Elizabeth Taylor - Actress’ Biography

Elizabeth Taylor (Hampstead, London, Great Britain, February 27, 1932 - Los Angeles, California, USA, March 23, 2011)

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was one of the last stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was born in London to American parents (her father was an arts dealer and mother actress before marriage) and before WW II, in 1939, they returned to the US and settled in Los Angeles. Soon a family friend noticed Elizabeth and suggested to her parents that she do a test screening. She showed considerable talent and Universal Studios offered her a contract. Her first role, at the age of ten, was in the comedy There's One Born Every Minute (1942), after which Universal canceled her contract. She then moved to MGM Studios and starred in Lassie Come Home (1943), which ensured her a seven-year contract. After several smaller roles she starred opposite Mickey Rooney in the film National Velvet (1944). This role made her a star with MGM studios and she then starred in Courage of Lassie (1946). As a teenager she starred in the romantic drama Cynthia (1947) and she was especially praised for her role in Mervyn LeRoy's Little Women 1949. During the1950s she played opposite Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett in the comedy Father of the Bride (1950) and its sequel Father's Little Dividend (1951). She starred opposite Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun (1951) by George Stevens, in Richard Thorpe's historical drama Ivanhoe (1952), many romantic dramas and then opposite James Dean and Rock Hudson in George Stevens' Giant (1956). A leading role in Edward Dmytryk’s Raintree County (1957) brought her first Oscar nomination. Another important film is Richard Brooks’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) in which she starred with Paul Newman and for which they both received Oscar nominations. She starred with Katharine Hepburn in Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and won her first Oscar as the leading actress for the film Butterfield 8 (1960), which she had not wanted to perform in at all. (Before starring in Cleopatra (1963) by 20th Century Fox, MGM Studios forced her to fulfill her contractual obligations and make one more film, which happened to be Butterfield 8.) The film was promoted with the help of a real life scandal, when Liz got married to Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynold’s ex-husband, (who, on account of that, got a small role in Butterfield 8). After Cleopatra, in which her acting partner was Richard Burton (soon her husband in real life) and for which she received the, at the time, highest salary of one million dollars, she starred in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Once again, she starred opposite Burton and received an Oscar for Best Actress. She then worked on the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew (1967), and starred opposite Marlon Brando in Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) by John Houston. In Secret Ceremony (1968) by Joseph Losey, her partner was Mia Farrow. During the 1970s she continued to act, but mostly in less famous and successful films, so her career started to weaken. In the late 1970s and ‘80s, she mostly worked on television and devoted herself to charity. Due to health issues, she had trouble getting roles in larger productions. Her last role on film was in the TV comedy These Old Broads (2001) by Matthew Diamond and starring Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins.


God, the Devil and Bob (TV series, voiceover) (2001)

These Old Broads (TV film) (2001)

The Flintstones (1994)

The Simpsons (TV series, voiceover) (1992)

Captain Planet and the Planeteers (TV series, voiceover) (1992)

Sweet Bird of Youth (TV film) (1989)

Young Toscanini (1988)

Poker Alice (TV film) (1987)

There Must Be a Pony (TV film) (1986)

North and South (TV mini-series) (1985)

Malice in Wonderland (TV film) (1985)

Hotel (TV series) (1984)

All My Children (TV series) (1984)

Between Friends (TV film) (1983)

General Hospital (TV series) (1981)

The Mirror Crack'd (1980)

Winter Kills (1979) (unaccredited)

Hallmark Hall of Fame (TV series) (1978)

A Little Night Music (1977)

Victory at Entebbe (TV film) (1976)

The Blue Bird (1976)

The Driver's Seat (1974)

Ash Wednesday (1973)

Night Watch (1973)

Divorce His - Divorce Hers (TV film) (1973)

Hammersmith Is Out (1972)

Under Milk Wood (1972)

X, Y and Zee (1972)

The Only Game in Town (1970)

Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) (unaccredited)

Secret Ceremony (1968)

Boom! (1968)

The Comedians (1967)

Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967)

Doctor Faustus (1967)

The Taming of the Shrew (1967)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

The Sandpiper (1965)

Becket (1964) (unaccredited)

The V.I.P.s (1963)

Cleopatra (1963)

BUtterfield 8 (1960)

Scent of Mystery (1960) (unaccredited)

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Raintree County (1957)

Div (Giant, 1956)

The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)

Beau Brummell (1954)

Elephant Walk (1954)

Rhapsody (1954)

The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)

Ivanhoe (1952)

Love Is Better Than Ever (1952)

Quo Vadis (1951) (unaccredited)

A Place in the Sun (1951)

Father's Little Dividend (1951)

Father of the Bride (1950)

The Big Hangover (1950)

Conspirator (1949)

Little Women (1949)

Julia Misbehaves (1948)

A Date with Judy (1948)

Cynthia (1947)

Life with Father (1947)

Courage of Lassie (1946)

National Velvet (1944)

The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) (unaccredited)

Jane Eyre (1943) (unaccredited)

Lassie Come Home (1943)

There's One Born Every Minute (1942)