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Dame Elizabeth Taylor
Taylor in 1956
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor
February 27, 1932
London, England, UK
|Died||March 23, 2011
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Congestive heart failure|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California|
|Parent(s)||Francis Lenn Taylor and Sara Sothern|
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was a British-American actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian. She began as a child actress in the early 1940s, and was one of the most popular stars of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1950s. She continued her career successfully into the 1960s, and remained a well known public figure for the rest of her life. The American Film Institute named her the seventh-greatest female screen legend in 1999.
Born in London to wealthy, socially prominent American parents, Taylor moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1939, and she soon was given a film contract by Universal Pictures. Her screen debut was in a minor role in There's One Born Every Minute (1942), but Universal terminated her contract after a year. Taylor was then signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and had her breakthrough role in National Velvet (1944), becoming one of the studio's most popular teenaged stars. She made the transition to adult roles in the early 1950s, when she starred in the comedy Father of the Bride (1950) and received critical acclaim for her performance in the tragic drama A Place in the Sun (1951).
Despite being one of MGM's most bankable stars, Taylor wished to end her career in the early 1950s, as she resented the studio's control and disliked many of the films to which she was assigned. She began receiving better roles in the mid-1950s, beginning with the epic drama Giant (1956), and starred in several critically and commercially successful films in the following years. These included two film adaptations of plays by Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959); Taylor won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for the latter. Although she disliked her role in BUtterfield 8 (1960), her last film for MGM, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. She was next paid a record-breaking $1 million to play the title role in the historical epic Cleopatra (1963), the most expensive film made up to that point. During the filming, Taylor and co-star Richard Burton began having an extramarital affair which caused a scandal. Despite public disapproval, Burton and she continued their relationship and were married the first time (his second marriage, her fifth) in 1964. Dubbed "Liz and Dick" by the media, they starred in 11 films together, including The V.I.P.s (1963), The Sandpiper (1965), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Taylor received the best reviews of her career for Woolf, winning her second Academy Award and several other awards for her performance.
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