Saturday 26 March 2011

Elizabeth Taylor ~ the violet-eyed film goddess

RIP Dame Elizabeth Taylor…..

“Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow

Elizabeth Taylor

Like a pure white diamond you’ll shine on and on and on. Kylie Minogue, Twitter

Elizabeth Taylor

whose sultry screen persona, stormy personal life and enduring fame and glamour

made her one of the last of the old-fashioned movie stars.

Elizabeth Taylor, an iconic classical beauty and actress ~ she had it all:

the violet, almond-shaped eyes, the creamy skin, the pouty lips and raven hair.

Of course, there were her Oscars, legendary roles and many husbands, too.

Her longevity as a style influencer is proven by the longtime success of her fragrance collections launched with Elizabeth Arden. White Diamonds, which followed 1980s-era Passion and was one of the original celebrity perfumes, has been a beauty-counter best-seller for 20 years.

Samantha Critchel, San Francisco Chronicle

The public saw her mature from a young curly haired tomboy in “National Velvet”

to the sultry “Cleopatra.”

Queen of the Nile

Elizabeth Taylor on the film set of Cleopatradirected by Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1963.

Her much documented relationship with actor Richard Burton began on the set of Cleopatra

– the most expensive film ever made, at the time – when both were married to other people.

Burton left his first wife Sybil, Taylor left her fourth husband – actor Eddie Fisher – and the two were married 10 days later at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montreal. After 10 years together they divorced, only to remarry the following year in a ceremony at the Chobe National Park in Kasane, Botswana, Africa.

Burton’s famously lavish gifts to Taylor, began in 1968 with the 33.19-carat Asscher-cut Krupp Diamond,

which she wore set in a ring throughout her life. Other famous presents included the heart-shaped Taj-Mahal diamond, inscribed in Arabic, for her 40th birthday: “I would have liked to buy her the Taj-Mahal,” Burton said at the time, “but it would cost too much to transport. This diamond has so many carats, it’s almost a turnip.”

Most famous of all was a 69.42-carat pear-shape diamond – later known as the Taylor-Burton Diamond – which Taylor wore in public for the first time when she attended Princess Grace‘s 40th birthday party in Monaco in 1969. In 1978, following her second divorce from Burton, Taylor sold the diamond to raise funds for a hospital in Botswana. It achieved $5 million at auction.

Their marriage was famously tempestuous, creating spectacular rows, but when Burton died in 1984 Taylor was distraught and reportedly said she would like to be buried with him when she died. “If Richard and I divorce, I swear I will never marry anyone again,” she said during their first marriage. “I love him insanely.”

Richard Burton and Elizabeth rented a 279 ton, 165 foot Edwardian motor yacht which they later bought for $192,000 and renamed Kalizma, after their daughters Kate Burton, Liza Todd and Maria Burton. Updated by the designer Barbosa, the yacht finished in Edwardian mahogany and chrome had seven cabins and two staterooms which could house a total of fourteen guests, including five main crew. Inside the yacht was brimming with objet d’art, including paintings by Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh and Vlaminck; a bust of Churchill in the salon, Burton’s book collection and fine Chippendale furniture and tapestries. They spent a great deal of time on the yacht and nearly every week it docked somewhere fabulous in the Mediterranean. Guests included Rex Harrison, Rachel Roberts and Tennessee Williams. Elizabeth later sold Kalizma for $6 million. fashionsmostwanted

Born in Hampstead, London, in 1932, Elizabeth Taylor is one of the most legendary Hollywood stars of our time, as famous for being one of the most beautiful women in the world as she is for having married eight times; for her pioneering work in support of AIDS and HIV education and fund-raising; and for her love of show-stopping jewels.

Elizabeth Taylor’s Husbands
“What do you expect me to do? Sleep alone?”
* “Nicky” Conrad Hilton Jr from May 1950 to February 1951; * Michael Wilding from February 1952 to January 1957;  * Mike Todd from February 1957 until his death in March 1958; * Eddie Fisher from May 1959 to March 1964;  *Richard Burton from March 1964 to June 1974; Richard Burton from October 1975 to August 1976;  * John Warner from December 1976 to November 1982; and * Larry Fortensky from October 1991 to October 1996.

TriviaMike Todd’s plane was called “The Lucky Liz” tragically it didn’t bring him luck, it crashed over a mountain range in New Mexico, killing him. Throughout her marriage to Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth continued to wear Mike Todd’s wedding band – Eddie’s on her left hand and Mike’s on her right. The twisted, charred band had been recovered from the wreckage after his plane crash.

Taylor won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her roles in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (in 1966) and Butterfield 8 (1960). She was nominated three times in the three years preceding her first win – for Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Raintree Country (1957) – but was beaten to the Oscar each time.

1959, Elizabeth Taylor stars in Suddenly, Last Summer and was nominated for an Oscar in this film.

A Dame of Firsts!

By 1963 Elizabeth, after many long battles with the studios, finally won unprecedented control of her image in the movies. She had the right to approve her own costumes, hairstyles, make up designs and no publicity stills were released without her approval. It was the first time any actress was granted this.
By 1983, Elizabeth was drinking so much she would have a few Bloody Mary’s for breakfast, wine for lunch, Jack Daniels at cocktail hour and more wine and spirits with dinner. She became the first celebrity to make her stay in the Betty Ford Clinic public.
Elizabeth Taylor passed away Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at age 79.

She was surrounded by her children: Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton.

“My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humour, and love,” Taylor’s son, Michael Wilding, told ABC News in the US. “Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it.

Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us,

and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

Personal messages can be left on Taylor’s official Facebook page.

{Images via the fashion spotconnect in; photobucket; Vogue}


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    3 Responses to “Elizabeth Taylor ~ the violet-eyed film goddess”

    1. You’ve certainly captured Elizabeth at her best- in those many ways!
      What a beauty.

    2. Anne says:

      Thank you for this biography. I have to admit I did not know much about Elizabeth Taylor, so your post was an interesting read!

    3. [...] Bennett (who also moonlighted as a blonde) ( Elizabeth Taylor ( Paulette Goddard ( Ava Gardner ( Clara [...]


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