Elizabeth 'Liz' Taylor: Young, Powerful Hollywood Icon Who Changed Celebrity

Left: Elizabeth Taylor in 'The Taming of the Shrew,' 1967. Right: Taylor in 'Cleopatra,' 1963. Sources: RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images; IMDB

Elizabeth Taylor was a rare star, a celebrity whose greatest performance was being Liz Taylor. Her list of classic films beats just about anyone's: A Place In The Sun (1951), Giant (1956), Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Butterfield 8 (1960), Cleopatra (1963), Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (1966), The Taming Of The Shrew (1967). But early on in her career -- around her third marriage, perhaps -- we all came to suspect that the great movies, with their high drama and alluring costumes, were just the sideshow to the main event, Liz Taylor starring Elizabeth Taylor as Liz, which was itself chock full of drama and looked fabulous at all times.