It turns out that legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor, who died in Los Angeles last week, has history here in Hollywood East. Winning two Academy Awards for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and BUtterfield 8, Taylor appeared in over 50 films including Cleopatra and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Along with her film success, Taylor was also an AIDS activist and notoriously known for her eight marriages.
Boston left a lasting impression on Taylor when she married Richard Burton for the first time. Taylor and Burton got their wedding bands engraved with the phrase “Let us be true to each other” at Boston’s Shreve, Crump & Low. Although they were eventually divorced twice, Taylor has said that Burton was the one true love of her life.
Taylor and Burton revisited Boston in 1983 for the play, Private Lives. Centering on a divorced couple who discover that they are honeymooning with their new spouses at the same hotel, Private Lives sold out its preview at the Shubert Theatre in Boston most likely because of the interest drawn between the twice divorced duo performing material that seemed so close to their lives. Burton and Taylor were unfazed at rehashing their marital years because it gave each of them the chance to work on something interesting after not being offered many roles in the early ’80s.
Although the play did not garner good reviews, Taylor left her mark on Boston wherever she went. She was an actress of a bygone era of Hollywood that will be remembered for her glamour, activism and vivaciousness.