Factbox: The life and times of actress Elizabeth Taylor

Wednesday, 23 March 2011 - 10:37pm IST | Agency: Reuters
Two-time Oscar winner and one of Hollywood's most glamorous superstars, Taylor, died. She was 79.

Two-time Oscar winner and one of Hollywood's most glamorous superstars, Elizabeth Taylor, died. She was 79.

Here are some details about the actress who starred in around 55 films, six television movies, guest appearances on prime time television and voiceovers:

Film career:
-- Soon after her 10th birthday she landed the lead role in the 1942 film Lassie Come Home. But she is perhaps still best remembered for her role two years later in National Velvet, about a young girl's love for a horse.

-- After playing a string of girl-next-door roles, the first hint of dramatic promise was in A Place in the Sun (1950).

-- She confirmed her powers in 1958 as Maggie in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which was completed only weeks after her third husband, wealthy film producer Mike Todd, was killed in a plane crash.

-- Recognition of her acting ability did not come until she was in her 30s, when she won two Academy Awards -- the first in 1960 for her role as a call-girl in BUtterfield 8 and the second in 1967 for her portrayal of a foul-mouthed, alcoholic wife in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

-- Taylor's film career prospered and in 1961 she was paid $1 million to play the title role in the ill-fated Cleopatra.

-- Taylor was true to the character in a torrid affair with the celluloid Antony -- Richard Burton, a Welsh actor trained for the classical stage.

-- In 1994, Taylor returned to the movies after a 14-year absence for a small part in The Flintstones. She then announced her retirement from films.

Life details:
-- Born in London on February 27, 1932, Taylor said many times that she never wanted to be an actress but was pushed by her mother into the career that made her millions of dollars.

-- During her teenage years Taylor was controlled by her omnipresent mother, actress Sara Sothern Taylor, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios.

-- Her romantic life began at 17, when she became engaged to all-American football hero, Glenn Davis. Then came a second engagement, to William Pawley, son of a US ambassador to Brazil.

-- Her first husband was Conrad Hilton and then British actor Michael Wilding. On the death of her third husband, film producer Mike Todd, in 1958, she found herself in a well-chronicled love triangle with singer Eddie Fisher and his wife actress Debbie Reynolds, before marrying Fisher.

-- She was eventually married eight times, including twice to actor Richard Burton which was among the most tempestuous.

-- Taylor divorced Burton in 1974, only to remarry him in 1975 and divorce him, permanently, in 1976.

-- She had two husbands since, Senator John Warner and Larry Fortensky. Her marriage to Fortensky ended in the mid 1990s.

-- In November 1988 she was admitted to the Ford clinic, reportedly for dependency on painkillers taken for a back injury which she underwent many operations to correct.

-- In February 1997 Taylor participated in the ABC-TV (American Broadcasting Company-television) special, Happy Birthday Elizabeth A Celebration of Life, which marked her sixty-fifth birthday and raised money for AIDS research.

-- Days later she entered hospital for the removal of a brain tumour. The operation was successful.

-- When her friend, Rock Hudson died in 1985, she began her crusade on the behalf of AIDS sufferers.

-- In the 1990s, she also developed a successful series of scents.

Source: Reuters, IMDBnotablebiographies.com, Film Encyclopeadia


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