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Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor is counted among the most legendary Hollywood actresses of all time.
Elizabeth Taylor started her acting career as a child actress in the '40s and became one of the most successful and highest-paid movie stars in the '60s. Known for her exceptional beauty, purple eyes, and incredible acting skills, Taylor is to date remembered for her on-screen persona and natural charm.
During her six-decade acting career, Elizabeth Taylor starred in several commercially and critically acclaimed movies, such as 'Father Of The Bride' (1950), 'A Place In The Sun' (1951), 'Suddenly, Last Summer' (1959), 'Cleopatra' (1963), and 'Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolf?' (1966). Besides being famous for her acting roles and beauty, Taylor has always been the focus of media attention owing to her personal life. The Hollywood legend married seven men and had four children, Maria Burton, Liza Todd, Christopher Edward Wilding, and Michael Wilding Jr. In the latter years of her career, Elizabeth Taylor also worked on television and engaged in philanthropic work. After battling a congestive heart illness for several years, the world-renowned actress breathed her last in 2011. Continue reading to learn more about the net worth, early life, career, and personal life of Hollywood's most recognized face, Elizabeth Taylor.
At the time of her death in 2011, Elizabeth Taylor's net worth was valued at $600 million. She amassed this fortune by being the highest-paid actress of her time and by being a global fashion and beauty icon. Taylor was also known to lead a luxurious lifestyle and, in fact, had one of the world's most costly private jewelry collections.
Elizabeth Taylor was among the wealthiest movie stars of the 20th century. The Academy Award-winning actress earned around $350 per week in the early days of her career. Her salary increased after she starred in the movie 'Suddenly, Last Summer' in 1959, for which she was paid a whopping $500,000. From then onwards, Taylor's average salary per movie was $1 million. For 'Cleopatra', she received an additional 10% of the gross income. In her last film 'The Flintstones' (1994), Taylor received a salary of $2.5 million. Since Elizabeth Taylor's salary was project-based, the total amount of her average annual earnings is not known. She also made a significant income from her business ventures.
The late Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor stood at 5 ft 4 in (162.5 cm).
Elizabeth Taylor was 79 years old at the time of her death on March 23, 2011.
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born under the sun sign Pisces on February 27, 1932, to an American family based in Hampstead, London, England. She studied at Byron House in London until the age of seven, after which her family returned to the United States. Initially, Elizabeth Taylor and her mother and brother resided in her maternal grandfather's home in California. When her father returned to the United States after closing his art gallery in London, the family relocated to Los Angeles, where her father opened a new art gallery. Finally, the Taylor family decided to settle in Beverly Hills. Here, she attended the Hawthorne School with her brother. Soon after, Elizabeth Taylor's beauty and startling purple eyes drew the attention of many in the entertainment industry, who encouraged her family to allow her to pursue a career in acting.
Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times to seven different men during her lifetime. Her first husband was Conrad Hilton Jr., the heir of the famous Hilton hotel chain. She was only 18 when she married him in a lavish ceremony in 1950. However, within a few weeks of her marriage, the couple started having significant differences. Eventually, after eight months of marriage, the pair divorced in 1951.
A year after her divorce, Elizabeth Taylor found love with Michael Wilding, a British theater, film, and TV actor. Wilding was 20 years older than Taylor, and their love story began in 1951 while they were filming 'Ivanhoe'. In 1952, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding tied the knot in a private wedding ceremony in London. In the following years, the couple became parents to Michael Wilding Jr. and Christopher Edward Wilding. After five years of marriage, they divorced in 1957 due to career issues.
The same year as her second divorce, Elizabeth Taylor married Mike Todd, a movie producer in Mexico. Together, Taylor and Todd welcomed a daughter in 1957, named Liza Todd. However, just after a year of marriage, Mike Todd died in a plane crash. The grief-stricken actress found love and support in American singer and actor Eddie Fisher, whom she married later in 1959.
In 1962, on the sets of 'Cleopatra', Elizabeth Taylor met Richard Burton, which led to the start of a scandalous love affair. She divorced Eddie Fisher in 1964 and married Richard Burton in less than two weeks in an intimate wedding ceremony. Richard Burton adopted Elizabeth Taylor's daughter Liza Todd and a German girl named Maria Burton. Taylor and Burton reportedly led a luxurious lifestyle and spent millions of dollars on jewelry, artifacts, furs, clothes, jets, yachts, and traveling. After 10 years of marriage, Elizabeth Taylor split from Burton in 1974, only to reconcile and remarry in 1975. However, the second marriage ended within a year, with the couple divorcing in 1976.
Elizabeth Taylor, married to politician John Warner in 1976, helped him in his political campaign. This marriage ended in 1982. After dating a few men following her divorce, Taylor married for the last time in 1991 to a construction worker named Larry Fortensky in a highly publicised ceremony. She sold the wedding images to People Magazine and used the money to establish her AIDS research foundation. Her seventh marriage lasted until 1996, but the pair remained in touch until her last breath. Elizabeth Taylor even left $825,000 to Fortensky in her will.
Elizabeth Taylor was born in England to American parents, Francis Lenn Taylor and Sara Sothern. While her mother was a retired stage actor, her father was an art dealer from Missouri, USA, who had shifted to London to start an art gallery. Their children, Howard Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor, were born in London and enjoyed dual British-American citizenship. In 1939, due to the war-like situation in Europe, the Taylor family returned to the United States and moved to Beverly Hills. Elizabeth Taylor's godfather was Colonel Victor Cazalet, who significantly influenced her life.
Elizabeth Taylor entered the movie industry as a child actress. Even as a kid, Taylor was a strikingly beautiful girl with unusual violet eyes. A family member noticed her stunning beauty and proposed to her parents that she go for a screen test. Taylor auditioned for a role and entered into a contract with Universal Pictures. Her first film appearance was at the age of 10 in 'There's One Born Every Minute' (1942). After that film, Universal Pictures terminated Taylor's contract, but MGM quickly scooped her up.
Her debut feature film with MGM was 'Lassie Come Home' (1943), after which she appeared in minor roles in two films, 'Jane Eyre' (1943) and 'The White Cliffs Of Dover' (1944). The film that skyrocketed Elizabeth Taylor to fame was 'National Velvet' (1944). The movie was a super-hit and established Taylor as a promising child actress. After the success of 'National Velvet', Elizabeth Taylor took a break for a year and returned in 1946 with hit movies like 'Courage Of Lassie' (1946), 'Life With Father' (1947), and 'Little Women' (1949).
In the following years, Taylor featured in successful films like 'A Place in the Sun' (1951), 'Ivanhoe (1952)', 'The Last Time I Saw Paris' (1954), 'Elephant Walk' (1954), and 'Giant' (1956). By now, Elizabeth Taylor had become a renowned figure, famed for her beauty and acting skills. She was also among the highest-paid movie actors during this period. Next, Taylor starred in 'Raintree County' in 1957. Although the movie was a flop, she received an Oscar nomination for her role as Susanna Drake. In the following years, Elizabeth Taylor yet again landed in Academy-Award nominated roles for portraying Maggie Pollitt in the movie 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof'(1958), Catherine Holly in 'Suddenly, Last Summer' (1959), and Gloria Wandrous in 'Butterfield 8' (1960). Her final role in a feature film was as Pearl Slaghoople in 'The Flintstones' in 1994.
After three years of acting break, Elizabeth Taylor appeared in her most famous and expensive film, 'Cleopatra', in 1963 when she was 31. Some other films that she starred in after 'Cleopatra' were 'Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolf' (1966), 'The Taming Of The Shrew' (1967), 'The Comedians' (1967), 'Secret Ceremony' (1968), 'Ash Wednesday' (1973), and 'A Little Night Music'. However, most of them were box office failures. As a result, for some time, Elizabeth Taylor started focusing on television and theater. In the '80s, she played the lead role in the Broadway production of 'Little Foxes' as Regina Giddens. Regarding her work on television, Taylor starred in 'Divorce His, Divorce Hers' (1973), 'Hallmark Hall Of Fame' (1978), 'General Hospital' (1981), 'Hotel' (1984), 'Malice In Wonderland' (1985), 'There Must Be A Pony' (1986), and 'Poker Alice' (1987). Her final TV role was in 2001 in 'These Old Broads'. She also lent her voice to various characters in 'Captain Planet And The Planeteers', 'The Simpsons', and 'God, The Devil, And Bob'.
Elizabeth Taylor was active in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and organized numerous fundraisers to address the cause. In 1985, Taylor co-founded the National AIDS Research Foundation, which later merged with another foundation to create the American Foundation for AIDS Research. In 1991, to help with AIDS research funding, she founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. This organization continues to function today, not only in America but worldwide. Taylor also established the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center and the Elizabeth Taylor Endowment Fund.
Elizabeth Taylor has received numerous awards for both her acting and philanthropic work. As an actress, Taylor is a recipient of two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Film Institute, Britannia Award, Bambi Award, Silver Berlin Bear, three David di Donatello Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, six Golden Laurel Awards, and many others. In 1960, she received the honor of a Star on the Walk of Fame.
For her humanitarian efforts, Elizabeth Taylor was awarded the Knight of the French Legion of Honor, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, the GLAAD Vanguard Award, the Presidential Citizens Medal, and several others.
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