The following biography
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (born February
27, 1932) is an iconic two-time Academy Award-winning American actress. She was
long considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and, arguably, the
most beautiful actress of all time. Her trademark is her dazzling violet-blue
eyes framed by a double row of eyelashes. The American Film Institute named
Taylor among the Greatest Female Stars of All Time, ranking at No. 7.
Birth name: Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor
Date of birth: February 27, 1932
Birth location: Hampstead, London, England
Early life and career
She was born in Hampstead, London, the second child
of Francis Lenn Taylor (December 28, 1897 November 20, 1968) and Sara Viola
Warmbrodt (August 21, 1896 September 11, 1994), who were Americans residing in
England. Her older brother is Howard Taylor (born in 1929).
Though sometimes referred to as "Liz," she is not
fond of that name and prefers her given name to be pronounced Eee-lizabeth. Her
first names are in honor of her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Taylor, who was
born Elizabeth Mary Rosemond. Taylor was born with U.S. nationality, which she
would relinquish after marrying Richard Burton, and take British nationality.
Both of her American parents were originally from
Arkansas City, Kansas. Her father was an art dealer and her mother a former
actress whose stage name was Sara Sothern. Sara retired from the stage when she
and Francis Taylor married in 1926 in New York.
At the age of 3, Elizabeth began taking ballet
lessons. After the UK entered World War II, her parents decided to return to the
United States to avoid hostilities. Her mother took the children first, while
her father remained in London to wrap up matters in the art business. They
settled in Los Angeles, California, where Sara's family, the Warmbrodts, were
Taylor appeared in her first motion picture at the
age of 9 for Universal. They let her contract drop, and she was signed with
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her first movie with that studio was Lassie Come Home
(1943), which drew favorable attention. After a couple more movies, the second
on loan-out to 20th Century Fox, she appeared in her first leading role and
achieved child star status playing Velvet Brown, a young girl who trains a horse
to win the Grand National in Clarence Brown's movie National Velvet (1944) with
Mickey Rooney. National Velvet was a big hit, grossing over $4,000,000 at the
box-office, and she was signed to a long-term contract.
She attended school on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot
and received a diploma from University High School in Los Angeles on January 26,
1950, the same year she was first married at age 18.
Mature career and marriages
Elizabeth Taylor won the Academy Award for Best
Actress in a Leading Role for her performances in BUtterfield 8 (1960), which
co-starred then husband Eddie Fisher, and again for Who's Afraid of Virginia
Woolf? (1966), which co-starred then-husband Richard Burton and the Supporting
Actress Oscar-winner, Sandy Dennis.
Taylor was nominated for Raintree County (1957)
opposite Montgomery Clift, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) opposite Paul Newman,
and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) with Clift, Katharine Hepburn and Mercedes
In 1963, she became the highest paid movie star up
until that time when she accepted $1,000,000 to play the title role in the
lavish production of Cleopatra for 20th Century Fox. It was during the filming
of that movie that she worked for the first time with future husband Richard
Burton, who played Mark Antony. Movie magazines, the forerunners of today's
tabloids, had a field day when Taylor and Burton began an affair during filming;
both stars were married to other people at the time.
In a romantic entanglement that had tongues wagging
on every continent, Taylor would trade in husband Eddie Fisher for Burton not
long after Fisher had unceremoniously ditched wife Debbie Reynolds for Taylor.
Years later, Burton would slyly refer to the whole mess as "la scandale". The
episode cemented Taylor's reputation as a dark, hypnotic femme fatale (who was
condemned by the Vatican), boosted Reynolds' career as a blonde, all-American
sweetheart, and elevated Burton to the front ranks of film stars. Only Fisher
did not really profit from the cascade of free publicity. She has been married
eight times to seven husbands:
Hotel heir Conrad Hilton, Jr (May 6, 1950 - January
29, 1951) (divorced)
Michael Wilding (February 21, 1952 - January 26,
Producer Mike Todd (February 2, 1957 - March 22,
Eddie Fisher (May 12, 1959 - March 6, 1964)
Richard Burton (March 15, 1964 - June 26, 1974)
Richard Burton (2nd marriage) (October 10, 1975 -
July 29, 1976) (divorced)
Senator John Warner (December 4, 1976 - November 7,
Teamster construction-equipment operator Larry
Fortensky (October 6, 1991 - October 31, 1996) (divorced)
Taylor and Wilding had two sons, Michael Howard
Wilding (born January 6, 1953), and Christopher Edward Wilding (born February
27, 1955). She and Todd had one daughter, Elizabeth Frances Todd, called "Liza,"
(born August 6, 1957). And in 1964, she and Fisher started adoption proceedings
for a daughter, whom Burton later adopted, Maria Burton (born August 1, 1961).
During her marriage to Fisher, Taylor converted to Reform Judaism (having been
born into the Christian Science religion.) She remains Jewish to this day,
having referred to herself as such several times. In her book Elizabeth Takes
Off, Taylor writes, "It [conversion to Judaism] had absolutely nothing to do
with my past marriage to Mike [Todd] or my upcoming marriage to Eddie Fisher,
both of whom were Jewish. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time"
She has also appeared a number of times on
television, including the 1973 made-for-TV movie with then husband Richard
Burton, titled Divorce His - Divorce Hers. In 1985, she played movie gossip
columnist Louella Parsons in Malice in Wonderland opposite Jane Alexander, who
played Hedda Hopper, and also appeared in the mini-series North and South. In
2001, she played an agent in These Old Broads. She has also appeared on a number
of other TV shows, including the soap operas General Hospital and All My
Children and the animated The Simpsons (once as herself, and once as the voice
Taylor has also acted on the stage, making her
Broadway and West End debuts in 1982 with a revival of Lillian Hellman's The
Little Foxes. She was then in a production of Noel Coward's Private Lives
(1983), in which she starred with her former husband, Richard Burton.
Taylor has a passion for jewelry. Over the years
she has owned a number of well known pieces, two of the most talked about being
the 33.19 carat (6.638 g) Krupp Diamond and the 69.42 carat (13.884 g)
pear-shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond, which were among many dazzling gifts from
husband Richard Burton. Her enduring collection of jewelry has been eternalized
with her book My Love Affair with Jewelry (2002).
In 2005, she partnered with Jack and Monty Abramov
of Mirabelle Luxury Concepts in Los Angeles to introduce the House of Taylor
Jewelry. In 2005, House of Taylor Jewelry formed a partnership with Kathy
Ireland Worldwide, a design-and-marketing firm with more than $1 billion in
annual sales. She has also launched three perfumes, "Passion," "White Diamonds,"
and "Black Pearls", that together earn an estimated $200,000,000 in annual
sales. In the Fall of 2006, Dame Elizabeth Taylor will celebrate the 15th
anniversary of her White Diamonds perfume, one of the top-10 best selling
fragrances for more than the past decade.
Taylor has devoted much time and energy to
AIDS-related charities and fundraising. She helped start the () American
Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) after the death of her former co-star and
friend, Rock Hudson. She also created her own AIDS foundation, ETAF. By 1999,
she had helped to raise an estimated $50,000,000 (USD) to fight the disease.
In the early 1980s she moved to Bel-Air, Los
Angeles, California, which is her current home. The fenced and gated property is
on tour maps sold at street corners and is frequently passed by tour guides.
In 1988, the U.S. Congress passed a bill, expressly
for the purpose of blocking deportation of Taylor's son, Michael, who had
renounced his American citizenship in 1971 for past possession of marijuana.
Awards and honours
Dame Elizabeth Taylor has won two Academy Awards
for Best Actress. She won the first in 1961 for Butterfield 8 and the second in
1967 for Mike Nichols' drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Taylor received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian
Award in 1992 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The
following year, 1993, she received the AFI Life Achievement Award. And in 2002,
she was a Kennedy Center Honoree.
In 1999, she was created a Dame Commander of the
British Empire (DBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. Though she was thrilled with this
honor, Taylor cracked, "I've always been a broad, now I'm a dame."
In 2001, U.S. President Bill Clinton awarded her
the Presidential Citizens Medal in recognition of her commitment to
philanthropy. It is the second-highest civilian honor in the United States,
awarded to U.S. citizens "who have performed exemplary deeds or services" for
their country or fellow citizens, despite the fact that Taylor had relinquished
her U.S. citizenship and is only an LPR (lawful permanent resident) of the U.S.
Elizabeth Taylor's hand and foot prints are
immortalized in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theater and she has a star on
the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6336 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
On November 10, 2005, Taylor received the Britannia
Award for Artistic Excellence in International Entertainment.
In November 2004, Taylor announced that she had
been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart
pumps insufficient amounts of blood throughout the body. She has broken her back
five times, has survived a benign brain tumor operation, skin cancer, and has
faced life-threatening bouts with pneumonia twice. She is reclusive and
sometimes fails to make scheduled appearances due to illness or other personal
reasons. She is now confined to a wheelchair to get around.
In 2005 she was a vocal supporter of her best
friend, Michael Jackson, in his trial in California on charges of sexually
abusing a child. He was acquitted.
In recent years, Taylor has reportedly become
closely attached to her pet dog, saying that she goes nowhere without her little
Maltese named Sugar. In an interview with American magazine W, Taylor said she
was happiest while with husbands Todd and Burton, but now has to be content with
Sugar for company. She explains, "I've never loved a dog like this in my life.
It's amazing. Sometimes I think there's a person in there. There's something to
say for this kind of love - it's unconditional." In June 2005, Taylor's beloved
dog Sugar died. However, several months later (in September) she purchased a
descendant of Sugar which she named Daisy.
It was reported on April 27th, 2006 that Taylor was
close to death. This was quickly refuted by Taylor's publicist, Dick Guttman.
"Dick Guttman says that he can refute every allegation in these published
reports. In fact, he says they didn't get anything right. Guttman says Taylor
has a very busy life, with her successful perfume and jewelry lines and the work
she does for the fight against AIDS." On May 30, 2006, she appeared on Larry
King Live to refute the claims that she has been ill, and denied the allegations
that she was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and was close to death.
There's One Born Every Minute (1942)
Lassie Come Home (1943)
Jane Eyre (1944)
The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)
National Velvet (1944)
Courage of Lassie (1946)
Life with Father (1947)
A Date with Judy (1948)
Julia Misbehaves (1948)
Little Women (1949)
The Big Hangover (1950)
Father of the Bride (1950)
Quo Vadis? (1951) (uncredited as Christian prisoner
Father's Little Dividend (1951)
A Place in the Sun (1951)
Callaway Went Thataway (1951) (Cameo)
Love Is Better Than Ever (1952)
The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)
Elephant Walk (1954)
Beau Brummell (1954)
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood, City of Stars (1956)
Operation Raintree (1957) (short subject)
Raintree County (1957)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Premier Khrushchev in the USA (1959) (documentary)
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Scent of Mystery (1960) (Cameo)
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Lykke og krone (1962) (documentary)
The V.I.P.s (1963)
On the Trail of the Iguana (1964) (short subject)
The Big Sur (1965) (short subject)
The Sandpiper (1965)
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
The Comedians in Africa (1967) (short subject)
The Taming of the Shrew (1967)
Doctor Faustus (1967)
Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967)
The Comedians (1967)
On Location: 'Where Eagles Dare' (1968) (short
Around the World of Mike Todd (1968) (documentary)
Secret Ceremony (1968)
Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) (uncredited as
The Only Game in Town (1970)
Zee and Co. (1972)
Under Milk Wood (1972)
Hammersmith Is Out (1972)
Night Watch (1973)
Ash Wednesday (1973)
Just One More Time (1974) (short subject)
The Driver's Seat (1974)
That's Entertainment! (1974) (narrator)
The Blue Bird (1976)
A Little Night Music (1977)
Winter Kills (1979)
The Mirror Crack'd (1980)
Genocide (1981) (documentary) (narrator)
Young Toscanini (1988)
The Flintstones (1995)
Get Bruce (1999) (documentary)
These Old Broads (2001)
for Room at the Top Academy Award for Best Actress
for BUtterfield 8 Succeeded by:
for Two Women
for Darling Academy Award for Best Actress
for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Succeeded by:
for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
above biography has been copied in part or in whole
from an article on
"The Free Encyclopedia." It has been modified under
the GNU Free Document License Section 5 in the
following manner: (1) All links within the article
have been removed, including text links such as
"[#]"; (2) The "[Edit]" text and link have been
removed [if you would like to update the article,
you may do so from the original page]; (3) the table
of Contents links and text have been removed; and
(4) all of the sections of the original article have
not been copied. All of the above text is available
under the terms of the
GNU Free Document License.
URL of Original Article:
Date Article Copied:
will try to replace this article with an original
biography in the near future, but we hope this will
be of help to our visitors in the mean time.