Elizabeth Taylor

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Elizabeth Taylor

Dame Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) was an actress, one of most beautiful women in the world according to many, and a living legend, one of the last remaining stars of the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood.

She started as a child actress in the 1940s, and become famous with movies like Lassie Come Home, National Velvet and Little Women. She made a successful transition to adult roles in Father of the Bride and A Place In The Sun. After a series of somewhat forgettable films, she appeared in Giant along with James Dean, then was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress four consecutive times for Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly, Last Summer and BUtterfield 8. She won for the last one, which was widely seen as a Consolation Award.

In 1963, she appeared in the big-budget historical epic Cleopatra, for which she recieved a record-breaking $1 million. During production, she started a relationship with her co-star Richard Burton, which caused a huge scandal, since they were both married at the time. Cleopatra went way over budget, and became the most expensive film ever; despite being the highest-grossing movie in 1963, it still was considered a failure.

Taylor and Burton got married in 1964, and made several movies together. The most famous is Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, for which Taylor won her second Oscar. Her performance in the film is widely regarded as the best of her career. In 1967, she and Burton starred in a film adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. This was her last really memorable role. She and Burton divorced in 1974, remarried in 1975, and divorced again in 1976.

From the '80s, she devoted much time to AIDS-related charities, after her friend and co-star, Rock Hudson died of the disease.

Her personal life attracted much attention. Apart from her marriages to Burton, she was married six another times to hotel heir Conrad "Nicky" Hilton (1950-1951), actor Michael Wilding (1952-1957), producer Mike Todd (1957-1958, he died in a plane crash), singer Eddie Fisher (1959-1964 - for added bonus, he was previously married to Debbie Reynolds), U.S. Senator John Warner (1976-1982) and construction worker Larry Fortensky (1991-1996).

She was a close friend of the late Michael Jackson (who toyed with the idea of marrying her as well!).

She died on 23 March, 2011 from congestive heart failure.


Elizabeth Taylor provides examples of the following tropes:
"Well, that sounded just awful, a mutation. But, when he explained that her eyes had double rows of eyelashes, I thought, well, now, that doesn't sound so terrible at all."
—Sara Sothern, Taylor's mother
  • Name's the Same: Not to be confused with other these Elizabeth Taylors
    • The British novelist, who was 20 years older and had the misfortune of publishing her first novel the year after the film National Velvet was released;
    • The American painter and essayist who died a few weeks after this Elizabeth Taylor was born;
    • The Hollyoaks character Liz Burton who married Richard Taylor. (You don't think they were going for a joke there, do you?)
  • Playing Gertrude: In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, she played a character who's in her fifties at 34. Her casting surprised many people, but she proved to be very convincing.
    • Age Lift: Was about ten years older than the actual Cleopatra at the beginning of the movie (which encompasses 18 years).
  • Purple Eyes: One of the most famous Real Life examples. She preferred to describe them as "Blue Eyes with some touches of gold" instead. Which is, more or less, what they really were -- they were a deep blue that appeared to be purple with the right lighting and makeup, a fact which Hollywood and Taylor herself both exploited.
  • Pretty in Mink: Loved to wear fur wraps and fur coats.
  • Promoted Fangirl: A fan of General Hospital, in 1981, she called the executive producer and asked for a cameo role. She got the role of Helena Cassadine.
  • Real Life Relative: She and Burton in the films they made together.
  • Romance on the Set: With Richard Burton.
  • Serial Spouse
  • Special Guest: In The Simpsons episode, "Lisa's First Word", where she had just one line, but an important one; Maggie's first (and for a long time, only) word. "Daddy...".
  • Stage Mom: Her mother was like this.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: One of her trademarks were her violet eyes. Which had two rows of eyelashes each.
  • Yoko Oh No: Taylor was utterly trashed by media and fandom for "stealing" Eddie Fisher from Debbie Reynolds, until she fell seriously ill and almost died.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Her then-husband Mike Todd died in an accident. Todd's best friend was Edwin "Eddie" Fisher, who was married to fellow star Debbie Reynolds. Guess what happened.