Hollywood lost a legend today. At the age of 79, Elizabeth Taylor died from congestive heart failure at L.A’s Cedars-Sinai Hospital. In Hollywood, it is hard to last more than a couple of years, and in Elizabeth’s day, recurring fame was even harder to come by.
She started out as a child star that went on to act alongside some of the Hollywood elite including Paul Newman, James Dean, and Rock Hudson. She was also the first in Hollywood to get paid one million for her work.
Though it was her (many) marriages (and her stunning beauty) that caught the public’s interest. She first engaged at 17, but never married. Her first husband was the Great Uncle of the infamous Hilton sister’s Nicky and Paris. The marriage lasted only a few months and at nineteen, Taylor was a divorcee. She then married Michael Wilding; the marriage lasted five years and produced two sons. By the age of 24, Taylor was on her third marriage and had not only two sons, but now a daughter. Her marriage to third husband Michael Todd ended tragically when he was killed in a plane crash. This led to one of the biggest Hollywood romance scandals.
Taylor and her late husband were friends with fellow Hollywood stars Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Fisher and Reynolds seemed like the perfect couple, though after Todd’s death, Taylor looked to Fisher for comfort. The affair sparked the divorce between Fisher and Reynolds which inevitably lead to the marriage of Fisher and Taylor in 1959.
Despite the scandal, these years were some of the best for Taylor career wise. She had four Oscar nominations in three years and landed the leading role (and the unheard of one million dollar paycheck) in the film adaption of Cleopatra. Despite nabbing four Oscar wins and even grossing a respectable amount of money, the film was way over budget and put a damper on Taylor’s career.
Taylor went on to have another affair with Richard Burton. The two were both married to others at the time, but as a direct result of the affair, they divorced their spouses and married each other in 1964. They starred in eight films together and last a strong ten years before getting divorced. Before they divorced, however, they did adopt one daughter. The two even tried again, marrying again a year later, but this time, the marriage only lasted nine months.
Taylor had a total of four children and at the age of 39 became a grandmother. When she died, she had ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Taylor died surrounded by her children. The Hollywood Icon will forever be remembered for her talent, beauty, and controversy.