Elizabeth Taylor, born on February 27, 1932, was a British-American actress that became one of the most prominent names in classical Hollywood cinema. Acting was a huge part of her life, having started her career as a child actor. Her name took off in the 1950s when she starred in the popular comedy film “Father of the Bride” (1950) and the critically-acclaimed drama “A Place in the Sun” (1951). Nearing the 1960s, she earned a Golden Globe and Academy Award in the Best Actress categories. Celebrate her special day with us!
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor
February 27, 1932
March 23, 2011 (age 79)
Elizabeth Taylor is one of the greatest actresses of the classic Hollywood era in the 1950s. Her prowess has earned her the title of the seventh-greatest female legend of Classic Hollywood Cinema by the American Film Institute. She was born Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor on February 27, 1932, in Heathwood, London. Her parents were art dealer Francis Taylor and former stage actress Sara Sothern. She grew up in London before her family decided to move to California, United States in 1939 because of the impending war in Europe.
She started acting when she was living in California, passing the auditions for Universal Pictures and M.G.M. in 1941. She eventually chose Universal Pictures and appeared in a minor role in “There’s One Born Every Minute” (1941). Sadly, the company chose to not continue with her contract because of how different her image was from other child actors at that time. In 1942, she began starring in films under M.G.M. Her first starring role was in the sports film “National Velvet” (1944) on film director Clarence Brown’s recommendation. The film became a box-office success, and Taylor earned highly positive comments, marking this as the beginning of her stardom. Throughout the years, Taylor starred in several critically-acclaimed films, such as “Julia Misbehaves” (1948), “Father of the Bride” (1950), and “A Place in the Sun” (1951). After finishing her contract with M.G.M., she starred in “Cleopatra” (1963), which “Life” magazine dubbed the ‘Most Talked About Movie Ever Made.’ Taylor began her semi-retirement from films in the 1980s, eventually acting in television productions. She ventured into activism for H.I.V./AIDS. in the 1990s and had several T.V. cameos.
Being one of the biggest stars of her generation, Taylor’s private life garnered intense media attention and public comments. She has married a total of eight times, twice to the same man. Her first marriage was when she was 18, to American socialite Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr. in 1950. After their divorce in 1951, she married her second husband, actor Michael Wilding in 1952. The couple had two sons: Michael Howard and Christopher Edward, and their divorce took place in 1957. She then married film producer Mike Todd in the same year, and the couple had one daughter, Elizabeth Frances. Todd passed away in a plane crash in 1958, which lead to her affair with singer Eddie Fisher, whom she married in 1959. They divorced in 1964 after it was discovered that Taylor had an affair with her “Cleopatra” co-star, Richard Burton. She married Burton 10 days afterward. They would separate in 1974, but would remarry in 1975 and would again end up divorcing in 1976. She then married politician John Warner in 1976 and divorced him in 1982. In 1991, she married her seventh and last husband, construction worker Larry Fortensky, with whom she would stay until 1996. They kept in touch until her passing, and she included him in her will.
After passing the auditions for Universal Pictures, Taylor makes her acting debut through a minor role in “There’s One Born Every Minute.”
Following her signing with M.G.M., Taylor earns her first starring role in the sports film “National Velvet.”
She earns her first Academy Award nomination for her role in “Raintree’s County,” even though the film does not garner the expected success.
She appears in the starring role in the box-office hit “Cleopatra,” making it possibly one of her most popular works.
For her career and lifetime contribution to the film industry, Taylor receives the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.
Taylor closes her acting career by starring in “The Flintstones,” marking a commercial success.
Why We Love Elizabeth Taylor
She went after what she wanted
Though she gained massive success, Taylor stated that she was unhappy with several of her works. Even so, she fought for more roles that felt right to her and made her happy.
She kept herself real
Despite the public’s opinions on her image, she never cared about them and did what she wanted. She stated that she never pretended to be an ordinary housewife because she was not and she couldn’t be.
She co-founded AIDS. Research
With her fame and money, she became one of the first celebrities to become an H.I.V./AIDS. activist. She co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research and established the Elizabeth Taylor Foundation.
5 Surprising Facts
She appeared in numerous “Life” magazine covers
She first landed on the “Life” magazine’s cover when she was 15 and has graced them 14 times in total.
She is a Dame
She was awarded the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000, along with Julie Andrews.
She had double the eyelashes
Taylor had twice the usual amount of eyelashes on a woman.
She would marry Burton again
Taylor revealed that if he did not pass back then, she would marry him again for the third time.
She created a fragrance
She was the first celebrity known to create a fragrance of her own, which she would call “Passion.”
Elizabeth Taylor FAQs
Did Elizabeth Taylor have purple eyes?
Yes, she did. She appeared to have rare natural purple eyes.
Did Elizabeth Taylor have siblings?
Yes, she did. She had an older brother named Howard.
What happened to Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry?
It went for auction at Charlie’s in 2011.
Elizabeth Taylor’s birthday dates