Remembering Elizabeth Taylor's legacy in the Middle East

Published March 24th, 2011 - 16:38 GMT

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Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Israel, during their second marriage, circa 1976. Taylor was hailed an ardent Zionist upon her passing by the Zionist Organisation of America.
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Image 1 of 16: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Israel, during their second marriage, circa 1976. Taylor was hailed an ardent Zionist upon her passing by the Zionist Organisation of America.

Lebanese Sabah had many toyboy marriages. Both well-aged glamour queens have also had their fair share of plastic surgery.
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Image 1 of 16: Lebanese Sabah had many toyboy marriages. Both well-aged glamour queens have also had their fair share of plastic surgery.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton hold their granddaughter Leyla in 1973 in Switzerland. The twice married pair jointly starred in films, as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
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Image 1 of 16: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton hold their granddaughter Leyla in 1973 in Switzerland. The twice married pair jointly starred in films, as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Sabah with daughter, Huwayda, who admits to being turned off marriage due to her 9-times-married Ma.
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Image 1 of 16: Sabah with daughter, Huwayda, who admits to being turned off marriage due to her 9-times-married Ma.

Known for men as much as her acting, she often mixed the two, courting actors. Actors Elizabeth Taylor And Montgomery Clift pose In an old still from the film A Place In The Sun
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Image 1 of 16: Known for men as much as her acting, she often mixed the two, courting actors. Actors Elizabeth Taylor And Montgomery Clift pose In an old still from the film A Place In The Sun

Her signature look featured: the cropped, curly locks with a strong brow and bold lips.
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Image 1 of 16: Her signature look featured: the cropped, curly locks with a strong brow and bold lips.

In her later years, known to have a toyboy on her arm: 8th husband of 5 years Larry Fortensky.
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Image 1 of 16: In her later years, known to have a toyboy on her arm: 8th husband of 5 years Larry Fortensky.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor and President Bill Clinton in 2001 at Beverly Hills. She was also close to other state leaders, such as Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
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Image 1 of 16: Dame Elizabeth Taylor and President Bill Clinton in 2001 at Beverly Hills. She was also close to other state leaders, such as Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Michael Jackson, With her striking bob hair a prominent feature, she was close to ostentatious or eccentric stars. For many, she was the embodiment of fame
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Image 1 of 16: Michael Jackson, With her striking bob hair a prominent feature, she was close to ostentatious or eccentric stars. For many, she was the embodiment of fame

With Haifa's Sis: The region's glamor queen Sabah, also surrounds herself with other celebrities. Here supporting Rula Saad.
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Image 1 of 16: With Haifa's Sis: The region's glamor queen Sabah, also surrounds herself with other celebrities. Here supporting Rula Saad.

While blonde here, she was famed once for her dark locks in the bob that framed her face, as well as her legendary lusciuos lips, colored to match outfits- common place today, but a rarity earlier on.
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Image 1 of 16: While blonde here, she was famed once for her dark locks in the bob that framed her face, as well as her legendary lusciuos lips, colored to match outfits- common place today, but a rarity earlier on.

Always a lady for charity, she generously donated $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959.
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Image 1 of 16: Always a lady for charity, she generously donated $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959.

John Warner: hubbie number 7, promoted his political career during his marriage, became a US senator largely aided by his link to Taylor.
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Image 1 of 16: John Warner: hubbie number 7, promoted his political career during his marriage, became a US senator largely aided by his link to Taylor.

Cleopatra: While filming Cleopatra in Rome, the starlet began her very public affair with soon-husband Burton. A legendary relationship to match her famous Queen hair.
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Image 1 of 16: Cleopatra: While filming Cleopatra in Rome, the starlet began her very public affair with soon-husband Burton. A legendary relationship to match her famous Queen hair.

Exotic Elizabeth was known for her glittering collection of jewelry, which included the La Peregrina pearl, once owned by Queen Mary Tudor of England and the Krupp diamond, a 33.19-carat stone.
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Image 1 of 16: Exotic Elizabeth was known for her glittering collection of jewelry, which included the La Peregrina pearl, once owned by Queen Mary Tudor of England and the Krupp diamond, a 33.19-carat stone.

While known for her ostentatious attire, often seen in flashy furs n feathers, Elizabeth’s headscarves and turbans in an earlier day were formed her unique brand, and framed her striking features.
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Image 1 of 16: While known for her ostentatious attire, often seen in flashy furs n feathers, Elizabeth’s headscarves and turbans in an earlier day were formed her unique brand, and framed her striking features.

As the world remembers Elizabeth Taylor today, the Middle East mourns the passing of a first class world celebrity who graced our screens and media across the decades, first showing up on our screens as a child actress aged 10. She since came to be known for her legendary beauty and natural glamour that shined through her movies and attracted in many men. She was married 8 times, twice over to the same Richard Burton, rumoured to be considering a 9th. One of her husbands was a prince of Monaco. Often her men were considerably younger than the classic Hollywood star.

In the region she is noted for her uber-famous lead in Cleopatra the movie of and maybe not so fondly in the Arab world for her Zionist affiliation and long-time support for Israel. Quite the activist, she condemned the U.N.“Zionism is racism” resolution; she canceled a trip to Moscow because of the Soviet Union’s anti-Israel stand.  What's more, she offered herself up as ransom in a bid to free Israeli hostages being held in Entebbe.  She did this when she was in Israel raising funds for JNF–Jewish National Fund–which remains a quasi-state body involved in the appropriation of Palestinian lands in the Galilee.

Elizabeth Taylor’s pro-Israel activism led to the banning of her films in several Arab countries. After she bought $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959, the United Arab Republic (now Egypt) banned all her movies.

Though she was only a proselyte Jewess, who converted in 1959, her features are reminiscent of sultry Semetic beauty: Black hair and whitest of skin, she is known for her striking looks, marked in violet double-lashed thick browed framed eyes, and naturally red lips. A brand of perfume also bears her name.

When looking for her Arab counterparts it is tempting to find parallels - though certainly not a match in world stature-  but a favourite fondly known as Sabouha shines on here in our midst. Lebanese star Sabah is our aging singer-actress star supremo, who has been around forever and no doubt will not be fading away any time soon.

 

 

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