Watch Paul Newman Honor Elizabeth Taylor: "Her Very Presence Seemed to Radiate Charm"

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Mar. 23 2011, Published 9:47 a.m. ET

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Elizabeth Taylor's legacy of films will live on forever. The legendary screen siren always exhibited intense chemistry with her male co-stars and the ability to immediately captivate her audience. The late Paul Newman, who shared the screen with Liz in the 1958 classic Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, held the actress in very high esteem and expressed his thoughts in a mini-tribute on behalf of the actress on Turner Classic Movies.

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In the big screen version of Tennessee Williams' drama, Paul plays a drunkard ex-athlete Brick and and Liz plays his neglected wife, Maggie the Cat.

Both actors won over the Academy and also took their celebrity off-screen with their humanitarian work.


Sadly, they have now both passed. Paul died at age 83, in 2008, and Liz, 79, died early this morning.

There may be no better way to honor Liz, then to watch this touching tribute narrated by Paul himself, which aired on Turner Classic Movies.

"That she was and is an extraordinary gifted artist is a matter of record," Paul began in the mini tribute, that almost sounds like a love letter paying homage to her work. "On the screen her very presence seemed to radiate charm."

"Her life has not been an easy or private one but a series of tribulations, serious ilnnes, senseless tragedy and lost love

Elizabeth Taylor
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While the duo was filming Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Liz's then husband, Hollywood producer Michael Todd, died in a plane crash.

"She persevered," Paul said of the tragedy in the clip below. "Acting was therapeutic. I was overwhelmed by her professionalism. She later said playing Maggie the Cat saved her."

Of her acting and ability on-screen, Paul shared very kind words.

"She is a very intuitive actress. She knows her instrument and knows how to make it worth. One things for sure, she is not afraid to take chances in front of people. I find a lot of actors who reach the top the become very protective of themselves and self-indulgent, But not Elizabeth. I was always staggered by her ferocity and how quickly she could tap into her emotion. It was a privilege to watch her.

"She has a sense of immediacy that is irresistible on the screen and she is a functioning voluptuary."

Watch the 4-minute tribute below.

Trailer (1958)

Watch Paul and Liz's chemistry in scene from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


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