eight marriages and "abuse and addictions," as well as
poor artistic choices later in her career. But he wrote that Taylor
managed to "redeem herself thanks to an ever more decisive commitment to
charity work, often in tandem with her friend Michael Jackson."

"In recent years her great contribution to the struggle against AIDS
would win her important prizes and honors, but above all a newfound
energy," Ranzato wrote. That success allowed Taylor "to be stronger
despite poor health, and despite the label of living legend that always
weighed on her shoulders."

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