We will never forget her as Kathie in “Courage of Lassie” – a gorgeous girl with deep-brown hair and deep-purple peepers whose love for dogs was clearly more than just an act. (See the trailer here.) It was always obvious that Elizabeth Taylor loved animals onscreen and off – especially dogs. She was a Dogster.
Correction: She was a Dogster diva.
In “reel” lifeTaylor was famous for appearingonscreen withbig beasts; besides her K9 costar Lassie, anotherhuge player with whom she shared the spotlight was the handsomehorse in “National Velvet.” On screen, she always appeared perfectlyat homewith creaturesgreat and small.
Butin real life, Taylor was a little-dog person.Small dogs were her great love.
Attention, feline fanciers – she also loved cats.
While filming in England in 1968, Taylor and the other great love of her life, Richard Burton, couldn’t bear to leave their three-pack of pint-size pups behind – so they famously opted to stay on a yacht docked in the Thames rather than subject their beloved petsto the stress of the United Kingdom’s then-quite-stringent quarantine (it has since been somewhat relaxed).
Her most recent K9 companions were a Maltese named Sugar, followed by a another Maltese named Daisy.
About her best friends she once said, “Sometimes I think there’s a person in there. There’s something to say for this kind of love – it’s unconditional.”
Photographer-filmmaker Bruce Weber photographed Taylor for Vogue and featured her in his memorable 2006documentary “A Letter to True,”a moving, impressionistic tribute to the dog species thatincludes a scene from”The Courage of Lassie.” The trailer even includes a brief shot of a grownup, suntanned Taylor at her sexiest.
For many of her fellow Dogsters,this divawillforever epitomize Hollywood glamour. Obviously, two of my neighbors think so: When they adopteda Chihuahua from North Shore Animal League,they paid tribute to the star by naming their little dog … Elizabeth Taylor.
What’s your favorite memory of La Liz? Please share it in the comments.