February 27, 1932, Heathwood – March 23, 2011
Movie Legends: Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor DBE was a American motion picture actress noted for her unique beauty and her portrayals of volatile and strong-willed characters.
In 1942 Taylor made her first film, There’s One Born Every Minute, followed by Lassie Come Home (1943) and National Velvet (1944) as a child actress.
Taylor made a smooth transition from juvenile to adult roles in the films Life with Father (1947), Father of the Bride (1950), and An American Tragedy (1951). She appeared in The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), Giant (1956), Raintree County (1957), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959).
Taylor won an Academy Award for her performance as a conflicted New York call girl in BUtterfield 8 (1960) and a second Academy Award for her performance opposite Burton as the vituperative but vulnerable Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
An active philanthropist, Taylor helped to establish the American Foundation for AIDS Research (1985), partly motivated by the death of her friend Rock Hudson from the disease. She traveled the world as spokeswoman for the organization and in 1991 established the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to provide direct services to those suffering from the disease. Taylor also used the allure of her public image to market lucrative perfume and costume jewelry lines. In 1993 she received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. She received the French Legion of Honour in 1987 and was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2000.