Top Stories

Hosted by Paula Zahn
Coming up

Melissa Etheridge
People cover
Faith Renewed
More from e-mails
Get People News Daily
People profiles
More Profiles


Elizabeth Taylor
1932 '39 '42 '44 '50 '51 '52 '56 '57 '58 '59 '60 '61 '62 '63
'64 '66 '74 '76 '81 '83 '84 '85 '87 '91 '92 '93 '97 '00 '02
February 27, 1932 Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor is born in London, England, to American parents. Her father, Francis Taylor, is an art dealer and her mother, Sara, a former actress.

1939 With World War II on the horizon in Europe, the Taylor family heads to the United States and settles in Southern California.

1942 A beautiful child, Taylor makes her film debut in "There's One Born Every Minute."

1944 Now an MGM contract player, the 12-year-old actress becomes a star in "National Velvet."

1950 Taylor's marriage to Nicky Hilton, heir to the Hilton Hotel fortune, coincides with the release of "Father of the Bride." They divorce the following year.

1951 The actress tackles her first serious adult dramatic role in George Stevens' "A Place in the Sun." Co-star Montgomery Clift becomes a close friend.

1952 The star marries actor Michael Wilding. They have two children, Michael and Christopher. Taylor and Wilding divorce in 1956.

1956 Taylor's years as a major box-office attraction begin with "Giant," opposite Rock Hudson and James Dean.

1957 Taylor marries producer Mike Todd. They have a daughter, Liza.

1957 The star receives a best actress Oscar nomination as a Southern belle in "Raintree County."

1958 Husband Todd dies in a crash of his plane, The Lucky Liz.

1958 The newly widowed Taylor finishes the filming of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," earning another best actress nomination. Maggie the Cat is the first of several Tennessee Williams heroines for Taylor.

1958 The distraught star turns to singer Eddie Fisher for comfort after her husband's death. There's only one problem -- Fisher is married to Debbie Reynolds. The public is outraged.

1959 The actress converts to Judaism and marries Fisher.

1959 "Suddenly, Last Summer" earns Taylor her third best actress Oscar nomination.

1960 The star completes her MGM contract playing a call girl in "Butterfield 8."

1960 20th Century Fox pays Taylor an unprecedented $1 million for "Cleopatra."

1961 Filming of "Cleopatra" is halted in London when the actress catches pneumonia and almost dies. A month after a tracheotomy, Taylor wins her first best actress Oscar for "Butterfield 8," a movie she hates.

1962 Romantic sparks fly with "Cleopatra" co-star Richard Burton, who plays Marc Antony. The paparazzi cover the scandal in minute detail, and even the Vatican condemns the stars' affair.

1963 "Cleopatra" is released to savage reviews. At $40 million, the epic is the most expensive movie ever made up until that time.

1964 Taylor divorces Fisher and marries Burton in Canada. They adopt a daughter, Maria.

1966 Taylor surprises critics and fans with her portrayal of Martha, the bitter, middle-aged wife of a college professor in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" At the peak of her career, she earns a second best actress Oscar and the New York Film Critics Award.

1974 The "Battling Burtons" call it quits the first time. They remarry in 1975, only to divorce again the following year.

1976 After the Burton divorce, Taylor moves to Virginia horse country, where she meets and marries Virginia politician John Warner. She campaigns vigorously for Warner, who is elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978. The marriage ends in 1982.

1981 Taylor makes her Broadway debut as Regina Giddens in a revival of Lillian Hellman's "The Little Foxes."

1983 Taylor and Burton are briefly reunited onstage in an unsuccessful production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives."

1983 The actress enters the Betty Ford Center for the first time to battle her addictions to alcohol and pills.

1984 Richard Burton dies at age 58.

1985 Taylor's good friend and former co-star Rock Hudson dies of AIDS. Using her fame as a strong voice in the fight against the deadly disease, the actress becomes the founding national chairman of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR).

1987 The star becomes a successful entrepreneur in the perfume industry when she launches Elizabeth Taylor's Passion.

1991 At 59, Taylor marries for the eighth time in a ceremony at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch. New husband Larry Fortensky, 39, is a construction worker the star met during a stay at the Betty Ford Center. They divorce in 1996.

1992 Taylor receives a third Oscar when she is presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in recognition for her work with AIDS.

1993 The American Film Institute honors the star with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

1997 Taylor undergoes surgery for a benign brain tumor.

2000 The leading lady officially becomes a dame when Britain's Queen Elizabeth honors her with the female equivalent of knighthood.

2002 Taylor achieves another landmark -- she turns 70.

1932 '39 '42 '44 '50 '51 '52 '56 '57 '58 '59 '60 '61 '62 '63
'64 '66 '74 '76 '81 '83 '84 '85 '87 '91 '92 '93 '97 '00 '02

Back to Top