Elizabeth Taylor’s eternal beauty

The Mail has a tastefully done nude photograph of Elizabeth Taylor that her friend and fellow actor Roddy McDowell took of her when she was 24. See also the shot of Taylor and her then-husband Mike Todd in the late 1950s—talk about the archetypal male and female (in stylish mid twentieth century mode). And look at the look with which she looks at us. Look at that face!


A funny coincidence (no, Jungian synchronicity): A couple of entries down I posted a photo of a great statue of Octavius Caesar Augustus. Here I link Roddy McDowall’s nude photo of Elizabeth Taylor, shot in 1957. McDowall played Octavius in the 1963 Elizabeth Taylor movie of Cleopatra.

- end of initial entry -

April 2

LA to correspondent

As soon as I saw the photo of Mike Todd and Elizabeth Taylor that I link at the Mail, I thought Todd was Jewish, though he doesn’t have any features that pop out and say “Jewish.”

And indeed he was Jewish, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants.

Correspondent replies:

Your Jewdar is better than mine—nothing about him said Jew, to me. I wonder where those children are today.

The nude photo was quite beautiful and didn’t seem trashy in the least. Although, when I was looking through a series of photos of her on the NYTimes that accompanied her obit, a series of photos that chronicled her life from teen star to serial marriages to elderly AIDS activist, what came to mind was Hogarth’s 18th century series of paintings, “The Rake’s Progress,” detailing the trajectory of a man suddenly raised far up only to suffer a precipitous decline.

LA replies:

Because I know lots of Jews and know the range of Jewish features, not just the ones that are archetypally Jewish.

April 2

The Phantom Blogger writes:

I’m not sure if that’s Elizabeth Taylor in that nude photo. Check out this link, which suggests it’s actually a photo taken by the American photographer Peter Gowland in the 1940’s, of a model named Lee Evans. The photo is certainly not new regardless of whether it is her. Since I seen that same photo years ago, with someone claiming it was Taylor and another saying it was a different model, at which point he mentioned that Gowland photo. Also if it is her in that photo, she was clearly not 24 when it was taken.

LA replies:

One reason I think you may be right is that the woman’s breasts seem to small for Taylor.

Ulrike R. writes:

Has anyone noticed how Mike Todd resembles Richard Burton? The hard features of his face, the set jaw. Before you mentioned that he was Jewish, I thought he might be Welsh. Wonder if Liz married the Mike Todd\Richard Burton form three times …

LA replies:

I had the same thought when I looked at the photo of Todd, that he was a precursor of Burton. A similar, very masculine mold.

April 4

Mark Jaws writes:

I also thought that nude was not of Elizabeth Taylor for three reasons. First, as already mentioned, the breasts of the model, while nice and pleasing, were not the splendid pair which adorned the real ET. Second, the lighting of the photo and its appearance very much smacked of the 1940s. And third, the eyebrows of the nude model differs with those of the real ET.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 01, 2011 09:05 PM | Send

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