September 22, 2015
        Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling - "The Big Short" enters 2015 and could shake the Oscar race up                "Room" wins the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival                “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?        

Personal thoughts on Elizabeth Taylor’s passing

By Greg Hernandez I flipped on the television this morning to MSNBC and heard anchor Thomas Roberts share the news that Elizabeth Taylor had died.

I felt suddenly so sad.

We knew she had been so ill but it still came as a shock much like when Lucille Ball died in 1989. Both women were in their late 70s and somehow we thought they would live forever.

And just as Lucy has, so will Elizabeth.

As a movie star crazy kid growing up in the 70s, I would devour every issue of ‘People Magazine’ and Rona Barrett’s various magazines and was particularly fascinated with Miss Taylor.

My mom had always been a big fan of the actress so whenever her movies were on television, I’d watch them with her. I didn’t really understand ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,’ ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ or ‘Butterfield 8′ when I first saw them but I was mesmerized by Miss Taylor’s beauty and her talent.

But my real admiration for her came in the mid-80s when she decided to use to great fame to raise money and awareness in the fight against AIDS. She fought passionately, worked tirelessly and became one of the greatest humanitarians of our time. She began her work well before AIDS activism became fashionable and it became clear that her work as an activist had become far more important to her than her work as an actress.

Still, in addition to her earlier films, it was nice to see her do an occasional later movie like 1985′s ‘Malice in Wonderland,’ 1987′s ‘Poker Alice’ and a television version of ‘Sweet Bird of Youth’ opposite Mark Harmon in 1989. Then there was her hilarious performance as Wilma’s mother Pearl Slaghoople in the 1994 feature film ‘The Flintstones.’

[My top five favorite Taylor films: 1. A Place in the Sun 2. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 3. Who’s Afraid if Virginia Woolf? 4. Suddenly Last Summer 5. Giant.]

I began covering Hollywood events in 2000 and since then, I’ve met just about every star I’ve ever wanted to meet. But never Elizabeth Taylor. I did get a pretty good look at her from my table at the Beverly Hilton when she took the stage to pay tribute to Barbra Streisand at the AFI Tribute in 2001.

To read more from this article go to Greg In Hollywood.

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About Greg Hernandez

Greg Hernandez has written about the entertainment world for more than a decade. He is a veteran of covering many Academy Awards shows (plus Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes) as well as film festivals, movie premieres and philanthropic events. Hernandez founded the popular Out In Hollywood blog while a writer and columnist for the "Los Angeles Daily News." He’s also a former staff writer at the "Los Angeles Times" and "The Hollywood Reporter" and has been a contributing writer to "The Advocate." Greg is the founder and editor of

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