Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

Colorized film still of Taylor, late 1950s
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor

(1932-02-27)February 27, 1932
DiedMarch 23, 2011(2011-03-23) (aged 79)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, U.S.
Years active1942–2003
TitleDame (2000)
Awardselizabethtaylor.com Edit this at Wikidata

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor DBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was a British-American actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian. She began her career as a child actress in the early 1940s, and was one of the most popular stars of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1950s. She continued her career successfully into the 1960s, and remained a well-known public figure for the rest of her life. In 1999, the American Film Institute named her the seventh-greatest female screen legend.

Born in London to socially prominent American parents, Taylor moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1939. She made her acting debut in a minor role in the Universal Pictures film There's One Born Every Minute (1942) but the studio ended her contract after a year. She was then signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and became a popular teen star after appearing in National Velvet (1944). She transitioned to more mature roles in the 1950s, when she starred in the comedy Father of the Bride (1950) and received critical acclaim for her performance in the drama A Place in the Sun (1951).

Despite being one of MGM's most bankable stars, Taylor wished to end her career in the early 1950s. She resented the studio's control and disliked many of the films to which she was assigned. She began receiving roles she enjoyed more in the mid-1950s, beginning with the epic drama Giant (1956), and starred in several critically and commercially successful films in the following years. These included two film adaptations of plays by Tennessee Williams: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959); Taylor won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for the latter. Although she disliked her role as a call girl in BUtterfield 8 (1960), her last film for MGM, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.

Taylor was paid a then-record-breaking $1 million to play the title role in the historical epic Cleopatra (1963), the most expensive film made up to that point. During the filming, Taylor and co-star Richard Burton began an extramarital affair, which caused a scandal. Despite public disapproval, she and Burton continued their relationship and were married in 1964. Dubbed "Liz and Dick" by the media, they starred in 11 films together, including The V.I.P.s (1963), The Sandpiper (1965), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Taylor received the best reviews of her career for Woolf, winning her second Academy Award and several other awards for her performance. She and Burton divorced in 1974, but reconciled soon after, and remarried in 1975. The second marriage ended in divorce in 1976.

Taylor's acting career began to decline in the late 1960s, although she continued starring in films until the mid-1970s, after which she focused on supporting the career of her sixth husband, Senator John Warner. In the 1980s, she acted in her first substantial stage roles and in several television films and series, and became the first celebrity to launch a perfume brand. Taylor was also one of the first celebrities to take part in HIV/AIDS activism. She co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985, and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991. From the early 1990s until her death, she dedicated her time to philanthropy, for which she received several accolades, including the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Throughout her career, Taylor's personal life was the subject of constant media attention. She was married eight times to seven men, endured several serious illnesses, and led a jet set lifestyle, including assembling one of the most expensive private collections of jewelry in the world. After many years of ill health, Taylor died from congestive heart failure in 2011, at the age of 79.

Early life

Fifteen-year-old Taylor with her parents at the Stork Club in Manhattan, 1947

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born on February 27, 1932, at Heathwood, her family's home on 8 Wildwood Road in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London.[1]:3–10 She received dual British-American citizenship at birth, as her parents, art dealer Francis Lenn Taylor (1897–1968) and retired stage actress Sara Sothern (née Sara Viola Warmbrodt, 1895–1994), were United States citizens, both originally from Arkansas City, Kansas.[1]:3–10[a] They moved to London in 1929, and opened an art gallery on Bond Street; their first child, a son named Howard, was born the same year.[5]:61[1]:3–11

The family led a privileged life in London during Taylor's childhood.[1]:11–19 Their social circle included artists such as Augustus John and Laura Knight, and politicians such as Colonel Victor Cazalet.[1]:11–19 Cazalet was Taylor's unofficial godfather, and an important influence in her early life.[1]:11–19 She was enrolled in Byron House, a Montessori school in Highgate, and was raised according to the teachings of Christian Science, the religion of her mother and Cazalet.[1]:3,11–19,20–23

In early 1939, the Taylors decided to return to the United States due to fear of impending war in Europe.[1]:22–26 United States ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy also contacted Francis and encouraged him to return to the US with his family.[6] Sara and the children left first in April 1939 aboard the ocean liner SS Manhattan, and moved in with Taylor's maternal grandfather in Pasadena, California.[1]:22–28[7] Francis stayed behind to close the London gallery, and joined them in December.[1]:22–28 In early 1940, he opened a new gallery in Los Angeles, and after briefly living in Pacific Palisades with the Chapman family, the family settled in Beverly Hills, where Taylor and her brother were enrolled in Hawthorne School.[1]:27–34

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Elizabeth Taylor
Alemannisch: Elizabeth Taylor
aragonés: Elizabeth Taylor
asturianu: Elizabeth Taylor
Aymar aru: Elizabeth Taylor
azərbaycanca: Elizabet Teylor
Bahasa Banjar: Elizabeth Taylor
Bân-lâm-gú: Elizabeth Taylor
башҡортса: Элизабет Тейлор
беларуская: Элізабет Тэйлар
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Элізабэт Тэйлар
Bikol Central: Elizabeth Taylor
български: Елизабет Тейлър
Esperanto: Elizabeth Taylor
føroyskt: Elizabeth Taylor
français: Elizabeth Taylor
Bahasa Indonesia: Elizabeth Taylor
íslenska: Elizabeth Taylor
кырык мары: Тейлор, Элизабет
Lëtzebuergesch: Elizabeth Taylor
lietuvių: Elizabeth Taylor
македонски: Елизабет Тејлор
مازِرونی: الیزابت تیلور
Bahasa Melayu: Elizabeth Taylor
မြန်မာဘာသာ: အဲလိဇဘက်တေလာ
Nederlands: Elizabeth Taylor
norsk nynorsk: Elizabeth Taylor
português: Elizabeth Taylor
Runa Simi: Elizabeth Taylor
Simple English: Elizabeth Taylor
slovenščina: Elizabeth Taylor
српски / srpski: Елизабет Тејлор
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Elizabeth Taylor
татарча/tatarça: Elizabet Teylor
українська: Елізабет Тейлор
Tiếng Việt: Elizabeth Taylor