"I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them."Elizabeth Taylor

Yes, she was beautiful.

She was achingly, breathtakingly, insanely beautiful. She was unreal, a desert hallucination of a lush oasis. She was a bombshell of the sort that made you forget who you were with, what you were saying, the drink in your hand, your first name. More has been written of her violet eyes than of Helen's face. Even stripped bare, she was flawless, queenly, dignified.

She aged as gracefully as she could have in a world that values no female past age 30. And when she got to the point when she could no longer age gracefully, she said "Screw it! Pile on more diamonds!" and went out anyway.

She lived as only a true star could have; fully, wildly, sensuously - if not wisely - and courageously.

Her brashness covered for a deep-seated fragility that not even a public career spanning decades could fully erase. She eventually learned to not take herself seriously, to use her notoriety for better causes, to speak up and speak out and not back down.

She was many things to many people, not all of them good. But to me she'll always be that arresting creature on the screen, the girl you always wished you were - and you knew you could never be.