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Great Performances

Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other Elizabeth (#2611)

Born in London but raised in the old Hollywood studio system, Elizabeth Taylor remains a silver-screen icon, the last of Hollywood' s royalty. It is a role she discusses openly and charmingly in GREAT PERFORMANCES' Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other Elizabeth. Premiering Wednesday, April 4 at 8 p.m. (ET), the telecast originally aired in Great Britain last May, shortly after Taylor, 68, received her Damehood from the Queen A favorite leading lady of Tennessee Williams, she dazzled as Shakespeare's Kate, won a richly deserved Oscar as Albee's Martha, and has glided effortlessly through Marlowe and Maeterlinck, Sondheim, Hellman and Coward. She is also one of the most famous women in the world and remembered for her seven marriages, jewelry, flamboyant lifestyle and social activism. Joined by Shirley MacLaine, Rod Steiger and Angela Lansbury, the ever glamorous Taylor shares reminiscences of Richard Burton, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, James Dean and Paul Newman, the pain and pleasure of two Oscars, and her dawning sense of responsibility at the onset of the AIDS crisis. Other highlights of England's Other Elizabeth include extended sequences from a number of her most famous films, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Place in the Sun, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, as well as tantalizing archival footage from Taylor' s home movies and an outtake from a star-turn on her favorite soap opera, General Hospital. Of her performance in Virginia Woolf, the New York Times' Stanley Kauffmann wrote "The best work of her career_ Sustained and urgent_ She gets vocal variety, never relapses out of her role, and she charges it with the utmost of her powers which is an achievement for any actress, great or little." Jeanine Basinger, a member of Wesleyan's Film Studies Department featured in the telecast, agrees. "I think the average person doesn't think about how difficult it is to give a really explosive and emotional performance in film," she tells. "You stop in the middle of the scene, start over, do it again. You have your emotion constantly taken away from you. The kind of physical, mental and emotional control it takes to give a raw, explosive, angry performance like Elizabeth Taylor gives in Virginia Woolf is exceedingly difficult." [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Information For Teachers

Grade Levels
10-12+
Curricular Areas
The Arts
Series Length
244 episodes
Average Episode Length
97 minutes
Record Rights
Sch/until 3/24/16; ncc; simul. ;7-day cached rights
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http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/

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Series Description: GREAT PERFORMANCES, the longest-running performing arts anthology on television, continues to feature the best in the performing arts.

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