America Remembers Elizabeth Taylor - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

America Remembers Elizabeth Taylor

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)  America is remembering legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor who was once called one of the most beautiful women in the world died this morning at a Los Angeles hospital of congestive heart failure. She was 79 years old.

The actress spent a lot of time in Florida and owned a home on Star Island.

The home is still famous for its Rabbit Statue in the backyard, a gift from long time friend Michael Jackson.

Elizabeth Taylor touched many lives and left a legacy wherever she went including here in West Palm Beach.

A local portrait painter once painted a portrait of the legendary actress and says news of her death is still hard to swallow.

Unfortunately the artist never made a copy of the picture but til this day he remembers every little detail of a portrait he painted over 50 years ago.

Renown portrait painter Ralphe Wolfe Cowan shares the story of how he came to meet a woman who would later become a close friend-seen here together during an AIDS fundraiser in Palm Beach.

"She represents the epitome of great stars," he says.

It was the late 1950's when he met one of Taylor's many husbands. At the time it was Michael Todd who asked Cowan to paint a portrait of his blue-violet eyed beauty.

But Todd would die in a plane crash before the portrait was finished.

"Later on I saw it in a book published by her and about her. She had given it to her father," says Cowan.

The picture featured Taylor dressed in all white sitting on a cloud.

"I've already pictured her going into heaven with all her grand beauty back again."

He says though Taylor was 79 at the time of her death. He felt she had so much life left to live.

"Ernest Hemingway said no man is an island, every man's death diminishes my own life and you never know for the bell tolls and today it was her day. She was very human and I loved and adored her. Right now she's just blossoming up there in heaven and beaming like the great star she is."

And Cowan says he also did a portrait of Taylor and her husband Richard Burton in the late 60's.

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