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

By | February 26, 2020

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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. 

Elizabeth Taylor Was Born In England

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With Carl Alfalfa Switzer in There's One Born Every Minute. Source: (fanpop)

Elizabeth Taylor was born on February 27, 1932 in London to American parents. Her parents left Britain for America in 1939, after they were warned of the impending war. By 1940, they had settled in Beverly Hills. Her mother, Sara Southern, was also an actress who had Broadway credits to her name. Elizabeth Taylor’s career began shortly after they moved to California, as she was only 10 years old during her first film, There’s One Born Every Minute. Her breakout role came after that, in 1944 in National Velvet. During her career, she was nominated for five Academy Awards for Best Actress and won two Oscars, for her performances in BUtterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?