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Liz Taylor And The Evolution Of The Leading Lady24:15

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The changing female lead, from Elizabeth Taylor to Angelina Jolie.

Elizabeth Taylor, 1975 (AP)
Elizabeth Taylor, 1975 (AP)

Elizabeth Taylor, who died this week at 79, was as big and bright and hungry a star as Hollywood’s ever known.

On screen and in life she was bold, direct, abundant, clear-eyed. Seven husbands. Piles of jewels. Frankly, directly sexual. She had big appetites, big passions, and now she’s gone.

So what’s been the evolution of the female lead since the heyday of Elizabeth Taylor? What’s the arc from Taylor to Streep to Portman, Hathaway, Angelina Jolie?

This hour, On Point: after Elizabeth Taylor, we’re looking at how Hollywood’s iconic women have changed.
-Tom Ashbrook

A.O. Scott, chief film critic for the New York Times.

Jeanine Basinger, film historian and chair of the Film Studies Department at Wesleyan University.  She is also the author of "Star Machine."  Read more about Basinger and her teaching here.



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This program aired on March 25, 2011.

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