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The Triumphs and Tragedies of Elizabeth Taylor

Mohan is a family physician, film and TV aficionado, a keen bibliophile and an eclectic scribbler.

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932  March 23, 2011)

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 March 23, 2011)


The Hollywood Queen

There are actors and actresses whose star shines so strong it dazzles the eyes of the beholder. They arrive onto the movie screen fully formed; exuding such radiance that it makes us weak at the knees.

For an actress this radiance could be from the beauty, the charm, the sheer seductive presence, their chemistry with their lead actors, their choice of films or the brilliance of their acting talent.

She could tick all those boxes, and then some. She was beautiful. Talented. Tempestuous. Rich. Scandalous. Generous. Forgiving. Fierce. Admirable. Addicted. Ambitious. Popular. Revered. Ridiculed. Regal. Rich. Rewarded.

Elizabeth Taylor.

Not only did her on screen career trajectory resemble the blazing trail of a shooting star, her off screen life was equally colourful and full of drama. With exuberance, decadence, high benevolence, low scandal and a never a dull moment lifestyle she kept her millions of fans intrigued and fascinated. She gave enough fodder to the media, keeping the tabloids and broadsheets eating out of her hands.


A Tribute and filmography

While many stars have blazed a trail and faded away, Dame Elizabeth Taylor had endured much and yet shone consistently reminding us of the glory days of Hollywood. The words icon and legend are used all too easily these days, but no one would disagree that if there was a name worthy of these accolades, Dame Elizabeth Taylor was definitely one.

In this hub, I would like to pay a filmographic tribute to this Hollywood legend, concentrating more on the films she should be remembered for rather than the prurience of her seven marriages. However no tribute would be complete without a brief biography of her fascinating life and we cannot but erase the memorable highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies that beset this wonderful person.


The Triumphs and Tragedies of Elizabeth Taylor

Never away from the limelight, Elizabeth Taylor’s life seems to be blessed and cursed at the same time. For every wonderful high there are heartbreaking lows. Hers was a truly a life where there was a never a dull moment. One wonders how this remarkable woman kept up the courage and determination that saw her though.

Young Elizabeth Taylor

Young Elizabeth Taylor

Birth and Childhood

Elizabeth Rosamond Taylor was born in London on February 27 1932 as a second child to Francis Taylor , an American art dealer and Sara Warmbrodt, an actress. Her parents had a son, Howard Taylor who was born in 1929. Her parents were from Arkansas city in Kansas but were working in London during her birth. By her birth Dame Taylor held a dual citizenship as a British national and US citizen.

Soon after the beginning of World war II her parents returned to the US away from the hostilities of Europe and Elizabeth s already taking ballet lessons and soon after relocating to Los Angeles ( her mother’s parents lived there) she was brought to the attention of Universal studio executives. She had a radiant beauty with her dark skin, luxuriant black hair and her vivid blue eyes enhanced by a double row of eyelashes ( a genetic mutation called Distichiaisis- the very mutation that caused heart failure in later life!) she was extremely photogenic.

Through family connections she was introduced one of the studio executives at Universal Pictures and he was instantly taken by this beautiful child and wanted her to be in films. Her mother immediately accepted.


Her introduction to Hollywood

Her first role at the age of 9 was in ‘ There is one born every minute (1942)’ her only film with Universal Pictures. Her patronage by Universal Executive Cheever Cowden who knew her grandparents socially, was challenged by the studio’s production chief Edward Muhl. He allegedly chose to cancel her contract with the words, ‘she can’t dance, she can’t sing, she can’t perform. What more her mother must be one of the most unbearable women I’ve ever met!’

Universal’s loss was MGM’s gain who signed her up on a contract of 100 dollars a week in 1942. Her first role for them was as a Priscilla in the UK set film Lassie come- home which was a huge hit commercially and critically.

Lassie Come Home

Lassie Come Home

Courage of Lassie

Lassie Come Home (1943)

This film was based on a 1940 Novel by Eric Knight. And first in a series of highly successful ‘Lassie’ films for MGM .Set in Depression Era Yorkshire , England it is the story of a boy and his dog. Tormented by poverty, young Joe Carracloguhs ( Roddy McDowall) parents sell their collie to the duke of Riding.

The dog and the boy pine for each other and the dog tries to escape to come back to the boy. The Duke takes the dog miles away to Scotland to his family home. There his granddaughter Priscilla ( Elizabeth Taylor) senses the dog’s feelings and helps its escape back to the boy. After several adventures helped and hindered by people along the way, Lassie finds its way back to young Joe.

Elizabeth was the lead in the sequel 'Courage of Lassie' another canine tale of love and loyalty. Here the dog disappears and returns from the battlefields of Europe to the girl

Teenage Taylor

Teenage Taylor

After a few other films she campaigned successfully for the role of Velvet Brown in the film National Velvet and at the age of twelve she skyrocketed to superstardom with that lead role. The film starred Mickey Rooney and Angela Lansbury and earned millions at the box office. MGM understandably pleased increased her contract to 30,000 dollars a year.

The same film was attributed to many of her later problems due to the injuries sustained by falling off the horses several times.


National Velvet (1944)

Based on the 1944 book by Enid Bangold, this film tells the story of a 12 year old English girl Velvet Brown who saves a horse from its death and trains it against all odds to race in the Grand National steeplechase.

A beautifully written and directed film, this will appeal to adults and children alike and will have a special place for any fans riding and horse racing.

Aided by a drifter Mi Taylor (Mickey Rooney) she fights all to get the horse a place in the race. When the jockey chosen to ride the horse fails to be convinced and refuses to ride it, she disguises herself as a male jockey to ride the horse to a dramatic victory.

Nominated for five Oscars and winning two, this film is hailed as a classic by the American film institute and has is one of the films preserved in the archives of National Film Registry.

One-shot Liz!

Despite earning a better contract due to the huge success of this film, Elizabeth was given ‘fluffy’ roles in films such as the Lassie sequel ‘ Courage of Lassie’, and major but insignificant roles ‘ a date with Judy’ , ‘Cynthia’ and ‘; Julia misbehaves’ where it was her beauty that attracted the casting directors than her dramatic ability.

She fared better with the 1949 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s’ Little Women, where she played the character of Amy.

Although not in the plum role of Jo, as Amy, Elizabeth earned herself a lot of accolades for her ability to finish a scene in one take. Earning the accolade, ‘One Shot Liz’! The film was one of the top grossers of 1948.

She was hailed by variety magazine as the future of Hollywood despite only being 16. Much unremarkable roles followed. She transitioned easily from a child artiste to a sizzling screen siren when she was only 16 with a role in the Big Hangover, but this proved a critical and commercial failure despite her beautiful presence.

Her role as the doting daughter Kay Banks in the comedy Father of the Bride starring along with Spencer Tracy cemented her as the beautiful actress with her radiance and beauty.


Father of the Bride ( 1950)

Later re-made as a Steve Martin comedy, the original stars Spencer Tracy as a man struggling to cope with all things from the time his lovely daughter announces her engagement to the finale of the wedding.

Stanley Banks copes with the uncomfortable truth that his daughter Kay ( Elizabeth Taylor) is grown up and is in love and gets the gradual realisation that the wedding is going to cost him his money and his sanity. Blundering from one awkward set piece to another, Stan finally realises that the dream wedding of his daughter is a reality he has to contend with and gives his daughter away in an emotional finale.

Elizabeth Taylor is utterly luminous in her role as the doting daughter and the dazzling bride.She gives a very endearing performance and of course looks gorgeous in her bridal dress that made fathers and mothers ( and would be brides) go awww.

Recognised as one of the top 100 American Comedies by the AFI.

This was followed by the slightly unnecessary , but nevertheless lucrative sequel, Father’s Little dividend (1951)

Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift

Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift


A Place in the Sun (1951)

In the first of her roles starring alongside the handsome Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth plays the role of rich socialite Angela Vickers who seduces young George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) a young factory worker. George is already seeing fellow worker Alice ‘Al’ Tripp.

George is taken by the glamorous society that Angela represents and is soon torn between his love for Al and his newfound glamour. When he realises that Al is pregnant, George decides to get rid of her after Angela asks him to marry her. After several dramatic twists, poor George is charged with a murder he didn’t quite commit and loses everything he aspired for and more.

The film was nominated for 8 academy awards and won 5 including for the Director, Cinematography and Screenplay. It confirmed Montgomery Clift’s ascendancy as the handsome leading man and Elizabeth Taylor’s sensuality on the screen.

No: 1 - Conrad Hilton & Liz Taylor

No: 1 - Conrad Hilton & Liz Taylor

No:2 - Michael Wilding & Liz Taylor

No:2 - Michael Wilding & Liz Taylor

The Serial-Bride begins her journey...

The 1950s saw Elizabeth Taylor confirm her beauty as a sizzling presence but failed to rescue the inane storylines and insipid drama of films such as Hathaway went Thataway (1951), Love is better than ever (1952), Ivanhoe (1952) , The Girl who had everything (1953)

The 1950s also saw her first marriage to the original Hilton- Heir, Conrad Hilton. A liaison that ended as quickly as it began. She divorced him within 9 months, starting her long association with divorce lawyers.

She then married Michael Wilding in 1952. He was 20 years his senior and this marriage lasted for 5 years and ended in 1957.

Elizabeth Taylor’s superstar trajectory started with her role in Giant along with Rock Hudson and James Dean. She had a lifelong friendship with the closet gay Rock Hudson and it was his death from Aids that started her campaign as an aids activist in later life.

With Rock Hudson in Giant!

With Rock Hudson in Giant!


Giant (1956)

Based on a novel by Edna Ferber, this film charts the fortunes of the Texas ranchers following the oil boom.

Rock Hudson stars as Jordan ‘Bick’ Benedict, a member of a large Texas rancher family who meets and weds socialite Leslie Lynton (Elizabeth Taylor). Jett Rink ( James Dean in his last starring role before his untimely death in a car crash) is ranch hand working for Bick’s sister who is left a plot of land by her on her death. Instead of annexing his land to the Benedict clan,

Jett isolates the land, clams the watering hole and causes all sorts of problems and rivalry, burning with desire for his neighbours wife Leslie. The saga follows the discovery of oil, the calamitous clashes and the casualties of the oil boom.

Directed by George Stephens, the film showcases the raw talent of James Dean . George won the best director Oscars and film received nine other nominations including best actor nominations to Rock Hudson and James Dean. Elizabeth Taylor plays an assured role standing her own among the male co-stars.

James Dean Dies!

In a talented life cut short, dazzling star James Dean died in a car accident and Giant was to be his last film. Hie method acting, his dedication, his looks all promised a long and lasting career in Hollywood. This was not to be.

The Rise and Rise of Liz Taylor

This was when Elizabeth Taylor received plum roles that showcased her acting ability. He following years saw successive best actress nominations for Raintree country ( 1957), Cat on a Hot tin Roof (1958), Suddenly Last summer ( 1959) and finally won her first Oscar for Butterfield8 (1960)

Elizabeth Taylor as Susanna Drake ( Raintree County)

Elizabeth Taylor as Susanna Drake ( Raintree County)


Raintree County (1957)

Shot in gorgeous Technicolor, this movie was adapted from the eponymous novel by Ross Lockridge.

Elizabeth Taylor plays southern belle Susanna who falls in love with John Shawnessy (Montgomery Clift) and takes him away from his high school sweetheart Nell ( Eve Marie Saint). The sweeping saga then straddles the North South divide, civil war, family secrets and twists and turns.

Susanna has a history of mental illness and feigns a pregnancy to marry John. The pair get separated after they have a child for real and the war years make John enlist in order to travel to South to find his wife. And get back together.

The Film got Elizabeth Taylor a nomination for best actress and also received several other technical nominations for its wonderful widescreen photography.

Tragedy for Montgomery Clift

Handsome star Montgomery Clift suffered horrific injuries and facial paralysis in an automobile accident after leaving a party at Elizabeth Taylor’s house in Beverly hills. He returned to filming after a hiatus.

There are portions of the film shot attempting to cover his injuries. Rising star Clift, Hollywood’s most promising leading man, succumbed to depression and possibly addiction following this horrific accident and dies in 1966, his career trajectory taking a turn for the worse.

For her next film, Taylor starred with another handsome co-star, Paul Newman.

Newman and Taylor in Cat on a hot tin roof

Newman and Taylor in Cat on a hot tin roof


Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Adapted from the Tennessee Williams play (he was unhappy by Hollywood toning down the story’s homosexual references and disclaimed his association), this paired the luminous Paul Newman with Elizabeth Taylor creating a magnetic screen coupling.

The story of a dejected and alcoholic athlete Brick, who mourns the death of his friend is told in a series of events unfolding over a day Hand his gorgeous wife Maggie ‘the cat’ ( Liz Taylor) visit his parents house. Knowing that his father has a terminal illness, Maggie and Brick spar over their future, the future of the estate, their childlessness, their guilt and lack of passion. Bitter Brick unveils powerful emotions of guilt and redemption. Taylor once again sizzles on the screen while upping her dramatic credentials in a manipulative, sexually intense and emotive role.

The film received seven nominations including best picture, Director, Actor for Newman and actress for Taylor.

No:3 Michael Todd - Elizabeth, Michael and daughter 'Liza'

No:3 Michael Todd - Elizabeth, Michael and daughter 'Liza'

The Fatal Plane crash

Elizabeth Taylor had divorced Michael Wilding in January 1957 and weeks after married Hollywood producer Michael Todd. He was a rich and successful film maker who had collected the Oscar for best picture for 'Around the world in eighty Days'. Elizabeth had a daughter with Michael Todd ( Elizabeth Frances Todd) who was born in August of 1957.

Months later, in March 1958, Michael was travelling in his Private Jet to New York and She was to accompany him. She had a viral cold and Todd refused to take her and asked her to rest. His plane - called ' Lucky Liz' - crashed in New Mexico, killing all four aboard. Elizabeth was devastated.

She returned to filming much frail and thin. Her next film once again gained the nod of the Oscar voters, it was the psychological melodrama, Suddenly last summer.

Liz in Suddenly, Last Summer

Liz in Suddenly, Last Summer


Suddenly, Last summer (1959)

Another of Tennessee Williams play dealing with the subject of psychology and homosexuality, this film centres on Catherine Holly, a candidate of a lunatic asylum. Catherine loses her mind after a horrific and mysterious death of her cousin Sebastian, while they were visiting Europe.

A brilliant neurosurgeon Dr John Curcowitz ( Montgomery Clift) visits her to evaluate her for a lobotomy ( it was set in 1930s) at the request of a rich aunt Violet Venables ( Katherine Hepburn) . The latter insists that Catherine is deranged by shock and may say horrific things about the incident .

The surgeon decides to investigate the truth for himself and several twists in the tale follow. Under his empathetic support Catherine slowly begins to remember the horrific incidents in Europe, much to Violets dismay and soon all is revealed, including the truth of how Sebastian died.

Both Taylor and Hepburn received nominations for best actress but neither won.The film was somewhat stagey as it was based on the one act play. Clift was reeling from effects of alcohol and prescription drugs while filming and the whole production was an unhappy affair.

No:4  Eddie fisher - Liz, Eddie and Debbie

No:4 Eddie fisher - Liz, Eddie and Debbie

Finally the Oscar but also public distaste!

The character of Gloria in her next film BUtterfield 8 is what won Elizabeth Taylor her first Oscar. She however, hated this film. This is the time when Eddie Fisher was drawn to her way from his wife Debbie Reynolds and the public branded Elizabeth a ‘home wrecker’- the film’s storyline was too close to home.

With the untimely death of her husband Michael Todd. She was consoled by Michael's close friend, actor/singer Eddie Fisher, who was then married to Debbie Reynolds. This relationship caused scandal as Eddie broke up his marriage to marry Elizabeth . Many feel that the public reaction to home wrecking cost Elizabeth Taylor the Oscars despite back to back nominations in previous years.

Liz as promiscuous Gloria in BUtterfield 8

Liz as promiscuous Gloria in BUtterfield 8


BUtterfield 8 ( 1960)

Elizabeth Plays the promiscuous Gloria who has an adulterous affair with an executive Weston Liggett ( Lawrence Harvey). Going through flirtatious relationships, her tempestuous on-off affair with Weston, she only has her close friend Steve (Eddie Fisher) to confide in.

Steve is getting pressured by his own girlfriend to stop seeing Gloria due to her promiscuity. There are various rivalries and domino effect from Gloria’s character. Weston’s wife condemns his adulterous affair and asks him to return home. Several turns of the story later the background of Glorias’ character and her tragic past is revealed but ultimately ends in a tragedy.

Elizabeth plays a feisty and promiscuous 'other' woman - a recurring theme in her film career- however, despite her dislike to this film, her acting is impeccable, taunting, sizzling and tormented, she excels in the role of a seductress.The Oscar was well deserved especially after a string of successive nominations.


The Queen of Hollywood

Elizabeth felt that conversely a bout of pneumonia and near death (and a tracheotomy) brought her a wave of sympathy and got her the Oscar finally for Butterfield8. In many ways an inferior role compared to her stellar performances in the other three films.

The next film crowned Elizabeth Taylor as the queen of Hollywood with the highest pay for an actress of that time. 20th century fox paid her a million dollars to star in the story of the great Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Originally budgeted at a modest 4 million the film ended up costing 44 million dollars ( equivalent of 320 million today- making it one of the most expensive films ever made) with bloated spends, multiple rewrites, studio interference and a 6 hour running time. Although it eventually recouped the money through home video market, it still remains a messy affair.

However this was more popular for providing tabloid fodder as Elizabeth Taylor began a public and passionate affair with co-star Richard Burton, who played Mark Anthony.

Liz as Cleopatra

Liz as Cleopatra


Cleopatra (1963)

The story of the Queen of Egypt and her affair with the Roman senator Julius Casear and subsequently Mark Anthony forms the crux of this long film. However, the story actually centres around Caesar’s campaign against Egypt, his assassination and the emergence of Mark Antony and subsequently emperor Octavian.

It had big stars – Rex Harrison plays Cesar to Elizabeth Tailors Cleopatra. Mark Antony is played by Richard Burton. It also starred Roddie McDowall, Martin Landau, Francesca Annis and Richard O’ Sullivan.

Released and critically mauled, it did go on to win over some audiences by its lavish production values. It won Oscars for technical categories such as set design and costumes

No: 5 Burton and Taylor

No: 5 Burton and Taylor

The Golden Couple

Taylor’s career trajectory reached the pinnacle in the 60s. The press fascination with the golden couple of Burton and Taylor converted easily to box office gold. Their film adaptation of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) got them much critical accolades and earned Taylor her seond best actress Oscar. Burton and Taylor married in 1964 and stayed together for ten years of enormous public following and scrutiny.

The duo continued make films such as The V.I.Ps (1963) , The Sandpiper (1965) and Taming of the shrew(1967). In public they were most photographed around the Globe, living it large sailing, partying, appearing in many glamorous locations, keeping the public’s inexhaustible appetite whetted.


Who’s afraid of Virgina woolf (1966)

This marvellous adaptation of Edward Albee’s play of the same name starred the megawattage of Burton and Taylor.

Burton plays George, the Associate professor of history and Taylor his alcoholic wife Martha, the daughter of the college president.Set in one long night when Martha invites the newly appointed, handsome new instructor Nick ( George Segal) and his meek wife Honey ( Sandy Dennis) to join them for drinks. The bitter and twisted tale of marital rivalry and faield dreams unfolds unflinchingly in the eyes of the young couple as they watch George and Martha spar first verbally and then physicall. Stripping down the sexual politics, family tragedies and the ache of unfulfilled dreams the film is a brilliant character study and acted superbly by all.

There were many Oscar nominations, but Taylor triumphed where Burton failed ( he never won an Oscar) and got her second golden statuette.

United in Drink!

United in Drink!

No: 5 ( and 6!) Richard Burton

No: 5 ( and 6!) Richard Burton

Fail to re-ignite

It is ironic that their peak of performance should mirror so close to home as Burton and Taylor did court alcohol in their personal lives often drinking very heavily, relying on each others for support. Explains why Taylor divorced him after ten years of marriage in 1974 only to go back and marry him again a few months later, separating again within months bitterly.

The later films of 60s filed to spark any interest and her career nosedived after that. But Taylor had a personal fortune worth several millions, a high flying lifestyle and went on to launch her white diamonds line of perfumes that amassed another fortune as one of the best selling celebrity perfumes of all times. She had homes in London, Hawaii and Palm Springs.

No:7 Jack Warner

No:7 Jack Warner

No:8 Larry Fortensky

No:8 Larry Fortensky

Cameo in The Flintstones

Cameo in The Flintstones

More Husbands and Charity work

She married husband number seven , a United States Senator Jack Warner in 1976 a marriage that lasted 6 years. Soon bored of her life in Washington she divorced him and returned d to California. Her health had deteriorated with multiple illnesses and increased addiction to alcohol and she checked into Betty Ford clinic after her divorce from senator Warner.

While in the clinic she met a fellow addict and ‘Truck Driver’ Larry Fortensky and married him soon afterwards again creating much public furore. This was her eight marriage.

Despite starring in insipid films over the seventies, Taylors fame remained undiminished. She was one of first major celebrities to acknowledge the AIDS epidemic, stand for its cause and raise money in the first major AIDS fundraiser in 1984. She co-founded the American foundation for Aids research and continued to support this cause.

She received the Jean Hersholt memorial humanitarian award in 1992 for her work for AIDS.

In the eighties she had cameo appearances in the Mirror Crack’d and in the Flintstones and made several TV films and even appeared in The Simpsons twice.

She possessed jewellery that was truly iconic like her- the Mary the First’s La Peregrina Pearl curiously shaped like a tear, the 33 Karat Krupp diamond and the insane 69 carat diamond that was named after the golden couple- the Taylor-Burton diamond. A lot of her possession were auctioned by Christie’s auction house and raised millions.

Krupp Diamond

Krupp Diamond

Final years...

Final years...

Death of an Icon.

The very mutation that gave her those double row of eyelashes also contributed to congestive heart failure and lymphoedema. She continued to receive medical support throughout the nineties and noughties. She had to resort to a wheelchair due to osteoporosis.

Her friendship with Michael Jackson further fuelled tabloid interest and she stood by him through the infamous allegations also.

She dies in Cedar-Sinai hospital on March 23 2011, following complications of the Congestive heart failure that had plagued her for years, surrounded by her four loving children.

As she should be remembered

As she should be remembered


Mixed Blessings

Elizabeth Taylor is a true Hollywood Icon. Her life is one of extreme fame and insane tragedy. It seems like the same hand that blessed her with gorgeous looks, blistering talent, instant fame and fortune also followed around dispensing tragedies. Death , disease and infamy.

Every triumph was soon shrouded in a tragedy only to be followed by another greater triumph, in a roller-coaster ride of her life.

But despite all, she delighted legions of fans, amassed a fortune worthy of Cleopatra herself and blazed a trail across the starry skies so intense, one has to shade their eyes to look at her.

And one thing is certain. Like a rare mountain flower that only blooms once every few years, people like her don't come very often.

May her soul rest in peace.

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932  March 23, 2011) R.I.P

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 March 23, 2011) R.I.P

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Mohan Kumar


Anita on August 13, 2018:

What a life she had! Always a favorite star. So beautiful, with a perfect nose/profile. Gifted actress, kind heart, a good mother. A real star! They don't make them like her anymore.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on November 01, 2015:

Elizabeth Taylor was a pioneer of beauty and talent. I have followed her career through the years reading everything I could get my hands on. You've done an amazing job here. Your hub is both a tribute and biography sprinkled with beautiful photos. Thank you so much Mohan. Sharing and pinning to my board, "Famous People."


rjbatty from Irvine on October 27, 2015:

Extremely well done Hub -- very thorough. It's impossible not to love Liz. Someone commenting on one of my Hubs, said that she thought Liz had an "unearthly beauty." Well, about such matters, I cannot shed any light. I'm unable to categorize Liz. For me, she just stands apart -- not necessarily above but in her own unique frame. My point is this: Perhaps because her beauty is ethereal, so much like a Roman statue, I cannot quite connect to her as I do with Audrey Hepburn, Vivien Leigh or Hedy Lamarr. With these others I feel a sort of connectedness, a kind of visceral, animal attraction. All of them seem remote in different ways but somehow "attainable" whereas Liz (in her best shots) seems more like something to akin to an actual goddess -- a figure one makes prayers to and lights candles around

rjbatty from Irvine on October 27, 2015:

Extremely well done Hub -- very thorough. It's impossible not to love Liz. Someone commenting on one of my Hubs, said that she thought Liz had an "unearthly beauty." Well, about such matters, I cannot shed very much light. I'm unable to categorize Liz. For me, she just stands apart -- not necessarily above all others but definitely in her own unique frame. My point is this: Perhaps because her beauty is ethereal, so much like a Roman statue, I cannot quite connect to her as I do with Audrey Hepburn, Vivien Leigh or Hedy Lamarr. With these others I feel a sort of connectedness, a kind of visceral, animal attraction. All of them seem remote in different ways but somehow "attainable" whereas Liz (in her best shots -- like your final one) seem more akin to an actual goddess -- a figure one makes prayers to and lights candles around. I do not feel an earthly-bound attraction toward her -- it becomes transcendent, and that's kind of disturbing. The power of the goddess is not to be taken lightly. The core of our reverence lays deep within our unconscious selves. Men have long feared beauty because they know it is overpowering, and when we start to delve into the most beautiful women who we know have existed, we're getting into some very deep territory -- know it or not, like it or not. It is not for no reason that many in the Middle East insist that their women cover themselves in public. I suspect this is because all men recognize a vulnerability within themselves and do not want to relinquish their power of control to things of mere beauty. Men want to keep things on a manly plain -- a god who is like them -- strong, sometimes merciless. But it makes you wonder. If the face of god resembled this, would men become mollified, stupefied, even subservient? Would they lay down their weapons and simply worship the pure majesty of a projection beyond their imaginations? Well, I've let my imagination wander, but ... if god could show us a face and it resembled this, I think you'd see grown men weeping in the courtyard. Because above all we all want to believe that a supreme being looks over us with kindness and beauty in his/her heart. I'm an atheist, and I would still go for that.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on September 17, 2012:

Elizabeth Taylor was always my favorite actress. It's hard for me to say which of her movies is my favorite.

Beautifull done, Doc. I voted this UP, etc. Will share, Pin and tweet.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 17, 2012:

17 months later, I am drawn back through the pimping of Miss Sunshine...

This continues to delight, intrigue and amaze me...both the lady and the author who puts heart, soul and even medicine into making this one of the most comprehensive tributes I have read.

These pictures show a complex beauty through her unbelievable life journey. Fabulous! Hugs, Maria

Nell Rose from England on September 16, 2012:

What a fantastic and detailed hub about Elizabeth Taylor, amazing! there were only a few women back then who really were stars and stood out from the crowd, and she was one of those, we will never have another one like her these days, voted up!

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on September 16, 2012:

I read her biography in less than a day- her life was so fantastic and so tragic. For all that she endured, she definitely lived her life championing others. She's a role model in that regard. Lovely hub :)!

MG Singh from UAE on September 16, 2012:

Nice post. I have seen many movies of Elizabeth Taylor and she was simply superb

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 16, 2012:

I love everything about Elizabeth Taylor. She was a beautiful woman with a heart of gold. Thank you for creating this amazing tribute in her honor.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on August 24, 2012:

I agree with Martie, Docmo. Liz was one of the most beautiful woman in the world, and yes, as some of the others said, she had a really dramatic life as well. A world class hub, as epigram man mentioned!! Well researched, as always, Docmo!!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on August 09, 2012:

Was Elizabeth Taylor not the most beautiful woman in the world? I am so in awe of her. Thanks for this fantastic hub about one of my greatest idols. Docmo, you are a star!

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 08, 2012:

Fascinating and thoroughly covered subject, Docmo. What a tribute to an amazing woman. She was beautiful and both of my parents followed her career. Rated up/I/U/A You are amazing!

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on August 08, 2012:

A befitting tribute to Hollywood's icon, the late Elizabeth Taylor! She was a unique actress in terms of her violet-eyed beauty, her dramatic life and her memorable roles in classic films! Your style of writing is impeccable! You made this hub entertaining from the beginning to the end and also filled it with a gallery of dazzling photos of this stunning beauty! She is one of my father's favorite actresses! A wonderful hub! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Awesome, Beautiful & interesting. Voted up

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on August 08, 2012:

A fitting and stunning tribute to Elizabeth Taylor my favorite actress. My favorite Taylor movie is "A place in the sun." I have seen all her movies at least once. Your hub is so well written and beautifully presented. It is my pleasure to share this with FB, Twtr, Pinterest and Hub page followers.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on June 23, 2012:

Thank you- I just noticed a red triangle on this one and wondered why. Mystery solved. I'll hop over to yours and have a look. Your film hubs are a total delight!

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on June 23, 2012:

Hey Docmo....I was working on a Elizabeth Taylor hub right before she passed away.....and then she passed and you got this excellent tribute done....which made me realize my hub was nowhere near as good as this hub....but 15 months later I have finished my hub and have linked your hub to my hub....hope it brings you a little extra traffic for this excellent hub.

ChristineVianello from Philadelphia on April 20, 2011:

She was in deed a beauty

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on March 30, 2011:

@epi - You don't need fancy trimmings when you've got your wonderful talent for writing exquisite poetry. Thank you for your kind words on my Liz tribute!

epigramman on March 30, 2011:

...well you really know how to put together A WORLD CLASS hub - it makes the epi-man's hub look anemic by comparison - lol lol - maybe I should add a light show and a marching band to distract from my rather insipid writing style - lol lol - but this my friend is a work of art - if 'Liz' is looking down and onto this 'hub' tribute she would undoubtedly be proud - and very moved - like I was!!!!!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on March 29, 2011:

@ Lynda - those are my favourite films too. Isn't it amazing that most of her best films were adapted from a good book or a popular play. Good writing goes a long way!

@Amy, I am glad the painstaking search for good photos paid off. She was always dazzling through the ages and some are absolute stunners. Thank you for your lovely comments!

@Justsilvie- much appreciated - she was an exquisite woman in so many ways and not just the looks -and it was an honour to pay tribute to her.

Justsilvie on March 29, 2011:

A loevly Tribute! Great collection of Photo's but the one at the end of the hub is how always I will remember her. She looked so exquistely beautiful and innocent.

Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on March 29, 2011:

Liz would love your tribute and especially your choice of photographs. The first one in black and white is arresting in her stark perfection. I learned so many new, interesting facts in your piece and had to laugh upon the shortsighted description Edward Muhl of Universals Studios cast on Liz Taylor and her overbearing mother. It sounds like he was looking for Shirley Temple and I can't imagine her starring in Nat'l Velvet or any of Liz's subsequent roles! And, just when I thought I'd seen my favorite photo in your captioned "As She Should be Remembered", I see the small photo in a coral dress with Elizabeth looking upward and then this one at the end, and I realize I don't think she took a bad picture. Here I understand the complete adulation my grandmother always had for Liz Taylor. Upon learning of her death, I immediately thought that I am sure my grandmother was at the front of Liz's welcoming committee into Heaven.

I was amazed at the photos of Richard Burton when he and Liz first married. I'd never seen him look so young and healthy. And it surprises me to see the Life magazine cover on One Shot Liz that she was only 16! As I saw this beautiful photographic journal, I was struck, particularly the beach photo that she belonged on the cover of Vogue. It is ironic because the actual Vogue photo was one of my least favorites, as she looked so unhappy. You did a fantastic piece on a uniquely beautiful, well respected woman and actress. Despite the turbulence in her life, with health issues, relationship problems, betrayals, it was Debbie Reynolds daughter, Carrie Fisher, who said upon Liz's death, that if her dad had to do what he did, she was so glad that Elizabeth was the woman. Once again, Docmo, an epic piece about an epic woman, written by an epic writer.

lmmartin from Alberta and Florida on March 29, 2011:

Not only did Liz epitomize the glamour of Hollywood, but also the instability of the celebrity lifestyle. My favorites among her films would be Virginia Wolf and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Thanks for this great article on her life. May she rest in peace. Lynda

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on March 28, 2011:

@Fay- wow what an experience- to talk to a legend! I admired her as she was my mother's favourite actress and the more I see of her the more beautiful she gets!


@Susan, glad I was able to showcase some of her films that people may not always know. I tried to pick some of her films of artistic merit...


@Twilight Lawns, thank you so much- I wanted to show what a multifaceted artist she was- her courage, her acting abilities and her beauty, all went hand in hand.


@Cogerson- I hadn't heard of that film so thanks for sharing this. I will have a look to see and include it also. Thank you!


@Dexisview- what a life indeed! thanks.


@Ruby- even in her passing she has left a great legacy for a worthy cause. Thank you!


@toknowinfo- thank you for appreciating my effort- I thought someone like her deserves a truly sincere hub- not a quick sketch and a obituary.


@drbj - I wanted the pictures to add value to her truly wonderful story of Triumphs and Tragedies. Glad you like it !


@Koffeeklatch Girls - I agree she is a woman who had it all and yet, lost a lot too! Thank you for dropping by.


@marcojour - I agree that she is one of a kind. Truly! - Thanks for your comments.


@Purple Pearl- nice to see you here - I wanted to make sure there was a wealth of information on all aspects of her life... glad you like it. I hope it wasn't too long!


@Genna- welcome back - I hope you are well. Good to see you here Genna and I am really glad you like the info- yes- she didn't like that film at all as she felt it reflected on the public perception that she was a 'slut and a home breaker' - yet that was the film that got her first Oscar!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 28, 2011:

Excellent hub, Doc. You included a number of facts not many people know; for example, she hated Butterfield 8, but did the film when they found a part for Eddie. Up and awesome.

Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on March 28, 2011:

Beautiful hub,thanks for the great research that went into this hub and I particularly loved Liz's pictures. Her real beauty thru' the ages. Wonderful info about her husbands, acting, jewelry and her life itself. A wonderful tribute to an iconic actress that can never be emulated.Thanks docmo. Rated you up!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on March 27, 2011:

There will never be another Elizabeth Taylor... the pictures and details of her journey through life have been wonderful~~ Voted UP, AWESOME & BEAUTIFUL~~ thank you!

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on March 27, 2011:

What a wonderful tribute to a truly great woman. She had it all. Her beauty was something many womenn couldn't begin to emulate. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on March 27, 2011:

These photos of Liz Taylor are absolutely awesome and beautiful - just like your stunning tribute to her, Mohan.

She was one of a kind - talented, beautiful, charismatic and generous. She would appreciate your brilliant efforts. You know, I was thinking of interviewing her but there's no need now since you did such a sublime job. Bravo!

toknowinfo on March 27, 2011:

Wow, you worked really hard putting this hub together. It is a great tribute to a classy woman, who will always be an icon. Rated up and awesome. Thanks for all the effort, it really shows as a fantastic article that it is.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 27, 2011:

Oh how wonderful!! Elizabeth Taylor was my favorite actress. My favorite movie, 'A place in the sun' She lived a full life. I want to think she has found peace. She left her wealth for AIDS research. Thank you so much for this fabulous hub.


Dexi from New England on March 27, 2011:

Oh what a life! portrayed it well, Docmo.

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on March 27, 2011:

Great hub.....very interesting hub on a great actress...I was sorry to see her passing.....I would add one movie to your list of great movies you listed...Life With was a huge hit, and one of the first adult roles see played....although it was a supporting part...voted way up.....awesome job Docmo

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on March 27, 2011:

Thank you so much for the hub, Docmo. It was brilliantly put together. I am so tired of people saying that she was just a beautiful woman, and that her acting wasn't particularly wonderful. Two of my favourite films are 'Suddenly Last Summer' and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'. 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' has stunning acting performances throughout, by the complete cast.

Oh, Fay, you lucky person!

Voted UP and AWESOME.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 27, 2011:

Fantastic beautiful and awesome tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. There are a few movies here that I had forgotten she was in. Enjoyed reading your hub very much!

Fay Paxton on March 27, 2011:

A fabulous tribute to an actress who epitomized stardom. I had the pleasure of meeting her many years ago, when a group of friends and I went to a small restaurant where she was seated alone. She invited us to sit and laughed and talked with us until she left. She oozed sweetness and was quite honestly the most down-to-earth and beautiful woman I have ever seen.

voted up awesome and beautiful.

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