Elizabeth Taylor: The Legend

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 LOVE IS LOVE - GLADD MEDIA AWARDS 2001

 

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor (February 27, 1932–March 23, 2011) was a British-born 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.

 

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Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in Hampstead, a wealthy district of North West London, the second child of Francis Lenn Taylor (1897–1968) and Sara Viola Warmbrodt (1895–1994), who were Americans residing in England. Taylor's older brother, Howard Taylor, was born in 1929.  Her parents were originally from Arkansas City, Kansas. Her father was an art dealer and her mother a former actress whose stage name was "Sara Sothern". Sothern retired from the stage when she and Francis Taylor married in 1926 in New York City. Taylor's two first names are in honor of her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Mary (Rosemond) Taylor. A dual citizen of the UK and the U.S., she was born a British subject through her birth on British soil and an American citizen through her parents.

 

Elizabeth-Taylor-necklace

 

She reportedly sought, in 1965, to renounce her United States citizenship, to wit "Though never accepted by the State Department, Liz renounced in 1965. Attempting to shield much of her European income from US taxes, Liz wished to become solely a British citizen. According to news reports at the time, officials denied her request when she failed to complete the renunciation oath, refusing to say that she renounced "all allegiance to the United States of America." At the age of three, Taylor began taking ballet lessons with Vaccani. Shortly before the beginning of World War II, her parents decided to return to the United States to avoid hostilities. Her mother took the children first, arriving in New York in April 1939,while her father remained in London to wrap up matters in the art business, arriving in November. They settled in Los Angeles, California, where Sara's family, the Warmbrodts, were then living.

 

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Through Hedda Hopper, the Taylors were introduced to Andrea Berens, a wealthy English socialite and also fiancée of Cheever Cowden, chairman and major stockholder of Universal Pictures in Hollywood. Berens insisted that Sara bring Elizabeth to see Cowden who, she was adamant, would be dazzled by Elizabeth's breathtaking dark beauty; she was born with a mutation that caused double rows of eyelashes, which enhanced her appearance on camera. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer soon took interest in the British youngster as well but she failed to secure a contract with them after an informal audition with producer John Considine had shown that she couldn't sing. However, on September 18, 1941, Universal Pictures signed Elizabeth to a six-month renewable contract at $100 a week.

 

 

Taylor appeared in her first motion picture at the age of nine in There's One Born Every Minute, her only film for Universal Pictures. Less than six months after she signed with Universal, her contract was reviewed by Edward Muhl, the studio's production chief. Muhl met with Taylor's agent, Myron Selznick (brother of David), and Cheever Cowden. Muhl challenged Selznick's and Cowden's constant support of Taylor: "She can't sing, she can't dance, she can't perform. What's more, her mother has to be one of the most unbearable women it has been my displeasure to meet."  Universal cancelled Taylor's contract just short of her tenth birthday in February 1942. Nevertheless on October 15, 1942, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer signed Taylor to $100 a week for up to three months to appear as "Priscilla" in the film Lassie Come Home. 

 

 

Taylor was considered one of the great actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age. The American Film Institute named Taylor seventh on its Female Legends list.

 

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Taylor had a passion for jewelry. She was a client of well-known jewelry designer, Shlomo Moussaieff. Over the years she owned a number of well-known pieces, two of the most talked-about being the 33.19-carat (6.64 g) Krupp Diamond and the 69.42-carat (13.88 g) pear-shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond, which were among many gifts from husband Richard Burton. Taylor also owned the 50-carat (10 g) La Peregrina Pearl, purchased by Burton as a Valentine's Day present in 1969. The pearl was formerly owned by Mary I of England, and Burton sought a portrait of Queen Mary wearing the pearl. Upon the purchase of such a painting, the Burtons discovered that the British National Portrait Gallery did not have an original painting of Mary, so they donated the painting to the Gallery.

 

 

   Elizabeth_La_Peregrina_Perl      Elizabeth_Krupp_Diamond

       La Peregrina Pearl                                   Taylor Burton Diamond

 

Her enduring collection of jewelry has been documented in her book My Love Affair with Jewelry (2002) and with photographs by the New York photographer John Bigelow Taylor (no relation). Taylor started designing jewels for The Elizabeth Collection, creating fine jewelry with elegance and flair. The Elizabeth Taylor collection by Piranesi is sold at Christie's. She also launched three perfumes, "Passion", "White Diamonds", and "Black Pearls", which, together, earn an estimated US$200 million in annual sales. In fall 2006, Taylor celebrated the 15th anniversary of her White Diamonds perfume, one of the top 10 best selling fragrances for more than the past decade.

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Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor

 

Taylor 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 costar and friend, Rock Hudson. She also created her own AIDS foundation, the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation (ETAF). By 1999, she had helped to raise an estimated US$50 million to fight the disease. In 2006, Taylor commissioned a 37-foot (11 m) "Care Van" equipped with examination tables and X Ray equipment and also donated US$40,000 to the New Orleans Aids task force, a charity designed for the New Orleans population with AIDS and HIV. The donation of the van was made by the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation and Macy's.

 

 

In the early 1980s, Taylor moved to Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, which was her residence until her death. She also owned homes in Palm Springs, London and Hawaii.

 

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Taylor was a supporter of Kabbalah and member of the Kabbalah Centre. She encouraged long-time friend Michael Jackson to wear a red string as protection from the evil-eye during his 2005 trial for molestation, where he was eventually cleared of all charges. On 6 October 1991, Taylor had married construction worker Larry Fortensky at Jackson's Neverland Ranch. In 1997, Jackson presented Taylor with the exclusively written-for-her epic song "Elizabeth, I Love You", performed on the day of her 65th birthday celebration.  Elizabeth Taylor attended Michael Jackson private funeral on September 3, 2009.

 

Elizabeth Van Gogh

Van Gogh's "View of the Asylum and Chapel at Saint Remy

 

In October 2007, Taylor won a legal battle, over a Van Gogh painting in her possession, View of the Asylum and Chapel at Saint Remy. The United States Supreme Court refused to reconsider a legal suit filed by four persons claiming that the artwork belonged to one of their Jewish ancestors, regardless of any statute of limitations.

 

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Elizabeth Taylor was Married Eight Times, Twice to Richard Burton

 

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Elizabeth Taylor's First Wedding Dress Used When she Married "Nicky" Conrad Hilton
was Auctioned at Christie's in London in June, 2013 for $188,000.00 US Dollars

 

 

Conrad "Nicky" Hilton (May 6, 1950 – January 29, 1951) (divorced)

Michael Wilding (February 21, 1952 – January 26, 1957) (divorced)

Michael Todd (February 2, 1957 – March 22, 1958) (widowed)

Eddie Fisher (May 12, 1959 – March 6, 1964) (divorced)

Richard Burton (March 15, 1964 – June 26, 1974) (divorced)

Richard Burton (October 10, 1975 – July 29, 1976) (divorced)

John Warner (December 4, 1976 – November 7, 1982) (divorced)

Larry Fortensky (October 6, 1991 – October 31, 1996) (divorced)

 

Elizabeth and two oldest children 

Elizabeth Taylor with Michael and Christopher Wilding

 

 

Elizabeth Taylor in Wheelchaiort with children

Liz Had a Total of Four Children

 

With Michael Wilding (two sons):

Michael Howard Wilding (born January 6, 1953)

Christopher Edward Wilding (born February 27, 1955)

With Michael Todd (one daughter):

Elizabeth Frances "Liza" Todd (born August 6, 1957)

With Richard Burton (one daughter):

Maria Burton (born August 1, 1961; adopted 1964)

In 1971, Taylor became a grandmother at the age of 39

At the time of her death she was survived by her four children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.