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|Elizabeth Taylor Biography and Filmography
Birthday: February 27, 1932
Birth Place: Hampstead, London, England, UK
Height: 5' 4"
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Elizabeth Taylor was the ultimate movie star: violet-eyed, luminously beautiful, and bigger than life; although never the most gifted actress, she was the most magnetic, commanding the spotlight with unparalleled power. Few figures have been the recipient of such adoration, the target of such ridicule, or the subject of such gossip and innuendo, and where so many before and after her withered and died in the intense glare of their fame, Taylor thrived; celebrity was her lifeblood, the public eye her constant companion. She knew no moderation — it was all or nothing. Whether good (two Oscars, the first-ever one-million-dollar paycheck, and charity work), bad (health and weight problems, drug battles, and other tragedies), or ugly (eight failed marriages, movie disasters, and countless scandals), no triumph or setback was too personal for media consumption. Born February 27, 1932, in London, Taylor literally grew up in public. At the beginning of World War II, her family relocated to Hollywood, and by the age of ten she was already under contract at Universal. She made her screen debut in 1942's There's One Born Every Minute, followed a year later by a prominent role in Lassie Come Home. For MGM, she co-starred in the 1944 adaptation of Jane Eyre, then appeared in The White Cliffs of Dover. With her first lead role as a teen equestrian in the 1944 family classic National Velvet, Taylor became a star. To their credit, MGM did not exploit her, despite her incredible beauty; she did not even reappear onscreen for two more years, returning with Courage of Lassie. Taylor next starred as Cynthia in 1947, followed by Life With Father. In Julia Misbehaves, she enjoyed her first grown-up role, and then portrayed Amy in the 1947 adaptation of Little Women. Taylor's first romantic lead came opposite Robert Taylor in 1949's Conspirator. Her love life was already blossoming offscreen as well; that same year she began dating millionaire Howard Hughes, but broke off the relationship to marry hotel heir Nicky Hilton when she was just 17 years old. The marriage made international headlines, and in 1950 Taylor scored a major hit as Spencer Tracy's daughter in Vincente Minnelli's Father of the Bride; a sequel, Father's Little Dividend, premiered a year later. Renowned as one of the world's most beautiful women, Taylor was nevertheless largely dismissed as an actress prior to an excellent performance in the George Stevens drama A Place in the Sun; soon, she was earning upwards of 5,000 dollars a week. Taylor's marriage to Hilton proved short-lived, and in 1952 she married actor Michael Wilding. Often her romantic life overshadowed her career; indeed, her films of the early '50s were largely undistinguished and frequently performed poorly at the box office. In 1956, however, the actress reunited with Stevens to star in his epic adaptation of the Edna Ferber novel Giant. It was a blockbuster, as was her 1957 follow-up Raintree County, for which she earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination. That same year, Taylor's marriage to Wilding ended, and she soon announced her much-publicized engagement to producer Mike Todd; his tragic death in a plane crash the following year left her the world's most glamorous widow, and her fame grew even larger. Whatever sympathy audiences held for Taylor quickly vanished, however, when she was soon identified as the other woman in the break-up of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds; their romantic triangle played out in the headlines of tabloids the world over, and although Taylor eventually stole Fisher away, the careers of all three performers were boosted by the scandal — the public simply could not get enough. Taylor's sexy image was further elevated by an impossibly sensual performance in 1958's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; another Tennessee Williams adaptation, Suddenly Last Summer, followed a year later, and both were highly successful. To complete the terms of her MGM contract, she grudgingly agreed to star in 1960's Butterfield 8; upon completing the film Taylor traveled to Britain to begin work on the much-heralded Cleopatra, for which she received an unprecedented one-million-dollar fee. In London she became dangerously ill, and underwent a life-saving emergency tracheotomy. Hollywood sympathy proved sufficient for her to win a Best Actress Oscar for Butterfield 8, although much of the good will extended toward her again dissipated in the wake of the mounting difficulties facing Cleopatra. With five million dollars already spent, producers pulled the plug and relocated the shoot to Italy, replacing co-star Stephen Boyd with Richard Burton. The final tally placed the film at a cost of 37 million dollars, making it the most costly project in film history; scheduled for a 16-week shoot, the production actually took years, and despite mountains of pre-publicity, it was a huge disaster at the box office upon its 1963 premiere. Still, the notice paid to Cleopatra paled in comparison to the scrutiny which greeted Taylor's latest romance, with Burton; she left Fisher to marry the actor in 1964, and perhaps no Hollywood relationship was ever the subject of such intense media coverage. Theirs was a passionate, stormy relationship, played out in the press and onscreen in films including 1963's The V.I.P.'s and 1965's The Sandpiper. In 1966, the couple starred in Mike Nichols' controversial directorial debut Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, arguably Taylor's best performance; overweight, verbally cutting, and defiantly unglamorous, she won a second Oscar for her work as the embittered wife of Burton's alcoholic professor. Their real-life marriage managed to survive, however, and after Taylor appeared opposite Marlon Brando in 1967's Reflections in a Golden Eye, she and Burton reunited for The Comedians. She also starred in Franco Zeffirelli's The Taming of the Shrew, but none were successful at the box office; 1968's Doctor Faustus was a disaster, and later that year Boom! failed to gross even one-quarter of its costs. After 1969's Secret Ceremony, Taylor starred in The Only Game in Town, a year later; when they too failed, her days of million-dollar salaries were over, and she began working on percentage.With Burton, Taylor next appeared in a small role in 1971's Under Milk Wood; next was X, Y and Zee, followed by another spousal collaboration, Hammersmith Is Out. In 1972 the Burtons also co-starred in a television feature, Divorce His, Divorce Hers; the title proved prescient, as two years later, the couple did indeed divorce after a decade together. However, few anticipated the next development in their relationship: In 1975, it was announced that Taylor and Burton had remarried, but this time their union lasted barely a year. In the meantime, she was largely absent from films, and did not reappear until 1976's The Blue Bird; a year later, she starred in the telefilm Victory at Entebbe. Taylor concluded the decade with a prolific burst of feature films (A Little Night Music, Winter Kills, The Mirror Crack'd) and TV work (Return Engagement), but audiences no longer seemed interested. Indeed, she made more headlines for her increasing weight, continued health problems, and revelations of drug and alcohol abuse than she did for any of her films. As always, Taylor's love life remained the focus of much speculation as well, and from 1976 to 1982 she was married to politician John Warner. With no film offers forthcoming, Taylor turned to the stage, and in 1981 she starred in a production of The Little Foxes. In 1983, she and Burton also reunited to co-star on Broadway in Private Lives. Television also remained an option, and in 1983 she and Carol Burnett co-starred in Between Friends. However, Taylor's primary focus during the decades to follow was charity work; following the death of her close friend, Rock Hudson, she became a leader in the battle against AIDS, and for her efforts won the 1993 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. She also launched a successful line of perfumes. And of course, Taylor remained a fixture of tabloid headlines; she maintained a close friendship with another favorite target of the tabloids, King-of-Pop Michael Jackson, and during a well-publicized stay at the Betty Ford Clinic, she began a romance with Larry Fortensky, a construction worker many years her junior. They married in 1989, but like her other relationships, it did not last. In between, there was also the occasional film or television project. In 1988, she and Zeffirelli reunited for Young Toscanini, but the picture was never released; a 1989 TV adaptation of Sweet Bird of Youth earned Taylor considerable publicity, but she didn't appear in another film until 1994 with The Flintstones. In 1997, the actress once again became a featured tabloid topic when she underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumor. The same year, she received attention of a more favorable variety with Happy Birthday Elizabeth: A Celebration of Life, a TV special in which she was paid tribute by a number of stars including Madonna, Shirley MacLaine, John Travolta, Dennis Hopper, and Cher. In 2001, Taylor managed the impressive feat of dredging up both old tabloid headlines and creating new ones, thanks to her starring role in the television movie These Old Broads. Co-starring with Shirley MacLaine, Joan Collins, and her old rival, Debbie Reynolds, Taylor's involvement with the project — which was co-written by Reynolds' daughter, Carrie Fisher, and featured her son, Todd Fisher, in a supporting role — engendered more than a few inches in the nation's gossip columns, although both Taylor and Reynolds were quick to point out that they had laid their differences to rest a long time ago.
- She was bridesmaid for Jane Powell for her first marriage. Powell was bridesmaid for Taylor at her first marriage.
- Ranked #72 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
- Discharged from hospital, but later rushed back in after a suffering a brain seizure. Said to be comfortable. [26 February 1997]
- Underwent successful surgery to remove the benign brain tumor. [20 February 1997]
- Has four children and nine grandchildren.
- Mother of Chris and Michael Wilding Jr.
- Her daughter, Liza Todd Burton, with Michael Todd, is a sculptor, who has two sons, Quinn and Rhys, with her husband artist Hap Tivey
- Has appeared solo on the cover of PEOPLE magazine 14 times, second only to Princess Diana (as of 1996).
- Liz and Richard Burton appeared together on stage in a 1983 revival of "Private Lives."
- Her episode of "Biography" (1987) was the highest-rated episode of that series on Arts & Entertainment (thru the end of 1995).
- American Film Institute Life Achievement Award 
- Liz was a close friend of Montgomery Clift until his death in 1966. They met for the first time when Paramount decided that she had to accompany him to the premiere of The Heiress (1949) because they were both to star in the upcoming A Place in the Sun (1951). They liked each other right away. Clift used to call her "Bessie Mae". When he had a car accident a few years later that disfigured him, he had just left a party at Liz's house. It was she who found him first, got into the wreck and removed some teeth from his throat that threatened to choke him.
- Her perfumes have been Passion (1987), White Diamonds (1991), Diamonds and Rubies, Diamonds and Emeralds, Diamonds and Sapphares and Black Pearls (1995).
- At one point during Elizabeth's life-threatening illness while filming BUtterfield 8, the actress was actually pronounced dead.
- First actress to earn US,000,000 for a movie role (in Cleopatra (1963).)
- Along with actress Julie Andrews, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II on New Year's Eve, 1999.
- Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#16). 
- Mother-in-law of Brooke Palance.
- Lives in BelAir house once owned by Frank Sinatra when he was married to first wife, Nancy.
- Born at 2:15 AM GMT
- Has owned some of the world's most magnificent jewelry, including the the 33-carat "Krupp Diamond", the Duchess of Windsor diamond brooch, the Grand Duchess of Russia emeralds, the "LaPeregina Pearl" (which was a Valentine present from her from Richard Burton), and the famous pear-shaped 69-carat "Burton-Cartier Diamond" Burton gave her in 1969 (subsequently renamed the "Burton-Taylor Diamond."
- Considers Michael Jackson among her closest friends.
- In the early 1970s, she planned to star in the movie version of the hit 1971 Broadway play 'Twigs' written by George Furth in which she would have played four characters -- three sisters and their aged, cranky Bronx-Irish mother -- never materialized.
- Stepmother of the late Michael Todd Jr., who actually as three years older than her.
- She is a recipient of the 2002 John F. Kennedy Center Honors.
- Admitted in an interview with Barbara Walters in the late 1990s that she would still like to act but, because of her medical problems, no movie company will insure her. In addition to many other medical problems, including a benign brain tumor she had removed, she has broken her back four times. This causes her severe pain when walking or standing for long amounts of time.
- She is mentioned in the song "Lady Nina" by rock band Marillion.
- The stories of her Oscar win for BUtterfield 8 (1960) have grown legendary. It is generally accepted as truth that she won Oscar voters by a vote of sympathy, because of the recent death of her husband, Michael Todd, and her near-fatal illness and emergency tracheotomy to save her life (her scar was very visible on Oscar night). Wisecracker and Rat Pack member Shirley MacLaine, who was favored to win for her role in The Apartment (1960), said afterwards that "I lost out to a tracheotomy."
- Measurements: 36C-21-36 (for the majority of her film career), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
- The premiere of her film Father of the Bride (1950) took place two days after her real-life marriage to Conrad Hilton Jr.. The publicity surrounding the event is credited with helping to make the film so successful. The marriage lasted as long as the 3 month European honeymoon. Irreconcilable differences were cited in the divorce court.
- She was voted the 11th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
- Two sons with Michael Wilding: Michael Howard (born January 6, 1953) and Christopher Edward (born February 28, 1955). Her daughter with Michael Todd, Elizabeth Frances Todd, called "Liza", was born August 6, 1957. Her daughter, Maria Burton, (adopted 1964 with Richard Burton) was born August 1, 1961.
- Ranked #7 in the American Film Insitutes list of the 50 'Greatest American Screen Legends', the top 25 male and top 25 female.
- Although born in England, her parents were actually Americans who were just working in England. Her mother was of German descent and her dad was of Scots-Irish descent.
- Premiere Magazine ranked her as #40 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
- Announced in November 2004 she has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, but vowed to continue raising funds for AIDS charities and to build a Richard Burton Memorial Theatre in Cardiff, Wales.
- Is portrayed by Sherilyn Fenn in Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (1995) (TV)
- Was unable to give evidence at Michael Jackson's trial due to illness.
- She was (along with Marisa Berenson) co-matron of honor at Liza Minnelli's and David Guest's wedding
- Along with 'Mark Hamill (I)' and Joe Mantegna, she is one of only three actors to play both themselves and a fictional character in "The Simpsons" (1989). She supplied the voice of Maggie Simpsons in the Season Four episode "Lisa's First Word" and portrayed herself in the Season Four episode "Krusty Get Kancelled".
- She and Richard Burton made together in 12 movies: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The V.I.P.s (1963), Under Milk Wood (1972), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), The Sandpiper (1965), Hammersmith Is Out (1972), Doctor Faustus (1967), Divorce His - Divorce Hers (1973) (TV), The Comedians (1967), Cleopatra (1963), Boom (1968) and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)
- In 1969, Richard Burton bought her one of the world's largest and most beautiful diamonds from the jeweler Cartier after losing an auction for the 69-carat, pear-shaped stone to the jeweler, which won with a million bid. The rough diamond that would yield the prized stone weighed 244 carats and was found in 1966 at South Africa's Premier mine. Harry Winston cut and polished the diamond, which was put up for auction in 1969. Burton purchased the diamond from Cartier the next day for ,069,000 to give to Taylor. The small premium was the result of the publicity Cartier garnered from selling the stone, then-called the "Burton-Cartier Diamond," to the then-"world's most famous couple." Ten years later, the twice-divorced-from-Burton Taylor herself auctioned off the "Buton-Taylor Diamond" to fund a hospital in Botswana. The last recorded sale of the Taylor-Burton was in 1979 for nearly ,000,000 to an anonymous buyer in Saudi Arabia. The ring was the center of the classic Here's Lucy (1968) episode "Lucy Meets the Burtons," in which Lucy Carter, played by Lucille Ball, gets the famous ring stuck on her finger. The actual ring was used and the episode was the highest rated episode of the very popular series.
- Auctioned off her diamond-and-emerald engagement ring from Richard Burton to raise money for an AIDS charity.
- Her third husband Michael Todd gave her a 29-carat diamond ring during their marriage, a feat topped by fifth husband Richard Burton when he gave her the 69-carat "Burton-Cartier" (later renamed "Burton-Taylor") diamond. Fourth-husband Eddie Fisher said that a ,000 diamond could keep Taylor happy for approximately four days.
- Was named a Dame of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on the Millenium New Year's Honours List, December 31, 1999.
- Writer Charles Bukowski, in his newspaper column (and later book) "Notes of a Dirty Old Man," revealed that he loathed Taylor as an absurd icon of the celebrity-mad, media-besotted American culture that he despised.
- 1976: Won the title of "Most Memorable Eyebrows" in a magazine poll. The first runner up was Lassie.
- Was unable to attend the civil partnership ceremony of her friend Sir Elton John in England due to her illness. (December 2005)
- Became friends with Marlon Brando while shooting Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967). Brando agreed to pick up her Best Actress Award for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) from the New York Film Critics Circle. When Brando made his appearance at the NYFCC Award ceremony at Sardi's on January 29, 1967, he hectored the critics, querying them as to why they hadn't recognized Liz before. He then flew to Dahomey, Africa where Taylor was shooting The Comedians (1967) with Burton to personally deliver the award, a development Burton thought odd. Later in the '60s, Brando socialized with the Burtons, visiting them on their famous yacht the Kalizma, while they plied the Mediterreanean. Brando's ex-wife Anna Kashfi, in her book "Brando for Breakfast" (1979), claimed that Brando and Burton got into a fist-fight aboard the yacht, probably over Liz, but nothing of the incident appears in Burton's voluminous diaries. In his diaries, Burton found Brando to be quite intelligent but believed he suffered, like Liz did, from becoming too famous too early in his life and believed their affinity for one another was based on this. (Both Liz and Marlon would later befriend Michael Jackson, another superstar-cum-legend who had become too famous too soon.) Burton recognized Brando as a great actor, but felt he would have been more suited to silent films due to the deficiency in his voice (the famous "mumble"). As a silent film star, Burton believed Brando would have been the greatest motion picture actor ever.
- In 2006 she introduced a line of diamond and precious stone jewelry called "House of Taylor". The designs are said to be inspired by certain favorite pieces in her own collection. She actually wrote a book on jewelry and is considered to be an authority on the subject.
- Cancelled her appearance at the Cannes Film Festival, prompting renewed fears about her health. The acting legend usually attends an annual charity dinner organized by the American Foundation For AIDS Research (AMFAR), which always coincides with the South of France festival. However, Taylor - who also pulled out in 2004 due to health problems - was replaced by Sharon Stone and Liza Minnelli at the gala. (May 2005)
- Underwent radiation therapy in 2002 for basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer.
- After her son Michael had renounced his American citizenship for possession of marijuana, the U.S. Congress passed a bill to block his deportation (1988).
- Her beloved dog, a Maltese named Sugar, died in 2005. Some months later, she purchased Daisy, one of Sugar's descendants.
- Her older brother Howard was born in 1929.
- Her older brother Howard Taylor was born in 1929.