Got a Tip? Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here
READ NOW

TMZ SPORTS

  • FS1
    M-T-Th-F:
    9:00 PM PST

    W:
    9:30 PM PST
clock-iconREMIND ME TO WATCH

Liz Taylor

Powered by imdb

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was considered one of the last, if not the last, major star to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system. She was known internationally for her beauty, especially for her violet eyes, with which she captured audiences early on in her youth and kept the world hooked on with since.Taylor was born on February 27, 1932 in London, England. Although she was born an English subject, her parents, Sara Sothern (née Sara Viola Warmbrodt) and Francis Lenn Taylor, were Americans, art dealers from St. Louis, Missouri (her father had gone to London to set up a gallery). Her mother had been an actress on the stage, but gave up that vocation when she married. Elizabeth lived in London until the age of seven, when the family left for the US when the clouds of war began brewing in Europe in 1939. They sailed without her father, who stayed behind to wrap up the loose ends of the art business.The family relocated to Los Angeles, where Mrs. Taylor's own family had moved. Mr. Taylor followed not long afterward. A family friend noticed the strikingly beautiful little Elizabeth and suggested that she be taken for a screen test. Her test impressed executives at Universal Pictures enough to sign her to a contract. Her first foray onto the screen was in There's One Born Every Minute, released when she was ten. Universal dropped her contract after that one film, but Elizabeth was soon picked up by MGM.The first production she made with that studio was Lassie Come Home, and on the strength of that one film, MGM signed her for a full year. She had minuscule parts in her next two films, The White Cliffs of Dover and Jane Eyre (the former made while she was on loan to 20th Century-Fox). Then came the picture that made Elizabeth a star: MGM's National Velvet. She played Velvet Brown opposite Mickey Rooney. The film was a smash hit, grossing over $4 million. Elizabeth now had a long-term contract with MGM and was its top child star. She made no films in 1945, but returned in 1946 in Courage of Lassie, another success. In 1947, when she was 15, she starred in Life with Father with such heavyweights as William Powell, Irene Dunne and Zasu Pitts, which was one of the biggest box office hits of the year. She also co-starred in the ensemble film Little Women, which was also a box office huge success.Throughout the 1950s, Elizabeth appeared in film after film with mostly good results. She won an Oscar nomination for her role in the George Stevens film A Place in the Sun, co-starring her good friend Montgomery Clift. The following year, she co-starred in Ivanhoe, one of the biggest box office hits of the year. Her busiest year was 1954. She had a supporting role in the box office flop Beau Brummell, but later that year starred in the hits The Last Time I Saw Paris and Elephant Walk. She was 22 now, and even at that young age was considered one of the world's great beauties. In 1955 she appeared in the hit Giant with James Dean.Sadly, Dean never saw the release of the film, as he died in a car accident in 1955. The next year saw Elizabeth co-star with Montgomery Clift in Raintree County, an overblown epic made, partially, in Kentucky. Critics called it dry as dust. In addition, Clift was seriously injured during the film, with Taylor helping save his life. Despite the film's shortcomings and off-camera tragedy, Elizabeth was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Southern belle Susanna Drake. However, on Oscar night the honor went to Joanne Woodward for The Three Faces of Eve.In 1958 Elizabeth starred as Maggie Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The film received rave reviews from the critics and Elizabeth was nominated again for an Academy Award for best actress, but this time she lost to Susan Hayward in I Want to Live!. She was still a hot commodity in the film world, though. In 1959 she appeared in another mega-hit and received yet another Oscar nomination for Suddenly, Last Summer. Once again, however, she lost out, this time to Simone Signoret for Room at the Top. Her Oscar drought ended in 1960 when she brought home the coveted statue for her performance in BUtterfield 8 as Gloria Wandrous, a call girl who is involved with a married man. Some critics blasted the movie but they couldn't ignore her performance. There were no more films for Elizabeth for three years. She left MGM after her contract ran out, but would do projects for the studio later down the road. In 1963 she starred in Cleopatra, which was one of the most expensive productions up to that time--as was her salary, a whopping $1,000,000. The film took years to complete, due in part to a serious illness during which she nearly died.This was the film where she met her future and fifth husband, Richard Burton (the previous four were Conrad Hilton, Michael Wilding, Michael Todd--who died in a plane crash--and Eddie Fisher). Her next handful of films were lackluster at best, including The V.I.P.s and The Sandpiper, which were shredded by most critics but were financially successful. Elizabeth was to return to fine form, however, with the role of Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Her performance as the loudmouthed, shrewish, unkempt, yet still alluring Martha was easily her finest to date. For this she would win her second Oscar and one that was more than well-deserved. The following year, she and Burton co-starred in another box office hit, The Taming of the Shrew, again giving winning performances and being nominated for an Oscas, but losing. However, her films afterward were box office failures, including Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Comedians Boom! (again co-starring with Burton), Secret Ceremony, The Only Game in Town, X, Y and Zee, Hammersmith Is Out (with Burton again), Ash Wednesday, Night Watch, The Driver's Seat (considered by many to be her worst), The Blue Bird, A Little Night Music, and Winter Kills (a controversial film which was never given a full release and in which she only had a small role). Since then, she has appeared in some movies, both theatrical and made-for-television, and a number of television programs. In February 1997, Elizabeth entered the hospital for the removal of a brain tumor. The operation was successful. As for her private life, she divorced Burton in 1974, only to remarry him in 1975 and divorce him, permanently, in 1976. She had two more husbands, U.S. Senator John Warner and construction worker Larry Fortensky, whom she met in rehab.In 1959, Taylor converted to Judaism, and continued to identify herself as Jewish throughout her life, being active in Jewish causes. Upon the death of her friend, actor Rock Hudson, in 1985, she began her crusade on the behalf of AIDS sufferers. In the 1990s, she also developed a successful series of scents. In her later years, her acting career was relegated to the occasional TV-movie or TV guest appearance.Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, from congestive heart failure. Her final resting place is Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in Glendale, California.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Michael Jackson -- Top-Earning Dead Guy In Hollywood

Michael Jackson
Top-Earning Dead Guy ... In Hollywood

Michael Jackson is KILLING IT in the graveyard ... making more money than any other dead celebrity in Hollywood, including Liz Taylor and Elvis, this according to Forbes. The mag just released its… READ MORE >

Lindsay Lohan -- Don't I Look Like Liz Taylor? [PHOTO]

Lindsay Lohan
Don't I Look JUST Like Liz Taylor?

Lindsay Lohan is all dressed up and ready to take on the role of a lifetime -- and TMZ has obtained the first of photo of LiLo in full Liz Taylor wardrobe ... as she gets set to start filming her… READ MORE >

- 1543 days ago
Lindsay Lohan -- Dying to Shoot Liz Taylor Biopic

Lindsay Lohan
Dying to Shoot Liz Taylor Biopic

Lindsay Lohan has gone to the dark side ... as she begins production on her new Liz Taylor film.We got this pic of Lindsay taking a cigarette break during a pre-production photo shoot and lighting… READ MORE >

- 1546 days ago
Liz Taylor Funeral -- The Limos Arrive

Liz Taylor Funeral
The Limos Arrive

At least 5 stretch limousines have arrived to the Forest Lawn cemetery for Liz Taylor's funeral. We're told the ceremony is "private" -- with close friends and family members ONLY. So far, it's… READ MORE >

- 1981 days ago
Liz Taylor's Funeral -- The A-List Rabbi

Liz Taylor's Funeral
The A-List Rabbi

Liz Taylor's funeral will be officiated by a man with plenty of celebrity experience -- because he's helped bury dozens of them ... TMZ has learned. Taylor is having a traditional Jewish burial… READ MORE >

- 1981 days ago
Guardian Angels -- We'll Protect Liz from Evil Church!

Guardian Angels
We'll Protect Liz from Evil Church!

The L.A. chapter of the Guardian Angels is on "full alert" -- and ready for action -- after those evil people from that evil church in Kansas announced they would be protesting Liz Taylor's… READ MORE >

- 1981 days ago
Liz Taylor Hospitalized

Liz Taylor Hospitalized

Liz Taylor was hospitalized earlier this week after she was suffering symptoms from congestive heart failure, this according to a rep for the legendary actress.Taylor is being treated at Cedars… READ MORE >

- 2021 days ago
Liz Taylor Rips MJ Doc a New One

Liz Taylor Rips MJ Doc a New One

Liz Taylor is pissed at Dr. Arnold Klein for blabbing about Michael Jackson's alleged gay affair.Taylor, who like Klein was extremely close to Jacko, was also a patient of the doc.Taylor just… READ MORE >

- 2296 days ago
Liz Taylor -- You Gotta Have Heart

Liz Taylor -- You Gotta Have Heart

Elizabeth Taylor is going in for heart surgery.Liz says she's getting a leaky valve repaired, using some sort of clip device. It's not open heart surgery.The 77-year-old didn't say when the… READ MORE >

- 2515 days ago
Liz Taylor Out Past Her Bedtime

Liz Taylor Out Past Her Bedtime

76-year-old Liz Taylor surprised even us by going out to Hyde last night and leaving at the late late hour of 11:15 -- someone wheel granny home!The posse she was rollin' with was pretty hardcore… READ MORE >

- 2976 days ago

Around The Web