Actress. Considered by many to be one of the most glamorous stars to emerge during Hollywood's fabled "Golden Age", she was a two-time recipient of the Academy Award for "Butterfield 8" (1960) and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966). Born to American parents in London, England, she studied ballet at the age of three and moved with her family to Los Angeles, California prior to the beginning of World War II. Already possessing radiant beauty by her pre-teen years, she caught the attention of a talent scout which led to her film debut in the picture "There's One Born Every Minute" (1942). After being put under a long-term contract with MGM, she had a string of juvenile roles, endearing herself to audiences in the pictures "Lassie Come Home" (1943), "Jane Eyre" (1943) and "National Velvet" (1944). At age 18 she married Nick Hilton (son of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton), but their union only lasted a few months. During this period she co-starred in the picture "Father of the Bride", followed by its sequel "Father's Little Dividend" (1951). More mature roles were to come with "A Place in the Sun" (1951), "Giant" (1956), "Raintree County" (for which she received an Academy Award nomination) and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958, earning an Oscar Nomination), as she shared the screen opposite the top leading men in the industry including Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson and Paul Newman, and later Marlon Brando ("Reflections in a Golden Eye", 1967). Her second marriage to actor Michael Wilding was followed by her third to filmmaker Michael Todd (during which she converted to Judaism), and following his death in a plane crash (which left her devastated), she was consoled by Eddie Fisher, whom become her fourth husband. Taylor would endure criticism, as she was partly blamed for the ending of Fisher's marriage to actress Debbie Reynolds. She and Fisher appeared together in"Butterfield 8". During filming of the epic "Cleopatra" (1963) - for which she became the first actress to be paid $1 million for a single movie - she began a highly-publicized off-screen romance with co-star Richard Burton. Her eventual divorce from Fisher led to her marriage to Burton in 1964, and their paring in the films "The Sandpiper" (1965), "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" (1966), "The Taming of the Shrew" (1967) and "The Comedians" (1967). By the 1970s her film career was waning and her marriage to Burton was falling apart; they divorced, remarried, then divorced again. In 1978 Taylor married John Warner (who later became US Senator from Virginia) and they divorced in 1982. During the 1980s she saw a resurgence in her career, as she received a Tony Award nomination for the play "The Little Foxes" (1981) and appeared in several TV programs including "General Hospital", "Hotel" and the mini-series "North and South" (1985). Following the death of her former co-star Rock Hudson in 1985, Taylor became heavily involved in AIDS research and raised many millions of dollars for the cause. During her adulthood, Taylor suffered from health issues including a near-fatal bout with pneumonia. She had battled alcohol abuse and met her eighth and final husband Larry Fortensky in a treatment facility. They married at Taylor's close friend Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in 1991, but their marriage too ended in divorce. During her career, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was honored by the Kennedy Center in 2004. Taylor was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2000. She died from congestive heart failure.
Bio by: C.S.