Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the actress. There are also articles about the painter and the novelist of the same name.
She was born Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor in Hampstead, London, England, the second child of Francis Lenn Taylor (December 28, 1897-November 20, 1968) and Sara Viola Warmbrodt (August 21, 1896-September 11, 1994). Her older brother is Howard Taylor (born 1929).
Though sometimes referred to as "Liz," she is not fond of that name. She prefers her given name to be pronounced Eee-lizabeth. Her given and middle names were in honor of her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Taylor, who was born Elizabeth Mary Rosemond.
Taylor was born with dual British and American citizenship. Her American parents were both originally from Arkansas City, Kansas. Her father was an art dealer and her mother a former actress whose stage name was Sara Sothern. Sara retired from the stage when she and Francis Taylor married in 1926 in New York.
At the age of three, Elizabeth began taking ballet lessons. After England entered World War II, her parents decided to return to the United States to avoid hostilities. Her mother took the children first, while her father remained in London to wrap up matters in the art business. They settled in Los Angeles, California, where Sara's family, the Warmbrodts, were then living.
Taylor appeared in her first motion picture at the age of nine for Universal. They let her contract drop and she was signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her first movie with that studio was Lassie Come Home (1943). This drew favorable attention. After a couple more movies, the second on loan-out to 20th Century Fox, she appeared in her first leading role and achieved child star status playing Velvet Brown, a young girl who trains a horse to win the Grand National in Clarence Brown's movie National Velvet (1944) with Mickey Rooney. National Velvet was a big hit, grossing over $4,000,000 at the box-office, and she was signed to a long term contract.
Taylor is famous for her beauty, violet eyes and raven hair. Considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, she also gained great respect as an accomplished actress.
Elizabeth Taylor won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performances in BUtterfield 8 (1960) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966). She was nominated for Raintree County (1957), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959).
In 1963, Taylor became the highest paid movie star up until that time when she accepted $1,000,000 to play the title role in the lavish production of Cleopatra for 20th Century Fox. And it was during the filming of that movie that she worked for the first time with future husband, Richard Burton, who played Mark Antony.
Taylor has been married eight times to seven husbands: hotel heir Nicky Hilton (married May 6, 1950-divorced January 29, 1951); actor Michael Wilding (married February 21, 1952-divorced January 26, 1957); producer Mike Todd (married February 2, 1957-his death March 22, 1958); singer Eddie Fisher (married May 12, 1959-divorced March 6, 1964); actor Richard Burton (married March 15, 1964-divorced June 26, 1974); actor Richard Burton (2nd Marriage) (married October 10, 1975-divorced July 29, 1976); senator John Warner (married December 4, 1976-divorced November 7, 1982); and teamster construction-equipment operator Larry Fortensky (married October 6, 1991-divorced October 31, 1996).
Taylor and Wilding had two sons, Michael Howard Wilding (born January 6, 1953) and Christopher Edward Wilding (born February 27, 1955). She and Todd had one daughter, Elizabeth Frances Todd, called "Liza," (born August 6, 1957). And in 1964, she and Fisher started adoption proceedings for a daughter, who Burton later adopted, Maria Burton (born August 1, 1961).
Elizabeth Taylor has also appeared a number of times on television, including the 1973 made-for-TV movie with then husband, Richard Burton, titled Divorce His - Divorce Hers . In 1985, she played movie columnist Louella Parsons in Malice in Wonderland and appeared in the mini-series North and South. And in 2001, she played an agent in These Old Broads . She has also appeared on a number of TV programs, including General Hospital, All My Children and The Simpsons (as the voice of Maggie).
She also launched two perfumes, "Passion" and "White Diamonds," that together earn an estimated $200,000,000 in annual sales.
Taylor has devoted much time and energy to AIDS-related charities and fundraising. She helped start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) after the death of her former co-star and friend, Rock Hudson. She also created her own AIDS foundation. By 1999, she had helped to raise an estimated $50,000,000 to fight the disease.
Though she was thrilled with this honor, Taylor cracked, "I've always been a broad, now I'm a dame."
As of January 2005, Elizabeth Taylor is in ailing health. She suffers congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart pumps insufficient amounts of blood throughout the body. She has broken her back five times, has survived a brain tumor, and has faced life-threatening bouts with pneumonia twice.
- There's One Born Every Minute (1942) (Universal) ... Gloria Twine
- Lassie Come Home (1943) (MGM) ... Priscilla
- The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) (MGM) ... Betsy at 10 (uncredited)
- Jane Eyre (1944) (20th Century Fox) ... Helen Burns (uncredited)
- National Velvet (1944) (MGM) ... Velvet Brown
- Courage of Lassie (1946) (MGM) ... Kathie Merrick
- Life with Father (1947) (MGM) ... Mary
- Cynthia (1947) (MGM) ... Cynthia Bishop
- A Date with Judy (1948) (MGM) ... Carol Pringle
- Julia Misbehaves (1948) (MGM) ... Susan Packett
- Little Women (1949) (MGM) ... Amy March
- Conspirator (1949) (MGM) ... Melinda Greyton
- The Big Hangover (1950) (MGM) ... Mary Belney
- Father of the Bride (1950) (MGM) ... Kay Banks
- Quo Vadis? (1951) (MGM) ... Christian prisoner in arena (uncredited)
- Father's Little Dividend (1951) (MGM) ... Kay "Kitten" Dunston
- A Place in the Sun (1951) (Paramount) ... Angela Vickers
- Love Is Better Than Ever (1952) (MGM) ... Anastacia "Stacie" Macaboy
- Ivanhoe (1952) (MGM) ... Rebecca
- The Girl Who Had Everything (1953) (MGM) ... Jean Latimer
- Rhapsody (1954) (MGM) ... Louise Durant
- Elephant Walk (1954) (Paramount) ... Ruth Wiley
- Beau Brummell (1954) (MGM) ... Lady Patricia
- The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) (MGM) ... Helen Ellswirth/Wills
- Giant (1956) (Warner Bros.) ... Leslie Lynnton Benedict
- Raintree County (1957) (MGM) ... Susanna Drake
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) (MGM) ... Maggie "The Cat" Pollitt
- Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) (Columbia) ... Catherine Holly
- Scent of Mystery (1960) (Michael Todd Company) ... the real Sally Kennedy (uncredited)
- BUtterfield 8 (1960) (MGM) ... Gloria Wandrous
- Cleopatra (1963) (20th Century Fox) ... Cleopatra
- The V.I.P.s (1963) (MGM) ... Frances Andros
- The Sandpiper (1965) (MGM) ... Laura Reynolds
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) (Warner Bros.) ... Martha
- The Taming of the Shrew (1967) (Columbia) ... Katharina
- Doctor Faustus (1967) (Columbia) ... Helen of Troy
- Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) (Warner Bros.) ... Leonora Penderton
- The Comedians (1967) (MGM) ... Martha Pineda
- Boom (1968) (Universal) ... Flora Goforth
- Secret Ceremony (1968) (Universal) Leonora
- Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) (Universal) ... Courtesan (uncredited)
- The Only Game in Town (1970) (20th Century Fox) ... Fran Walker
- Zee and Co. (1972) (Columbia) ... Zee Blakeley ... aka X, Y and Zee
- Under Milk Wood (1973) (Altura Films International) ... Rosie Probert
- Hammersmith Is Out (1972) (Cinerama Releasing Corporation) ... Jimmie Jean Jackson
- Night Watch (1973) (Avco Embassy Pictures) ... Ellen Wheeler
- Ash Wednesday (1973) (Paramount) ... Barbara Sawyer
- The Driver's Seat (1974) (Rizzoli Film S.p.a.) ... Lise
- The Blue Bird (1976) (20th Century Fox) ... Queen of Light
- A Little Night Music (1977) (New World Pictures) ... Desiree Armfelt
- Winter Kills (1979) (Avco Embassy Pictures) ... Lola Comante (uncredited)
- The Mirror Crack'd (1980) (Associated Film Distribution) ... Marina Rudd
- Il Giovane Toscanini (1988) (RAI) ... Nadina Bulichoff
- The Flintstones (1994) (Universal) ... Pearl Slaghoople
- IMDb entry for Elizabeth Taylor
- Kennedy Center bio. for Elizabeth Taylor
- American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)
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