Elizabeth Taylor Biography

About the most famous British – American actress – Elizabeth Taylor

Born on 27th February 1932 in the suburbs of London, Elizabeth Taylor was a British- American actress who started her acting career from her childhood and later in life she had become one of the great screen actresses in Hollywood. She was considered as one of the world’s most famous star and was largely recognized for her extraordinary acting ability and her glamorous eyes and distinctive beauty. She was most famous of multiple marriages, beautiful violent eyes and extensive collection of jewelry. It was the movie in the year of 1944 titled as National Velvet that had given her, her first success followed by this; she appeared in the film Father of the Bride which was released in the year of 1950. Elizabeth Taylor had also won an Academy Award in the category of the Best Actress for her performance in the movie Butterfield 8 which was released in the year of 1959. She is the co-founder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research established in the year of 1985 and also the foundation known as Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation which was started in the year of 1993.

Quick Facts:

  • Nick name: Kitten, Liz
  • Date of birth: 27th February, 1932
  • Place of birth: London, England
  • Origin: England
  • Profession: Actress
  • Known for: Her explicit actress skills in films like Butterfield 8 and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Apart from this she is also known for her scandalous love life and stunning violent eyes
  • Website: http://www.elizabethtaylorbeauty.com/

Childhood and growing up years:

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor most commonly known as Elizabeth Taylor was born on 27th February 1932 in her parents’ home located in Heathwood at the 8 Wildwood Road in Hampstead Garden Suburb situated on the northwest of London in England. Elizabeth was accompanied by her older brother who was named Howard Taylor and was born in the year of 1929. However her parents Sara Viola Warmbrodt and Francis Lenn Taylor were Americans who were residing in the country of England but they had their origins from Arkansas City which is located in Kansas. Elizabeth’s father was an art dealer while her mother was a former stage actress with the stage name as “Sara Sothern”. When the World War II broke out the Taylor family relocated their living to the United States and were found beginning a new life in the city of Los Angeles. Her mother retired from acting in the year of 1926 when she was married to Francis in city of New York. Thus, the skill of acting was in her blood which she had got from her mother. And at the very young age of three, Elizabeth had begun dancing and gradually she even got the opportunity to recite for Princess Elizabeth and Margaret. The first two names of Taylor Elizabeth Rosemond are in honor of her parental grandmother whose name was Elizabeth Mary Rosemond.

It was Colonel Victor Cazalet, one of the important family friends who had a great influence on the Taylor family. He was a rich person and a well-connected bachelor and was also the member of the Parliament and he as the close friend of Winston Churchill. Victor was both a theatre and art lover and would always encourage the Taylor family to make a permanent home in England. Apart from being an art lover he was a Christian Scientist who maintained spiritual links with the family. Later on, he was made the godfather to Elizabeth. She acquired a dual citizen of United States and also the United Kingdom although she was born British she had acquired American citizenship through her parents. When Elizabeth was thirteen years of age she started taking ballet classes and just before the beginning of the World War II, her parents decided to return to United States in order to avoid being hostages. The mother and the children first arrived to New York in the year of 1939 in April whereas her father remained in London so as to complete his art business and then joined the family in the month of November. Settled in Los Angeles, her father established a new art gallery in which a number of paintings where bought from England. Soon the gallery attracted numerous Hollywood celebrities who appreciated the work of the modern European paintings.

Claim to fame:

After settling in Los Angeles, Elizabeth’s mother discovered that the people of Hollywood were in thirst for watching a pretty face on screen and some of Sara’s friends and close relatives of the family urged Elizabeth Taylor to take a screen test where she attended and was tested for the role of Bonnie Blue who was Scarlet’s child in the movie Gone With the Wind. However, her mother refused the offer as Elizabeth was still a child and child actress were something alien to her at that time. Apart from this thought in mind, the family would return back to England once the war would finish. It was the columnist of Hollywood Hedda Hopper who had introduced Elizabeth Taylor to Andrea Berens, who was the fiancée of John Cheever Cowdin who was the chairman and stockholder of Universal Pictures. It was Berens who had insisted that Sara takes Elizabeth Taylor to meet Disney Entertainment because of her dazzling and breathtaking beauty. No sooner she was signed a contract with the Universal Studios and made her debut film at the age of 10 by starring in the movie “There’s One Born Every Minute” which was released in the year of 1942. But sadly, the studio fired Elizabeth Taylor after a year for unknown reasons. While some say that she could not live up to the expectations of Cowden while others say that she wasn’t really welcomed at the Universal Studios. However, this was followed by a bigger hit in the movie Home in which she played the role of Lassie Come and was released in the year of 1943. She experienced huge success with this film and was later welcomed to star in another film entitled The White Cliffs of Dover released in the year of 1944. He had acquired the offer of appearing in Lassie film because of her father who was working as a air warden in the MGM for the producer Sam Max through him he learnt that the studio was looking up for an English actress and then Elizabeth Taylor was called on and subsequently a long-term contract was signed at the start of 1943. Taylor chose MGM because she believed that people in this studio were much king and nicer and the following years of work with MGM she was trusted by the crew and eventually she tasted success. But her success and breakout in her acting career came out when she was 12 years old in the year of 1944 when she starred in the film National Velvet. She spent four months working for this film and the film was a huge hit as it pulled out more $4 million apart from making the twelve year old kid a huge glamorous star. In this movie, she plays the role of young girl who trains her horse to win the Grand National. In this movie she co-starred alongside the young actor Mickey Rooney who was also an English newcomer. Years later after the completion of this film Elizabeth Taylor said that this was her most exciting film that she had made in her career despite the fact that this movie made her ill because of the tiring horse riding practices which were a part of the film. This film had acquired a net gross of US $4 million and also the MGM had signed her for a new long-term contract. Followed by the success of this film she was taken for another animal film which was titled as Courage of Lassie released in the year of 1946. In this movie Bill who is a dog outsmarts the Nazis and the success of this film led Taylor to sign another film which was going to pay her $750 per week. She was then followed by the roles of Mary Skinner in film of Warner Brothers titled Life With Father released in the year 1947 and then as Carol Pringle in the movie A Date with Judy in the year of 1948. Also her role as Cynthia Bishop in the movie Cynthia and Susan Prackett in the movie Julia Misbehaves were successful. For being a consistent successful adolescent actress she was given the nickname of “One-Shot Liz” who had a promising career ahead. Her last role as an adolescent young woman was in the movie Little Women which was released in the year of 1949. While she entered her teenage she was still reluctant to her acting career and her actress mother forced Elizabeth Taylor to practice her acting skills and she also accompanied her during filming so that she would signal her daughter in case she commits any mistakes during the delivery of her dialogues. At the sets of these movies, she met a few another people of her age and she was poor at math as she used her fingers to do basic arithmetic. When Elizabeth turned 16, she told her parents that she wanted to quit acting as she was craving to have a normal childhood but her mother told her that she was ungrateful to have one and that acting had become her responsibility not just to the family also to the whole world. So in the year of 1948 in October she sailed to RMS Queen Mary which is in England in order to begin the filming of Conspirator. Elizabeth made an easy transition into adult roles and before the movie Conspirator was released in the year 1949, Time magazine covered an article on her and called her ‘jewel of great price, a true star sapphire’. By now Taylor had developed a matured figure and was appreciated by a number of Hollywood big-wigs although the film Conspirator had failed at the box office. By now Taylor had started to charge a new salary of $2,000 per week and under this new salary of hers she signed the movie The Big Hangover which was released in the year of 1950 however she did not show up success. The picture failed to broadcast the beauties’ of Taylor. It was in the year of 1950 that her first box office adult movie had seen success with the comedy movie Father of the Bride in which she played the role of Kay Banks alongside the actor Joan Bennett and Spencer Tracy. After receiving immense success a sequel was also released entitled as Father’s Little Dividend in the year of 1951. The film tasted success but it was the next film of Elizabeth Taylor that had her acting career set as a dramatic actress. In the late days of the year 1949, Taylor began working with George Stevens film ‘A Place in the Sun’, it was released in the year of 1951 and Elizabeth was largely praised for her performance as playing the role of Angela Vickers who is a spoilt socialite disturbing the life of George Eastman. This film was based on Theodore Dreiser’s novel known as An American Tragedy which is an indictment to “American dream”. By this time, Elizabeth was seventeen years. Although she was just 17 she knew about all the psychological implication and the complications of the story. Her performance in this movie had become a pivotal performance in her career. Critics claimed that film to be a classic one as it survived for the next fifty years in the history of cinema. After receiving compliments for her recent success she was surrounded with a roles but nothing seemed to be satisfying. She wanted to play lead roles in films like I’ll Cry Tomorrow and The Barefoot Contessa but MGM had restricted her to accept these roles. She made a cameo in the movie Callaway Went Thataway in the year 1951 followed by a couple other films in the subsequent years. Two years later she dazzled on the screen with the adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof then followed by Williams classic Suddenly Last Summer. During the same period enacted as a call girl in the film Butterfield 8 for which she has won an Oscar Award.

Her happiness by attaining success was suddenly struck by tragedy and loss in the year of 1958 when she had become a young widow as her husband who was a pioneering film director Mike Todd had lost his life in a plane crash. After the death of her husband, Elizabeth Taylors’ name was made it to the greatest Hollywood love scandals of that era as she had gone into an affair with Todd’s close friend Eddie Fisher. Later, Fisher had submitted divorce papers to Debbie Reynolds and was remarried to Elizabeth in the year of 1959. However, the couple could not stay for long and their marriage ended after five years when she left fisher for another actor known as Richard Burton. She soon took the place in the everyday headlines and was a public’s obsession figure by this time as her love life had reached new dimensions with her marriage in the year of 1964 to Richard Burton. She met this actor while she was shooting for the film Cleopatra in the year of 1963. The communion of Elizabeth Taylor and Burton was a passionate and they shared a fiery love and they also appeared onscreen in the film The V.I.P’s in the year 1963 and two years later in the movie titled Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?. This movie had Taylor achieve her second Oscar Award for her role as an angry and overweight wife of the alcoholic professor Richard Burton. In the following years she had come across many ups and downs while she was also involved in a number of marriages, more divorces and various health obstacles while she struggled side-by-side for her filming career as her movies were gaining her less success among the critics and also the public. However, coping with the tough times she continued to act and also found work in television shows. At this time she had made a guest appearance in General Hospital. Apart from acting she also devoted her time in doing philanthropy. Not enough she was distressed and saddened by her own life the pain was just added as one of her close friend Rock Hudson had passed away in the year of 1985 while suffering from HIV/AIDS. In this pain she began working to find a cure to this deadly disease and in the year of 1991 she established the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation. The aim of this foundation was support patients who are sick and suffering from HIV/AIDS and to conduct research facilities for advanced treatments. By this time, she had retired from acting and she also received a number of awards of her work. In the year of 1993 she was given the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award and in the year of 2000 she was made the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). Throughout the years of 90’s Taylor suffered from health problems ranging from cognitive heart failure to diabetes. She had to get both her hips replaced and in the year of 1997 she got her brain tumor removed and in 2009 of October Taylor who had four children by now went through a successful heart surgeries  and in the early days of 2011 Taylor once again experienced heart problems. She was then admitted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in the month of February for suffering from heart failure. Finally in the year of 2011 on March 23rd she passed away from this world.


Shortly after the death of the popular actress Elizabeth Taylor, her son Michael Wilding released a statement announcing that his mother was an extraordinary woman who lived her life to the fullest by enjoying love, humor and passion. He also said that every person must be inspired by the contribution given by her to this world. During the last days of life she had struggled a lot with her life as she faced a number of health problems and also sadness as she was also divorced with Hilton apart from going through serious health issues in her personal life. In the whole of her life, Elizabeth Taylor was hospitalized for atleast seventy times and went through twenty major operations. A number of newspapers had earlier announced that she was close to death but she herself claimed to almost face death only in four particular occasions. When she was in her mid-fifties she got into the habit of smoking cigarettes and feared to have lung cancer when she got an X-Ray done in the year of 1975 in the month of October but fortunately she did not have this disease.

After all the pain, fame and illness, Elizabeth Taylor remains as the “greatest movie start of all”, the title given by the biographer William J. Mann. As a child star when she was just twelve years old she was launched into public eyes by MGM which was followed by a string of successful films. She is made the “Hollywood Icon” and is given the Hollywood fame for creating model stardom. She was also one of the major sparkling actresses in the sexual revolution that took place in the early 1960’s and she moved ahead and removed the envelope of sexuality by posing nude for the Playboy magazine. Her dynamics of acting does not end her as she was the first star to remove her clothes onscreen too. On the other hand, in the real life she was considered as “a star without airs” by Mann while others describes her as being a movie queen with no ego. Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times having seven husbands and when someone asked her about why so many marriages, Taylor would always comment that if she fell in love once she would not have a love affair and said she was old-fashioned. When Elizabeth was twenty-seven years old she converted from Christian to Judaism. After the conversion she then took the Hebrew name Elisheba Rachael. This conversion of religion as on her mind since long and it was not related anywhere to her marriages.

She was a person who had passion for perfume, fashion and jewelry. At the time of Taylor’s death, the estimated jewelry that she owned was said to be $150 million. She was a regular client of the famous jewelry designer Shlomo Moussaieff. She owned some very explicit pieces and among those two of the pieces are said to be unique, one being the 33.19 carat Krupp Diamond which was worn by Elizabeth Taylor everyday and the other one was a 69.42 carat pear shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond. Both of these extraordinary pieces were gifts given to her by her husband. At the time of her death, she left an estate which is estimated to be worth $600 million to about $1million, $130 million in real estate business and more than $150 million with her jewelry. The collection of her jewelry is complied in the book entitled as My Love Affair with Jewelry which was published in the year 2002 along with photographs by a New York photographer known as John Bigelow Taylor.

Awards and Nominations Received:

Elizabeth Taylor had won two Academy Awards in her entire acting career where one is given for being the Best Actress for her performance in the movie Butterfield 8 which was released in the year of 1960 and the second for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in the year of 1966. Apart from the above awards, she was also given the prestigious Jean Herscholt Humanitarian Award in the year of 1992 for her work fighting for curing HIV/AIDS.

In the year of 1997 she was honored with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) along with the Life Achievement Award. Unfortunately, Taylor could not attend this award ceremony and the award was accepted by Gregory Peck on behalf of Taylor.

Apart from this she also received the BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Awards, Golden Laurel Award and many more. The list of her awards and nominations is never ending. During her entire life on earth she was showered with various awards for both her acting performance and also for her humanitarian works.

Trade Marks:

  • Dazzling Violent Eyes.
  • Her love affairs with expensive and unique jewelry
  • Dark Black Hair
  • Light Complexion

Personal Quotes:

My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.

You find out who your real friends are when you’re involved in a scandal.

“I don’t like my voice. I don’t like the way I look. I don’t like the way I move. I don’t like the way I act. I mean, period. So, you know, I don’t like myself.”

 “If someone’s dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I’m certainly not dumb enough to turn it down.”

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