Elizabeth Taylor | A life in picturesElizabetTaylor | Posted By: Jerome Adamstein
Elizabeth Taylor, the glamorous queen of American movie stardom, whose achievements as an actress were often overshadowed by her rapturous looks and real-life dramas, died on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, with her four children at her side. She was 79.
Tributes flowed from singer Elton John, who extolled her as “a Hollywood giant,” to former President Clinton, who honored her at the White House in 2001 and called her “thoroughly American royalty.”
During a career that spanned six decades, the legendary beauty with lavender eyes won two Oscars and made more than 50 films, performing alongside such fabled leading men as Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando and Richard Burton, whom she married twice. She took her cues from a Who’s Who of directors, including George Cukor, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, George Stevens, Vincente Minnelli and Mike Nichols.
Long after she faded from the screen, she remained a mesmerizing figure, blessed and cursed by the extraordinary celebrity that molded her life through its many phases: She was a child star who bloomed gracefully into an ingenue; a femme fatale on the screen and in life; a canny peddler of high-priced perfume; a pioneering activist in the fight against AIDS.
Some actresses, such as Katharine Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman, won more awards and critical plaudits, but none matched Taylor’s hold on the collective imagination. In the public’s mind, she was the dark goddess for whom playing Cleopatra as she did with such notoriety, required no great leap from reality.
Taylor, New York Times critic Vincent Canby once wrote, “has grown up in the full view of a voracious public for whom the triumphs and disasters of her personal life have automatically become extensions of her screen performances. She’s different from the rest of us.”
We honor her life and her work in a photographic journey spanning more than half a century.Hollywood Legend Elizabeth Taylor Has Died
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Elizabeth and Lassi in Los Angeles in 1943. She receives $100 a week;the dog made $250.
Taylor's first big-screen role was in the 1942 film, "There's One Born Every Minute," in which she co-starred with Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer and Catherine Doucet.
Though one of her first film roles was in 1943’s Lassie Come Home, Taylor shot to fame as a 12-year-old in National Velvet. Also starring Mickey Rooney and Angela Lansbury, the film portrayed the young horse-obsessed Velvet Brown, who trains her steed to win (while undercover) the Grand National.
Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney starred in "National Velvet" in 1944.
Teenage Taylor, wearing white gloves and an evening gown, signs autographs for eager fans at a nightclub in 1946.
Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor embrace on the set of 1949's "Conspirator," as the crew looks on. This was Taylor's first adult role.
Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy star in MGM's1950 classic "Father of the Bride."
Elizabeth Taylor in "A place in the sun" with Montgomery Clift in 1951.
Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed screen legend famed for her extraordinary beauty, her tumultuous personal life, including her many marriages, and her work in the fight against HIV/AIDS, died Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. She was 79
Elizabeth Taylor was born in London, England, in 1932 and moved to Los Angeles with her family in 1939. Taylor appeared with Ann Revere in the film "National Velvet" in 1944, two years after she made her film debut at the age of 10. The film was a smash hit and made Taylor MGM's top child star.
Elizabeth Taylor arrives at a Hollywood movie premiere Dec. 21, 1949, with Ralph Kiner, then the Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder and the Major League's home run king. Kiner was Taylor's second big-name athlete boyfriend.
Elizabeth Taylor and husband Conrad Hilton Jr. are pictured during their honeymoon in Paris, May 31, 1950.
Elizabeth Taylor is shown at the premiere of "The Lady with the Lamp" at the Warner Theater in London, Sept. 22, 1951
Taylor starred opposite George Sanders and Robert Taylor (not pictured) in Richard Thorpe's 1952 film, "Ivanhoe." Taylor was reportedly not pleased that MGM cast her in this forgettable film.
Elizabeth Taylor on the balcony of Grand Hotel in Stockholm in 1953.
Elizabeth with newly born Michael Howard Wilding, her son with English Actor Michael Wilding in 1953
Elizabeth Taylor in a scene from Warner Bros.1956 classic "Giant."
James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor on the set of "Giant" in 1956
In a March 7, 1956 photo, provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Elizabeth Taylor shops in Las Vegas.
Elizabeth Taylor and husband Michael Wilding, relax at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas in 1956.
Taylor married her second husband, Michael Wilding, on Feb. 21, 1952. The two were divorced on Jan. 26, 1957.
Elizabeth Taylor is pictured dancing with film producer Mike Todd at a party in Greenwich, Conn., on Dec. 9, 1956. Todd later became the next - and third - husband of Taylor in February of 1957. In 1958, Todd was killed in a plane crash.
In a 1957 file photo, actress Elizabeth Taylor is shown in costume for her character in the film "Raintree County."
Elizabeth Taylor arrives with her husband, Mike Todd, for the 1957 premiere of MGM's "Raintree county" in Louisville, Ky.
Cat of a Hot Tin Roof
In 1958’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Taylor played Maggie “the Cat,” a woman struggling for the affection of Paul Newman, her alcoholic and ex-football player husband. Mid-production, Taylor’s husband Mike Todd was killed in a plane crash. In this steamy scene from the classic film, the actress describes just what it feels like to be a “cat on a hot tin roof.”
In a 1958 photo, Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor are shown in a scene from the movie "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof."
Elizabeth Taylor in "Cat on a hot tin roof" in 1958.
Elizabeth Taylor, left, Eddie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, June 19, 1958.
Katharine Hepburn, left, Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor in "Suddenly, Last Summer" in 1958.
Another hat as Elizabeth Taylor leaves the set of "Cleopatra" at Cinecitta Studios in Rome, on April 10, 1962.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Dec. 22, 1963. With casual clothes, Taylor often draped a scarf over her dark locks.
Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher dine at Chasten's at Beverly Hills. The couple divorced in 1964.
Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher apply for a marriage license in Las Vegas, May, 12, 1959.
Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher are photographed after their wedding ceremony at Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas, May 12, 1959.
Honeymooning Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher stroll through Portofino on the Italia Rivera in 1959.
A scene from "Suddenly, Last Summer"
Taylor played Catherine in another Tennessee Williams adaptation, Suddenly Last Summer, for which she received her third Academy Award nomination. She also received $500,000, which was at the time the most ever earned by an actress for eight weeks of work.
Elizabeth Taylor playfully chases Roddy McDowall on the beach in Malibu. From the book "Liz: The Pictorial Bilgraphy of Elizabeth Taylor."
Lawrence Harvey and Elizabeth Taylor in a scene from 1960's "Butterfield 8." Taylor won her first best actress Academy Award for a role in the film.
Tayor’s signing on to the film Cleopatra in 1960 for $1 million made her the highest-paid actress, as well as one of the most recognizable women, in the world. The epic love story wasn't only onscreen: Taylor met Richard Burton, whom she married and divorced twice.
In a 1961 photo, Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison are shown in a scene from "Cleopatra."
Burt Lancaster and Elizabeth Taylor hold their Oscar after being named best actor and best actress at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles in 1961; he for "Elmer Gantry" and her for "Butterfield 8."
In a 1961 file photo, actress Elizabeth Taylor is shown in a scene from "BUtterfield 8." She won her first Academy Award, for best actress in a leading role, for her performance as Gloria Wandrous in the film.
Elizabeth Taylor with two of her children in Gstaard, Switzerland, in 1962.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are seen in a motor launch, Jun 15, 1962, in the small town Porto d'Ischia, on the isle of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples, Italy.
Martin Landau, second from left, playing the part of the general, and Elizabeth Taylor, playing the title role of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, are shown during filming of the movie "Cleopatra" on location off the Isle of Ischia, Italy, on June 16, 1962.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in a scene from "Cleopatra" in 1963.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton arrive at airport in 1963 after attending the premiere of "Lawrence of Arbia" in Paris. Both stars were playing leading roles in "The VIPs" in production at the time in England.
Elizabeth Taylor on the set of the motion picture "the Sandpiper" in San Dimas in 1964.
Richard Burton played Antony to Taylor's Cleopatra in the 1963 film of the same name. Taylor received $1 million for her role, and the two stars had a well-publicized affair during the filming. The couple would marry, for the first time, on March 15, 1964.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton arrive at a gala in Rome, on Oct. 4, 1966. Gowns like this with plunging necklines and fitted waists defined her red-carpet style.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (1966)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? earned Taylor her second Academy Award. The film follows one night in the home of a professor and his angry, drunk wife. In an emotional performance featuring long tirades and plenty of harsh language, Taylor starred opposite her husband at the time, Richard Burton.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in a scene from "Who's afraid of Virginia Wolf?" in 1967.
Earl Mountbatten of Burma presented Elizabeth Taylor with the Oscar she won for her performance in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" at the 20th Annual British Film Academy Awards ceremony in London, April 24, 1967.
Elizabeth Taylor and husband Richard Burton star as Kate and Petrucho in Franco Zeffrelis in "Taming of the Straw" in 1967.
Elizabeth Taylor attended a charity ball in Monaco, Nov. 17, 1969. Making its debut was the famous 69.42 carat, pear-shaped diamond that Taylor was wearing as a pendant. It was a present from her husband, Richard Burton. Initially, the diamond was bought by Paris jeweler Cartier at an auction and he named it "Cartier." Burton bought it the next day and renamed it "Taylor-Burton."
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who is wearing a Cartier diamond of almost 70 carats, arrive at Hotel Hermitage for the Scorpion Ball in Monaco, in this Nov. 15, 1969, photo. Taylor and Burton eventually were married and divorced twice.
Elizabeth Taylor, wearing the 33.19 carat diamond ring given to her by husband Richard Burton, on "60 Minutes," in 1970.
Elizabeth Taylor raises her glass at New York's famous nightspot Studio 54 in this photo from the late 1970s.
Elizabeth Taylor at the Oscars, on April 2, 1974, in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Taylor at Kruger National Park, just before her second wedding to Richard Burton in Botswana, Africa, Oct. 1975.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are pictured departing from an airport in Zurich, Switzerland, Aug. 27, 1975.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton hold their granddaughter, Leyla, on Jan. 15, 1973, in Gstaad, Switzerland. The couple divorced on June 26, 1974, but then remarried on Oct. 10, 1975. They divorced for a second time on July 29, 1976.
Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, former secretary of the U.S. Navy John Warner, were seen at the 42nd New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner in New York, Jan. 30, 1977
Taylor visited "General Hospital" in 1981, where she portrayed Helena Cassadine opposite singer-actor Rick Springfield's Dr. Noah Drake. Here they're pictured with "GH" executive producer/director Gloria Monty.
This 1983 file photo shows actress Elizabeth Taylor during the run of the Broadway play "Private Lives" in New York.
Elizabeth Taylor and Victor Luna at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park, on May 8, 1983, in New York. The petite actress was famous for wearing jewels like these.
Kim Novak, left, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor posed for a promotional photo for the 1980 film "The Mirror Crack'd", in which all three starred. Upon the death of Hudson in 1985, Taylor began her crusade to raise funds for AIDS research.
Actress Liza Minelli and Elizabeth Taylor photographed in Beverly Hills in 1985.
Elizabeth Taylor appears before the Labor, Health and Human Services Senate Subcommittee on May 8, 1986, in Washington, D.C. Taylor appeared as chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and appealed for more research funds. The actress helped create amfAR after the 1985 AIDS-related death of her friend, actor Rock Hudson. She also created the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation
Carol Bayer Sager, right, Elizabeth Taylor, and Barry Manilow attend a fundraiser in Los Angeles, Calif., July 25, 1986. The benefit is for the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
Elizabeth Taylor at the 40th Annual Cannes International Film Festival, on May 13, 1987, in Cannes, France.
Andy Warhol, right, is seen asking Elizabeth Taylor permission to take a picture of her at the opening of designer Halston's new salon in New York, Feb. 13, 1978.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone poses with Elizabeth Taylor at his official residence in Tokyo, April 24, 1987.
Elizabeth Taylor and former President Richard M. Nixon sit in St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church during memorial services for publisher Malcolm Forbes in New York, March 1, 1990.
Elizabeth Taylor and fiance Larry Fortensky leave a New York news conference on Sept. 11, 1991. On Oct. 6, 1991, Fortensky became Taylor's seventh husband. The wedding, however, was her eighth. (Taylor and Richard Burton were married twice.) Taylor and Fortensky divorced five years later.
Elizabeth Taylor holds up a diamond mask for photographers at a fine jewelry auction, on April 13, 1992, to benefit the American Foundation for AIDS research (amfAR).
This January 25, 1993 file photo shows actress Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson backstage at the American Music Awards, on Jan. 25, 1993, in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Taylor made her first appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1992.
Elizabeth Taylor photographed in May 1996.
Elizabeth Taylor arrives with Michael Jackson at the Pantages theartre in Los Angeles for her 65th birthday celebration on Feb.16,1997
In her last major acting appearance, Elizabeth Taylor play the manager of three aging movie stars- Debbie Reynolds, Shirley Maclaine and Joan Collins- in ABC's 2000 television Special "These Old Broads"
Elizabeth Taylor and former President Bill Clinton are seen at the "A Family Celebration" Party in Beverly Hills, Calif., April 1, 2001.
Taylor and her escort, Brad Freeman, posed for photographers in the Hall of States at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 2002. Taylor was one of the year's five award recipients.
President George W. Bush shakes hands with Taylor, a Kennedy Center honoree, on Dec. 8, 2002, at The White House. Left to right, the other honorees are actor James Earl Jones, music conductor James Levine, dancer-actress Chita Rivera, singer-songwriter Paul Simon and Taylor.
Elizabeth Taylor arrives at a benefit event in Mougins near Cannes, France, on May 23, 2002.
Elizabeth Taylor shares a laugh with host Larry King as Taylor's Maltese, named Sugar, looks on during a taping of "Larry King Live" at CNN Studios in Los Angeles, Feb. 3, 2003.
Elizabeth Taylor on the set of CNN's "Larry King Live" in Los Angels on Feb 3, 2003.
Elizabeth Taylor arrives for the 14th Annual Britannia Awards, Nov. 10, 2005, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Taylor received the Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in International Entertainment.
Elizabeth Taylor, in a shimmery lilac caftan, appears on stage at the Macy's Passport 2006 Gala and Fashion show, on Sept. 28, 2006, in Santa Monica, Calif. On;ly she could make a caftan look glamourous.
Elizabeth Taylor and Brooke Shields attend the Macy's Passport 2006 Gala on Sept. 28, 2006, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Elizabeth Taylor leaving the CNN building after appearing on "Larry King Live," on May 30, 2006, in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Taylor at her 75th birthday party at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, Feb. 27, 2007, in Henderson, Nevada.
Elizabeth Taylor at the Macy's Passport 2007 Gala and Fashion show, on Sept. 27, 2007, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Elizabeth Taylor attends the Macy's Passport 2008 Gala on Sept. 26, 2008, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Elizabeth Taylor is seen at Michael Jackson's funeral service, held at Glendale Forest Lawn Memorial Park, on Sept. 3, 2009, in Glendale, Calif.
From left, Elizabeth Taylor, Lord Rowe-Beddoe, President of the Royal Welsh College, and Prince Charles look at a bust of actor Richard Burton during a gala at Buckingham Palace in London, April 29, 2010.
Flowers adorn on the Elizabeth Taylor's star on Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, March 23, 2011.