Editorial: Stargazing in the Post
When Elizabeth Taylor paid a 1991 visit to Pineville to promote her ěWhite Diamondsî perfume, it was front-page news in the Salisbury Post.
A Post reporter described the ěhundreds of nervous, starry eyed fansî who waited at Carolina Place mall for a glimpse of the legendary movie star, then 59 years old and still stunning with her ějet blackî hair, violet eyes and shimmering pink lipstick.
ěElizabeth Taylor lives up to the idea of a movie star,î the story said. ěLots of husbands, lots of diamonds, lots of clothes and enough compassion to use her wealth for good causes.î
While the adoring throngs expected her glamour, they may have been surprised by the wit and chatty warmth of Taylor, who died Wednesday. Asked her favorite hobby, she replied: ěDiamonds. You want more? Well, clothes, men … and French Impressionistic paintings.î
She joked about her husbands, including Larry Fortensky, the construction worker she would wed a week later in her eighth and final trip to the altar. She also made a heartfelt plea on behalf of AIDs research.
Taylor visited the region again in 1996, this time appearing at Charlotteís Eastland Mall to promote her ěBlack Pearlsî fragrance. The Post had a correspondent on hand for that visit, too. By then, Taylor had added some years and pounds, and she was recuperating from recent hip surgery. But she still electrified the crowds.
Throughout her tumultuous life, her successes and sorrows, Taylor was the personification of star power. With that bright a light, people may not always approve of your path but theyíre inevitably drawn into your orbit. In an era before YouTube and Charlie Sheen, Taylor wasnít famous merely for being famous. She was a magnetic performer who knew how to captivate an audience ó whether in a darkened theater or packed into a Piedmont shopping mall.