Teaching Students About Elizabeth Taylor
As educators, it’s essential to provide students with not only relevant courses and materials but also the opportunity to delve into the fascinating world of history. One such historical figure that warrants attention is the iconic Elizabeth Taylor. In this article, we’ll explore who she was, her rise to fame, and her impact on Hollywood culture.
Elizabeth Taylor: The Beginning
Dame Elizabeth Taylor was born in 1932 in London, England, but moved to Beverly Hills, California following the outbreak of World War II. She began her acting career at the early age of 9 when she starred in the film “There’s One Born Every Minute.” Her talent did not go unnoticed, and by 12 years old, she captivated audiences with her stunning performance in “National Velvet.”
The Rise of an Icon
Throughout the following decade, Liz Taylor’s star continued to rise. She showcased her versatility as an actress in various film genres including drama (i.e., “A Place in the Sun”), comedy (i.e., “Father of the Bride”), and epic films (i.e., “Cleopatra”). One pivotal role that elevated her career and public image was as Maggie Pollitt in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” opposite Paul Newman.
In total, Elizabeth Taylor appeared in more than 70 films. She garnered critical acclaim for her performances by being nominated for five Academy Awards and winning two Best Actress Oscars – one for her riveting performance in “Butterfield 8” and another for her role in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Activism and Humanitarian Efforts
Beyond acting prowess, Liz Taylor played an essential part in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. As an activist, she co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and later established the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Her activism contributed significantly to the destigmatization of the illness and raised millions of dollars for research, treatment, and care.
Teaching Students about Liz Taylor: Approaches and Methods
Teaching students about Elizabeth Taylor is crucial in understanding the broader context of Hollywood history and culture. Educators can incorporate various methods:
1. Film study: Analyze her critical roles and performances in selected films as a way to showcase her acting talents.
2. Seminars and discussions: Invite guest speakers who are experts on Hollywood history to provide insights into her life, era, and achievements.
3. Reading materials: Provide biographies, articles, and books that offer in-depth information on Liz Taylor’s career and impact.
4. Exploring her activism: Discuss her role as an activist by examining her work with amfAR and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
Introducing students to iconic figures like Elizabeth Taylor helps them understand the importance of embracing their talents while maintaining a sense of social responsibility. Her lasting legacy serves as an inspiration for people from all walks of life that you can make a profound impact on not just the entertainment industry but also critical social issues.