She is one of the most dazzling stars of Hollywood’s golden age. A legendary beauty with rare violet eyes and a fiery personality to match. She is Elizabeth Taylor. An actress who captivates audiences with her talent and charisma, and with a life full of passion, drama, and controversy. But behind the glamour and the fame, there was also a woman who faced many challenges and hardships, both on and off the screen.
One of these challenging hurdles was Taylor’s struggle with mobility in her later years, which forced her to use a wheelchair for most of her final days. Why did this happen? How did she cope with it? And what did it reveal about her character and spirit? In this video, we will explore these questions and more as we take a closer look at the fascinating story of Elizabeth Taylor’s wheelchair-bound life. Stay tuned to hear the whole story!
Facts Verse Presents: Why Elizabeth Taylor Spent Her Final Days In A Wheelchair
Elizabeth Taylor: A Legend Among Legends
Elizabeth Taylor is born on the 27th of February, 1932, in London, England, to American parents who involve in the art world. Her father was an art dealer, and her mother was a former stage actress. Elizabeth inherited her mother’s love for performing and started taking ballet lessons at a young age. She also had a distinctive feature that would later become her trademark: her stunning purple-hued eyes.
When World War II broke out, Elizabeth and her family moved to Los Angeles, California, where they hoped to find more opportunities and safety. It was there in Tinsel Town that Elizabeth’s beauty and talent caught the attention of Hollywood scouts. The young star-to-be signed a contract with Universal Studios at the age of 10 and made her film debut in 1942s There’s One Born Every Minute. After appearing in that picture, Taymor moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where she found more success and fame.
Elizabeth became a bonafide star at the age of 12 with her iconic role as Velvet Brown in 1944s National Velvet, a film about a girl who trains a horse for the Grand National race. The film is a huge success and establishes Elizabeth as one of MGM’s top child stars.
Taylor continued to work steadily throughout her teen years, appearing in films such as 1949s Little Women, 1950s Father of the Bride, and 1951s A Place in the Sun. She also made headlines with her personal life, marrying for the first time at 17 to hotel heir Nicky Hilton.
As she grew older, Elizabeth wanted to prove herself as a serious actress and take on more challenging roles. She achieved this goal with films such as 1956s Giant, 1958s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1959s Suddenly Last Summer, 1960s BUtterfield 8, and 1966s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Taylor won two Academy Awards for Best Actress for BUtterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She also became one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood history when she received $1 million for playing Cleopatra in 1961.
Elizabeth Taylor was not only an icon of cinema but also of fashion, jewelry, charity, and romance. She had eight marriages to seven men, most famously to actor Richard Burton whom she married twice.
Taylor had four children from three of her marriages. She also amassed one of the most impressive collections of jewels in the world, including the famous 69-carat Taylor-Burton diamond. Outside of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the fashion world, Elizabeth was also a passionate advocate for AIDS research and awareness, founding The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991.
A Lifetime Of Pain of Elizabeth Taylor
Scoliosis is a relatively common condition that causes the spine to curve sideways, sometimes forming an S-shape or a C-shape. It can affect anyone, but it usually develops during childhood or adolescence. Scoliosis can cause pain, stiffness, breathing problems, and reduced mobility. It can also affect one’s appearance and self-esteem. One of the most famous people who had scoliosis was the subject of this video, Elizabeth Taylor.
Taylor was born with scoliosis and suffered from back problems all her life. She was diagnosed with the condition when she was a child and had to wear a brace for several years. Taylor would have received her diagnosis earlier, but when she was twelve, she was injured while filming National Velvelt when she was thrown off a horse and sustained a back surgery. At first, doctors assumed that the source of her chronic pain was the result of solely that injury, but after further investigation, they discovered that it was her curved spine that was the true culprit.
Elizabeth Taylor did not let her scoliosis stop her from pursuing her passion for acting. Despite suffering from a great deal of pain at an early age, as we already mentioned, she made her film debut at the age of 10 and became a star at 12.
Although she pushed through her hardships and wound up finding success, scoliosis took its toll on Elizabeth Taylor’s health and quality of life. To make matters worse, she also had several accidents and injuries that aggravated her condition. Because of this, she underwent spinal surgery in 2004 to repair seven compression fractures in her spine.
Taylor said in an interview that she gave that year: “My body’s a real mess…I’ve become one of those poor little women who’s bent sideways.”
She also developed other health problems such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, skin cancer, and brain tumor. We’ll touch on those issues in just a moment, so be sure to stick around.
By the end of her life, Elizabeth Taylor is in a wheelchair and suffers from chronic pain that was almost unbearable. After enduring misery and hardship for many decades, in her later years, Taylor refused to have any more surgeries despite having severe neck issues. She quotes as saying: “I feel so stupid and feeble that I can’t do the work I need to do because of my bloody body.”
One Thing After Another
Scoliosis was not the only health issue that Elizabeth Taylor had to deal with in her life. She also faced a series of illnesses, injuries, and surgeries that tested her strength and resilience. Some of them were related to her scoliosis, while others were caused by accidents, infections, or genetic conditions.
One of the most serious health problems that Elizabeth Taylor experienced was pneumonia. She contracted it twice in her life, and both times she nearly died. The first time was in 1961, when she was filming Cleopatra in Rome. She developed a severe lung infection that required an emergency tracheotomy to help her breathe. She later said that she was pronounced dead four times by doctors who tried to revive her. The second time was in 1990, when she spent three months in the hospital with another life-threatening case of pneumonia.
Another health challenge that Elizabeth Taylor faced was addiction. She struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse for many years, especially after her seventh divorce from John Warner in 1982. She checked into the Betty Ford Center twice, in 1983 and 1988, to seek treatment for her substance abuse problems. Taylor wrote in her journal during her first rehab stint: “I feel like hell. I’m going through withdrawal… I am so, so tired.”
Elizabeth Taylor also suffered from various injuries throughout her career that worsened her scoliosis and back pain. For example. she broke her back five times due to falls or accidents on set. She also had two hip replacements, one in 1994 and another in 1995. In addition, she had skin cancer on her leg that required surgery to remove it.
One of the most shocking health scares that Elizabeth Taylor had to contend with however was a brain tumor. In 1997, she had a seizure and a stroke that led doctors to discover a benign tumor in her brain. They successfully removed it with surgery, but it left her with some serious memory loss and speech difficulties.
Immobile and Bedridden
Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary actress and humanitarian, died on March 23, 2011, at the age of 79. She had been suffering from congestive heart failure and was hospitalized for six weeks before her death. Her four children were with her when she passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
In her final days, Taylor was reportedly immobile and bedridden but still communicated with her friends and family through phone calls and Twitter. She also received visits from celebrities like Elton John, Colin Farrell, and Debbie Reynolds.
Taylor’s death sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes from the media, Hollywood, and her fans. Many praised her talent, courage, generosity, and glamour. She was honored with a private funeral service attended by about 150 guests, followed by a public memorial service at Westminster Abbey in London.
Elizabeth Taylor was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. She was laid to rest in the Great Mausoleum, Memorial Terrace, near the In Memoria statue. Interestingly, Taylor’s final resting place is right next to her third husband, Mike Todd, who died in a plane crash in 1958.
Elizabeth Taylor’s legacy lives on through her films, her charity work, and her family. She left behind four children, 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and millions of admirers around the world.
With that, we’ll go ahead and wrap this video up. Obviously, Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most influential stars of all time, but did you know that she spent so much of her life dealing with chronic pain? And did you know that she almost died twice after coming down with pneumonia? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to share some of your most beloved and cherished memories of this legendary star.