Analysis: Obituary for Elizabeth Taylor

The New York Times obituary of Elizabeth Taylor by Mel Gussow is a very extensive portrait of the legendary hollywood icon.


It depicts her illustrious acting career that spanned over 70 years, using famous directors as sources, such as Mike Nichols and Joseph L. Mankiewicz to give the reader a better idea of how people in the business viewed her.


The lead is written in standard New York Times obituary format, giving her name, her iconic status, where and when she died and how old she was when she died. The lead works well, because it still does a good job of showing the reader how important she was in the Hollywood industry.


The obit differs from a resume, because it doesn't simply list every movie role she has ever been in and accolades she has received. It quite often mentions her most famous roles and awards, but it does so within the context of a story.


Gussow shows us many of the aspects that defined Taylor, such as her beauty, her personality, and her philanthropic work.


Though oftentimes an obituary does not mention how many times a person has remarried, but since Taylor was infamous for her eight marriages, so it was relavant to mention them in a tasteful manner.


The story also includes her history with alcohol and drugs, albeit briefly. This is normally not included in an obituary, but as with the marriages, Taylor was also famous for her battle with drugs, alcohol, and overeating.


It would be more noticeable if these unfortunate facts were not included about her, so Gussow was obligated to include them.


Overall, the story does a good job of showing us just how important Elizabeth Taylor was not only to Hollywood, but also the nation.

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This page contains a single entry by larg0027 published on March 27, 2011 9:56 PM.

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