Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London, England on February 27, 1932.
Although her mother had a brief career stint as a stage actress in the US, her
parents were actually art dealers from St. Louis, Missouri and relocated to
London to open a gallery. Eventually, the Taylors moved back to the States and
settled in Los Angeles just before war broke out in Europe in 1939.
Following a screen test for Universal Studios, nine-year-old Elizabeth was signed
to a contract, and made her screen debut at in 1942's There's One Born Every
Minute. She was signed to MGM in 1942, and it was there that she had early success
as a child actor.
In 1944, at the tender age of 12, Elizabeth landed her first lead role in National
Velvet. The film established the young girl with the sparkling, violet eyes
as a bona fide star. More parts followed and by 1949, she had graduated to her
first adult role, as the romantic lead in Conspirator.
Elizabeth was a grown 18-year-old when she married hotel heir Nicky Hilton in
May 1950, the same year she starred in the classic, Father of the Bride. Hilton
was the first in a series of seven husbands, and the marriage lasted less than
nine months. In 1951, while on loan to Paramount, she received her first serious
notice by critics for her performance in A Place In The Sun, directed by George
Taylor wed for the second time in February 1952. With husband Michael Wilding,
a British actor twenty years her senior, she had two sons. Michael Jr. was born
in 1953, and Christopher in 1955. She continued to appear in a series of films
for MGM during these years, but it wasn't until she reunited with Stevens in
1956's Giant (also starring James Dean, in his final screen appearance), that
a new phase in her career commenced.
The actress divorced for the second time on January 30, 1957. Three days later,
she married movie producer Mike Todd in Acapulco. Todd was 24 years her senior,
but Taylor acknowledges that of all her marriages, this was her happiest. The
couple had a daughter, Elizabeth "Liza" Todd in August of that year.
Elizabeth Taylor received her first Oscar nod as Best Actress for 1957's Raintree
County. Four days before the ceremony, Todd, flying in his private plane named
"The Lucky Liz," was killed when the plane crashed over New Mexico.
Taylor had already begun working on her next film, appearing as Maggie "The
Cat" in 1958's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, opposite newcomer Paul Newman, and received
a second Oscar nomination.
It wasn't long after mourning the loss of husband number three that Taylor wed
again. Eddie Fisher had been a popular singer in the early 1950s. He was one
of the late Mike Todd's closest friends, and best man at Liz and Mike's wedding.
He divorced actress Debbie Reynolds to marry Liz, and the press vilified Elizabeth
for having broken up their marriage when the couple wed in May 1959.
That same year, Taylor received a third Oscar nomination for 1959's Suddenly,
Last Summer. While Oscar eluded her for a third time, she was honored with the
Golden Globe for Best Actress.
For her next role, Taylor reluctantly starred as a prostitute in 1960's Butterfield
8, fulfilling contractual obligations to MGM. Again she was nominated for Best
Actress by the Motion Picture Academy, but few, including Liz herself, thought
she could win with this role.
Taylor was in London filming Cleopatra when she became seriously ill and needed
an emergency tracheotomy in order to save her life. Taylor survived, and a few
weeks later, showed up at the Oscar ceremony. To the astonishment of many, her
name was announced as the winner in her category. Elizabeth hobbled up to the
stage on crutches, with the surgical scar still visible on her throat.
Cleopatra was the most expensive film ever produced up to that point and making
Hollywood history, Elizabeth Taylor became the highest paid movie star when
she asked for and received a million dollars to star as the Queen of the Nile.
It was also on the set of that film where she met her future fifth husband,
Cleopatra finally premiered in 1963, but didn't do well at the box office. She
again co-starred with Burton in The V.I.P.s in 1963, and divorced Eddie Fisher
in March 1964; nine days later, she and Burton were married.
Liz and Dick were hounded by the media, particularly the tabloid press. Hollywood's
golden couple teamed up once again for 1965's The Sandpiper and in 1966's Who's
Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?. It was an unglamorous role in which Taylor played
an overweight, loudmouth alcoholic.
Both Taylor and Burton were nominated by the Academy for their highly intense
performances and Elizabeth took home her second Oscar for the role. She next
appeared with Marlon Brando in Reflections In A Golden Eye in 1967. That same
year, she reunited with Burton for the drama The Comedians.
Taylor continued to appear in a series of films that did poorly at the box office,
including Dr. Faustus and Under Milk Wood, which all co-starred her husband.
In 1972, Taylor was awarded the Best Actress prize at the Berlin Film Festival
for her part in Hammersmith Is Out.
The title of Taylor and Burton's next project proved prophetic. In 1972, the
pair starred in a made-for-TV movie entitled Divorce His - Divorce Hers. In
June 1974, after ten years of marriage, the star couple divorced. Sixteen months
later, they remarried; ten months after that, they were divorced for a second
time. In December 1976, Liz married husband number six, Virginia Senator John
Warner; they divorced in 1982.
Taylor appeared in a handful of feature films over the next several years, including
1980's The Mirror Crack'd, in which she played an aging movie star. Throughout
the 1980s, Taylor appeared in several made-for-TV movies, including 1985's Malice
In Wonderland and 1987's Poker Alice.
In 1985, Taylor became the chairperson for the first major AIDS benefit. Her
crusade in the fight against the disease intensified following the death of
her close friend Rock Hudson later that year.
In 1987, Taylor launched a line of perfumes, commencing with "Passion." Other
fragrances followed, including "White Diamonds," "Diamonds and Emeralds" and
Taylor married again in 1991. She had met construction worker Larry Fortensky,
20 years her junior, while in rehab. They divorced in 1996.
Taylor became the voice of Maggie Simpson in a 1992 episode of The Simpsons,
when Maggie uttered her first word. She received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian
Award at the 1992 Oscar ceremony and took home the American Film Institute Life
Achievement Award in 1993. Taylor returned to the big screen to play Fred's
mother-in-law, Pearl Slaghoople, in 1994's feature film The Flintstones.
In February 1997, Taylor experienced another health scare when she underwent
surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. One of Taylor's more recent performances
was in 2001, when she appeared in the made-for-TV movie These Old Broads along
with Shirley MacLaine and Debbie Reynolds, whose marriage she had broken up
some four decades prior. Two years after being made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth
II in 2000, Elizabeth Taylor received the Kennedy Center Honors.
With a career and life marked by tragedy, success, irony, and ups and downs,
Elizabeth Taylor is a veritable movie legend.
These Old Broads (2001) (TV) .... Beryl Mason
Flintstones, The (1994) .... Pearl Slaghoople
Sweet Bird of Youth (1989) (TV) .... Alexandra Del Lago
Giovane Toscanini, Il (1988) .... Nadina Bulichoff
Poker Alice (1987) (TV) .... Alice Moffit
There Must Be a Pony (1986) (TV) .... Marguerite Sydney
"North and South" (1985) (mini) TV Series .... Madam Conti
Malice in Wonderland (1985) (TV) .... Louella Parsons
"All My Children"(1970) TV Series .... Chairwoman Trannell (1983)
Between Friends (1983) (TV) .... Deborah Shapiro
"General Hospital"(1963) TV Series .... Helena Cassadine #1 (1981)
Genocide (1981) .... Narrator
Mirror Crack'd, The (1980) .... Marina Rudd
Winter Kills (1979)(uncredited) .... Lola Comante
Return Engagement (1978) (TV) .... Dr. Emily Loomis
Little Night Music, A (1977) .... Desiree Armfeldt
Victory at Entebbe (1976) (TV) .... Edra Vilnofsky
Blue Bird, The (1976) .... Queen of Light/Mother/Witch/Maternal Love
Driver's Seat, The (1974) .... Lise
Ash Wednesday (1973) .... Barbara Sawyer
Night Watch (1973) .... Ellen Wheeler
Divorce His - Divorce Hers (1973) (TV) .... Jane Reynolds
Hammersmith Is Out (1972) .... Jimmie Jean Jackson
Under Milk Wood (1972) .... Rosie Probert
Zee and Co. (1972) .... Zee Blakeley
Only Game in Town, The (1970) .... Fran Walker
Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)(uncredited) .... Courtesan
Secret Ceremony (1968) .... Leonora
Boom (1968) .... Flora 'Sissy' Goforth
Comedians, The (1967) .... Martha Pineda
Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) .... Leonora Penderton
Doctor Faustus (1967) .... Helen of Troy
Bisbetica domata, La (1967) .... Katharina
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) .... Martha
Sandpiper, The (1965) .... Laura Reynolds
V.I.P.s, The (1963) .... Frances Andros
Cleopatra (1963) .... Cleopatra
BUtterfield 8 (1960) .... Gloria Wandrous
Scent of Mystery (1960)(uncredited) .... The Real Sally Kennedy
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) .... Catherine Holly
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) .... Maggie 'The Cat' Pollitt
Raintree County (1957) .... Susanna Drake
Giant (1956) .... Leslie Lynnton Benedict
Last Time I Saw Paris, The (1954) .... Helen Ellswirth/Wills
Beau Brummell (1954) .... Lady Patricia
Elephant Walk (1954) .... Ruth Wiley
Rhapsody (1954) .... Louise Durant
Girl Who Had Everything, The (1953) .... Jean Latimer
Ivanhoe (1952) .... Rebecca
Love Is Better Than Ever (1952) .... Anastacia (Stacie) Macaboy
Callaway Went Thataway (1951)(uncredited) .... Herself
Place in the Sun, A (1951) .... Angela Vickers
Father's Little Dividend (1951) .... Kay Dunstan
Quo Vadis? (1951)(uncredited) .... Cameo appearance
Father of the Bride (1950) .... Kay Banks
Big Hangover, The (1950) .... Mary Belney
Conspirator (1949) .... Melinda Greyton
Little Women (1949) .... Amy March
Julia Misbehaves (1948) .... Susan Packett
Date with Judy, A (1948) .... Carol Pringle
Cynthia (1947) .... Cynthia Bishop
Life with Father (1947) .... Mary
Courage of Lassie (1946) .... Kathie Merrick
National Velvet (1944) .... Velvet Brown
White Cliffs of Dover, The (1944)(uncredited) .... Betsy (Age l0)
Jane Eyre (1944)(uncredited) .... Helen Burns
Lassie Come Home (1943) .... Priscilla
There's One Born Every Minute (1942) .... Gloria Twine
-Married to Conrad Nicky' Hilton Jr.' (6 May 1950 - 1 February 1951) (divorced)
-Married to Michael Wilding (21 February 1952 - 30 January 1957) (divorced)
2 sons, Chris Wilding and Michael Wilding Jr.
-Married to Michael Todd (I) (2 February 1957 - 22 March 1958) (his death) 1
daughter, Liza Todd
-Married to Eddie Fisher (12 May 1959 - 6 March 1964) (divorced)
-Married to Richard Burton (15 March 1964 - 26 June 1974) (divorced)
-Remarried to Richard Burton (10 October 1975 - 1 August 1976) (divorced)
-Married to John W. Warner (4 December 1976 - 7 November 1982) (divorced)
-Married to Larry Fortensky (6 October 1991 - 1996) (divorced)
-Revealed the she has a benign brain tumor and underwent successful surgery
to remove the benign brain tumor in February, 1997.
-Liz has appeared solo on the cover of PEOPLE magazine 14 times, second only
to Princess Diana (as of 1996)
-Liz was a close friend of Montgomery Clift until his death in 1966. They met
for the first time when Paramount decided that she had to accompany him to the
premiere of Heiress, The (1949) because they were both to star in the upcoming
Place in the Sun, A (1951). They liked each other right away. Clift used to
call her "Bessie Mae". When he had the road accident a few years later that
disfigured him, he came from a party at Liz's house. And it was her that found
him first, got into the wreck and removed some teeth from his throat that threatened
to choke him.
-At one point during Elizabeth's life-threatening illness while filming Cleopatra,
the actress was actually pronounced dead.
-First actress to earn US$ 1,000,000 for a movie role (in Cleopatra (1963).)
-Along with Julie Andrews made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II.