With news of Elizabeth Taylor‘s passing on Wednesday morning (Mar. 23), friends and fans alike are mourning the loss of a Hollywood legend. Turner Classic Movies has already set a 24-hour tribute in motion, planning to show 11 of her most memorable films back-to-back on Sunday, April 10.
Friend and co-star Paul Newman, who passed away in 2008, memorialized the Hollywood icon for TCM years ago, reminiscing about their days filming “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” together back in 1958. Newman played Brick Pollitt in the film, the alcoholic husband of Taylor’s Maggie.
“Her life has not been an easy or private one, but a series of tribulations, serious illnesses, senseless tragedy and lost love,” he says in the tribute.
“In the midst of our filming ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ she became a widow,” he continues. “Yet she persevered and acting was therapeutic. I was overwhelmed with her professionalism. She later said that playing Maggie ‘The Cat’ saved her.”
He goes on to gush about Taylor’s classic beauty and incredible talents. Talents that he says sometimes went unnoticed.
“Her sunny looks also often led the critics to overlook her powerful performances and underrate her acting ability,” he explains. “But she has won over her detractors with tenacity and dedication to her craft. She was always striving to push herself to the limit. Revisiting her work is revelatory, every time you watch her films you discover something new.
“What can you say about a legend? Elizabeth Taylor is a courageous survivor, a hell of an actress and someone that I am extremely proud to know,” Newman concludes.
Watch the full tribute below. All you hardcore fans may want to have a tissue ready, as Newman’s words are truly touching.