Elizabeth Taylor on James Dean: The Man I Loved

Interview with Elizabeth Taylor
Conducted by James Grissom
New York City

It's hard to talk about certain people, because you remember the friend you loved, and people want a myth or a sermon or a parable. Jimmy wasn't a parable or a myth: He was my friend, and I loved him. His death was tragic, but he was not. He had no more problems than anyone on the face of the planet, but his were broadcast, written about, analyzed, laughed about. We wanted to know more about him because we loved him, not because we wanted him to be a lesson or a warning. I heard they were talking about his death in churches as a warning against success, excess, believing too much in yourself. I think a church worth a damn would have been praising God for making such a beautiful, talented man. I think a church worth a damn would have told us to live fully and with love because everything can be snatched away in a second, in a ball of twisted iron and steel and blood. I'll talk about the man I loved, but I'm not going to talk about what people think they know about Jimmy."

© 2014  James Grissom


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