Actress Elizabeth Taylor remains one of Hollywood’s most beloved Golden Age starlets more than a decade after her 2011 death. The actress won great acclaim for her performances in films such as Butterfield 8 and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof after her breakout performance as a child in 1944’s National Velvet. Although Elizabeth was certainly a talent to be reckoned with on both the stage and the screen, she was perhaps equally well known for her torrid love affairs and marriages, the latter of which she had eight over the course of her lifetime. She was also a fashion icon! Join Facts Verse as we take a look at the magnificent life of Elizabeth Taylor.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor made her film debut when she was just a young girl, appearing in 1942’s There’s One Born Every Minute when she was just ten years old. The young actress would subsequently achieve stardom with her appearance a few years later in 1944’s National Velvet, which saw her deliver an incredibly mature and considered performance for her age. At the time, Elizabeth was just 12 years old, and she would use the stardom she attained from her performance in the film to jumpstart an incredible and varied entertainment career into her adult years.
As an adult, some of Elizabeth’s most memorable performances included her turn in the 1960 feature Butterfield 8, as well as in the 1965 feature Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? All in all, the actress’s career spanned over six decades, over which period she maintained both success and respect in the industry. Although she was certainly appreciated for her raw and emotional acting talents, she was also respected for her wardrobe, her jewelry collection, and her ability to start tabloid drama with her various beaus.
Elizabeth Taylor was born in London, England, on February 27, 1932. Both of Elizabeth’s parents were American art dealers, though they were residing in London at the time that Elizabeth was born. World War II started soon after Elizabeth’s birth, prompting the family to return to the United States and settle down for a domestic life in Los Angeles.
Before marrying her husband and becoming an art dealer, Taylor’s mom had been an actress. Because of this, Elizabeth grew up with a strong affinity for the arts. The young girl had started practicing dance when she was just three years old, leading to her giving a recital for Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret while in London.
After relocating to California, a family friend noticed Elizabeth’s performing talents and recommended that her parents have her screen test for a gig in the entertainment industry. Elizabeth’s parents ended up taking her for a screen test, which led to the young girl getting offered a contract by Universal Studios! Elizabeth signed the contract and ended making her debut in her first feature film at the age of 10 years old: 1942’s There’s One Born Every Minute.
While 1942’s There’s One Born Every Minute was young Elizabeth’s first role in a feature film, it was 1944’s National Velvet that made the girl a star. In between the two features, Elizabeth could also be seen in 1943’s Lassie Come Home. Elizabeth and her parents had campaigned for several months to get the young girl her role in National Velvet that went on to make her a star. She appeared in the film when she was just 12 years old, and the film was a huge hit!
There were plenty of child stars around at the time that Elizabeth Taylor broke onto the scene in her double digits, but few of them had the maturity that Elizabeth did. She became known for delivering performances that seemed wise beyond their years. Later on, few were surprised when Elizabeth showed that she was fully capable of transitioning into more adult dramatic roles after coming of age.
At the age of 18, Elizabeth took on her most mature role yet when she appeared alongside Spencer Tracy in 1950’s Father of the Bride. The audience was more than willing to accept Elizabeth Taylor as a new leading lady, and she had no trouble filling those shoes. She continued acting successfully throughout her early adult years, with other features she appeared in during the time, including Elephant Walk, Rhapsody, and The Last Time I Saw Paris.
Up until her adulthood, Elizabeth Taylor had been known predominantly for her talents. However, in her adult years, she became equally well known for her torrid loves affairs and numerous rocky marriages. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! While you’re at it, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
When Elizabeth Taylor got into her adult years and started engaging in romances with other celebrity figures, the resulting tabloid material only boosted the actress’s success in the entertainment industry. One of Elizabeth’s strangest romances was to eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes. Howard was known for film production and his aviation hobby, as well as for his OCD tendencies and the fact that he preferred not to leave the house too much.
Elizabeth entered into her first marriage when she was just 17. Her husband at the time was the wealthy hotel heir Nicky Hilton, and the marriage didn’t last for very long. After Nicky, Elizabeth’s second husband was an actor by the name of Michael Wilding. However, most Elizabeth Taylor fans and historians believe that the true love of the actress’s life was actor Richard Burton, whom she married on two occasions.
When Elizabeth started becoming tabloid fodder due to her rocky relationships, she didn’t let that affect her dramatic performances one bit. In fact, the drama in her real life arguably helped her channel more powerful dramatic performances on the screen and the stage. She continued giving successful performances through the 1950s, including in A Place in the Sun and the 1956 hit feature Giant.
1956’s Giant was adapted from the novel of the same name by author Edna Farber, and the film was also notable for the fact that it featured one of the three starring performances that Hollywood legend James Dean gave during his lifetime. Elizabeth matched the star and then some, and her raw talent helped James deliver a performance for the ages.
A few years after her performance in the film Giant, Elizabeth gave another successful turn acting in the Hollywood adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She subsequently acted in another adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ work with Suddenly Last Summer. Both of these films garnered Elizabeth immense acclaim, but it was her performance in 1960’s Butterfield 8 that netted the actress her very first Academy Award for Best Actress.
In 1958, Elizabeth’s current husband died in a plane crash. The man’s name was Mike Todd, and he was a film producer. After his death, Elizabeth became involved with his friend, Eddie Fisher. Elizabeth’s love affair with Eddie got too hot and heavy, and it ended up breaking off Eddie’s marriage. Elizabeth and Eddie subsequently got married, though their marriage only lasted for five years.
It was after her divorce from Eddie Fisher that Elizabeth Taylor married actor Richard Burton. The two had met while working on the 1963 feature Cleopatra, and were subsequently married in 1964. The relationship took the public’s obsession with Elizabeth Taylor’s personal life to a new level, as the two were constantly involved in drama.
In addition to the drama that the two engaged in during their own personal time together, Elizabeth and Richard also engaged in plenty of dramas together on the screen and stage. In addition to their performance together in Cleopatra that resulted in the two getting married for the first time, they also continued acting alongside each other throughout their relationship. They did so on both the screen and the stage, with many of their collaborations drawing great acclaim.
In 1965, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton could be seen again on the screen together in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Today, the film is considered to be slightly ahead of it’s time because of it’s psychological drama, and Elizabeth’s central performance as the titular character earned her a second Academy Award for Best Actress. In the years after her performance in that film, Elizabeth’s career and personal life went through many ups and downs, but the actress always kept her cool and made it through whatever obstacles showed up in her way. Some of the actress’s later career work included a guest appearance on General Hospital, though she decided during her later years that she wanted to focus more on philanthropy than on continuing to act.
Elizabeth Taylor had been a good friend of actor Rock Hudson, who passed away in 1985 after losing a battle to the then-new illness known as AIDS. After this, Elizabeth became passionate about finding a cure for the illness, starting the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation in 1991. The foundation was created for the purpose of supporting those that had been diagnosed with the illness, but most importantly, for generating funds to help research cures.
Although Elizabeth was essentially retired from acting by the 1990s, she won numerous awards throughout the decade for all that she had contributed to entertainment during her lifetime. One such award was AFI’s Life Achievement Award, which she was given in 1993. In the year 2000, she became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
During the actress’s later years, Elizabeth had to fight through a variety of health issues before her eventual death. She began suffering from congestive heart failure and diabetes during the 1990s, and also had to have both of her hips replaced. In the late 1990s, she had to undergo surgery in order to have a brain tumor removed. After a successful heart surgery in 2009, Elizabeth started experiencing pain again and ended up passing away from her congestive heart failure on March 23, 2011. At the time of her death, the actress was 79 years old and survived by four children.
Although Elizabeth Taylor essentially retired from acting well before her eventual death, she still left behind more than enough iconic acting performances for one lifetime. Comment down below to share which of Elizabeth’s performances you enjoy watching the best, or if you were surprised to learn that she was married eight times! As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!