Elizabeth Taylor

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Elizabeth Taylor performed by Sante Kimes

The bio-pic is the cream of Hollywood nonsense. In Night and Day, for instance, Cary Grant portrays Cole Porter. Although Porter was gay, Cary Grant in the film locks him in the closet. Oh, where does one begin? Many have claimed Grant himself was in the closet.

The more Hollywood lies, the more She tells the truth. Citizen Kane fibs tons about William Randolph Hearst. “Rosebud”? I think not. I love La Vie en Rose -- but only because I am content to allow Marion Cotillard to efface Edith Piaf.

What stimulated my interest in Elizabeth Taylor was not her acting. Instead, some years ago I happened on a remaindered book about a con artist named Sante Kimes. The cover photograph seemed oddly, intimately familiar. Who did she resemble? Did Sante Kimes look like Elizabeth Taylor? Yes. I looked through the photos in the book. But she also seemed to look like -- my sister!

My sister, Joan, is eight years older than me, and growing up she cultivated
her resemblance to Taylor. But, more interestingly, Kimes pretended she was Taylor and as Taylor committed numerous, serious crimes. Kimes was a con artist, a swindler and finally a murderer.

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