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Summary Article: Taylor, Dame Elizabeth Rosemond
from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


♦ US film actress

She was born in London, England, of US parents, and moved with her family to Los Angeles (1939), where she made her screen debut at the age of ten, in There's One Born Every Minute (1942). As a child star she made a number of films including two "Lassie" stories (1943, 1946), National Velvet (1944) and Little Women (1949). She was first seen as an adult in The Father of the Bride (1950), and her career continued through the 1950s with films including Raintree County (1958), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly Last Summer (1959), for all of which she received Academy Award nominations. She was notable also for her many marriages, her first husband being Nick Hilton (m.1950), her second the actor Michael Wilding (m.1952), her third the producer Mike Todd (m.1957), who was killed in an air crash the following year. She then married Eddie Fisher (1959), divorcing him in 1964. In 1961 she won her first Academy Award for Butterfield 8 (1960). The making of the spectacular epic Cleopatra (1962) provided the background to her well-publicized romance with her co-star Richard Burton whom she married for the first time in 1964. She made several films with Burton, including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966, Academy Award). Divorced from and remarried to Richard Burton, she was divorced from him again (1976), and married the US Senator John Warner (1978), from whom she separated in 1981. She made her stage debut in New York with The Little Foxes (1981). After treatment for alcohol addiction, she resumed acting, mostly in television with Malice in Wonderland (1985), Poker Alice (1986) and other films. She married Larry Fortensky in 1991 but filed for divorce in 1996. Now retired from the screen due to ill health, she devotes her time to AIDS charities and her passion for jewellery. She was created DBE in 2000.

© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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