Elizabeth Taylor. biography
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born on February 27, 1932, in London, England, and is remembered as the Oscar-winning actress with spectacular violet eyes, a stunning jewelry collection and an extensive rap sheet of failed marriages. Taylor originally began performing at the age of 3, and took her first screen test stemming from a family friend's suggestion, which eventually led her to a contract with Universal Studios at the age of 10.
Taylor made her film debut in the comedy There's One Born Every Minute (1942), followed by more substantial roles in Lassie Come Home (1943) and The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) at the age of 12. She soon landed her break-through role in the family drama National Velvet later that year, which was a huge success at the box office and transformed Taylor into a rising Hollywood star.
At the age of 18, Taylor used her acting skills and classical Hollywood beauty to show off her star potential in the comedy Father of the Bride (1950) opposite Spencer Tracy, the adventure romance film Elephant Walk (1954), the musical drama Rhapsody (1954) and the romance drama The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954). The fact that she was dating Howard Hughes during this time, followed closely by a failed marriage to hotel heir Nicky Hilton, did little to tarnish her career but rather launch her popularity to new heights. In total, Taylor had been married eight times.
Though her love life was constantly in the headlines, Taylor paid little attention and continued to put out stunning performances, including the Academy Award nominated drama A Place in the Sun (1951) and a memorable role as socialite Leslie Lynnton opposite James Dean in the romance-western Giant (1956). Over the next four years, she starred in the film adaptations of Tennessee William's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly Last Summer (1959) before earning her first Academy Award for Best Actress in result of her performance in the drama Butterfield 8 (1960) opposite Laurence Harvey. In that same year, Taylor's accomplishments were rewarded with a Star on the Walk of Fame, located at 6336 Hollywood Blvd.
Following the death of her husband Mike Todd stemming from a plane crash in 1958, Taylor caused an uproar in the tabloids when she rebounded with Mike's married best friend, Eddie Fisher, after meeting on the set of her best known film Cleopatra, the highest-grossing film of 1963. Eddie later divorced his wife Debbie Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959, but divorced five years later when she left him for actor Richard Burton. The public continued to take in the gossip after the two starred together in the drama The V.I.P.'s (1963) and got married in 1964, prior to joining forces again in the award-winning drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), which resulted in Taylor's second Academy Award for Best Actress.
After more failed marriages, Taylor's impressive acting resume was honored with the 1993 American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award and the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. During this time, she struggled with health issues, having her hips mended, a brain tumor extracted, and a successful heart surgery. In 2011, however, Taylor began enduring additional heart problems and was later taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital for heart failure before passing away on March 23, 2011.
In response to her death, Taylor's son Michael issued a statement, which read, "My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love... We will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world."