Short Bio on Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor had been born on February 27, 1932 and was in London, England. Born an English child, her family was American art distributors from St. Louis, Missouri. Her father went to London to set up an art gallery while her mother was an actress on stage, but gave up that vocation when she got married. Elizabeth lived in London until she was seven and moved to the United States when the war was starting in Europe in 1939. Elizabeth and her mother left without her father so that he could stay and wrap up loose ends of the art business.
The family had relocated to Los Angeles where Elizabeth’s mother’s own family had moved. Mr. Taylor followed to the U.S. not long after. Elizabeth’s first foray onto the big screen was when she was ten. The movie was called “There’s one born every minute” in 1942. Universal quickly dropped her contract after that film but she was soon picked up by MGM. Her first film with MGM was “Lassie Come Home” in 1943. In 1944, she played Velvet Brown in “National Velvet” the film became a huge success, grossing over $4 million. Elizabeth had a long term contact with MGM and was the company’s top child star.
Throughout the rest of the 40s and 50s she appeared in films with mostly good results. In 1955 she appeared in the hit “Giant” with James Dean. In 1959, she appeared in “Suddenly, Last Summer” and was nominated for an Oscar; however, she lost to Simone Signoret for “Room at the Top.” In 1960 she received her first Oscar for her performance in “Butterfield 8” as Gloria Wandrous. She left MGM after her contract ran out but did projects for the studio later on down the road. In 1963, she starred in the movie “Cleopatra”, which was one of the most expensive productions at that time, as well as her salary; $1,000,000.00.
She won her second Oscar in 1966, in the movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Her films afterward didn’t approach the intensity of that one. In February 1997, Taylor was admitted to the hospital to remove a brain tumor. The operation was a success, and since then she has secured her role as one of the best leading actresses of all time.
Photo courtesy of Emage International/Art&Artifact and the Frank Worth Estate