By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 31, 2011 at 6:48AM
Was Elizabeth Taylor a billionaire? The Guardian reports that the movie star was worth about $1 billion at the time of her death last week at age 79, thanks to her perfume deals.
Elizabeth Arden launched a Facebook tribute page for the actress, as well they should. The company will continue to produce her famous fragrances, White Diamonds and Passion, which have generated $1 billion in sales since 1991. And Christie's will auction her much-vaunted jewelry collection, which was valued at $150 million in 2002, with proceeds going to charity and her beloved AIDS relief organization, amfAR. In the book Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry, she wrote about amassing her jewels, many of them precious pieces gifted by her fifth husband Richard Burton, including the $1 million 69-carat diamond (pictured above) as well as her favorite, the 33-carat Krupp diamond.
Remember all the reporting on Michael Jackson after his death? About his wealth, drug issues, children and family? Well, fasten your seat belts. There's a lot more Elizabeth Taylor coming our way. She's still trending, as they say, a "hot topic."
My friends and I honored Taylor last week by watching George Stevens' A Place in the Sun, a gorgeous black-and-white adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy. It's probably her best movie; she's perfect in it, and was never more beautiful, playing opposite Montgomery Clift, who was a close friend. This must-see movie reminds how few films of this caliber are made anymore.
[Elizabeth Taylor photo courtesy Forum Press/Rex USA.]