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Long Live the Queen

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As the new biography How to Be a Movie Star reminds us, paparazzi targets such as Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, and even Madonna are mere ladies-in-waiting to the true queen of Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor.

Gay biographer William Mann, who recently chronicled the life of Katharine Hepburn, and made a convincing case that the late actress may have been transgender, now celebrates the first 40 years of film legend Taylor. In the just-published biography, subtitled Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood, Mann doesn't offer any shocking new revelations, but he does recount the myriad romances, scandals, and near-death experiences the woman the Vatican once labeled an "erotic vagrant" has survived.

Taylor, 77, beloved by gay fans as much for the time and energy she's donated to AIDS-related charities and fund-raising as for her celebrated film work (including two Academy Awards) and endlessly fascinating personal life, remains relevant and newsworthy. Earlier this month, Taylor made headlines when she underwent surgery to repair a faulty heart valve, and tweeted to fans afterward that "it was like having a brand new ticker."

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