I know there’ll be cries of “But what about…?”
Fine. Chime in with your own two cents. But first, here are mine, culled from a glorious career.
(6) Cleopatra. 1963. The laborious yet somehow dazzling sand-and-eyeliner epic has been chalked up as a bomb by overeager historians, but in actuality every living creature on earth lined up to see it twice, just for the cleavage. Liz brought way more allure and style to the Nile Valley than Mubarak.
(5) Father of the Bride. 1950. As the blushing bride-to-be, Liz was charming and beautiful and (as she proved in real life) extremely worth marrying. Again and again and again.
(4) Suddenly Last Summer. 1959. Her role in this Tennessee Williams claptrap was impossible — screeching out monologue after monologue about some crazy shit that happened to poor Sebastian. But Liz made it so riveting she even gave Katy Hepburn a run for her grandeur.
(3) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. 1958. This was a way better Williams vehicle, and Liz did this monologue justice, looking so slinky and alluring that you just knew Paul Newman’s character had to be gay for not wanting to do her.
(2) A Place in The Sun. 1951. Gay Monty Clift wanted Liz so much in this that he got rid of poor, blowsy Shelley Winters, who couldn’t swim for a change. Liz was astonishingly radiant, and everything the American success story represents in physical form.
And the biggie…
(1) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1966. I hate to be so obvious, but nothing could top this performance for sheer nerve, a grand reinvention, and a gritty, funny, bawdy leap into dark territory, from the second she chomps into that chicken to her final devastation over the fact that their fake son is dead. “I am, George, I am.” Brilliant work for the ages.