What Did Elizabeth Taylor Do For The World?
One could simply say that Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was one of the most extraordinary people to grace this planet. When asked what she wanted her epitaph to read, she replied, "...She lived." Dame Elizabeth did so much more than live. I and others on this website will doubtlessly, and in my case ineptly, try to describe what that entails in terms of her work as an actress, as the genesis of the paparazzi/tabloid journalism craze that has fed the world's apparent hunger for pictures and stories of the rich and famous for more than 50 years, as the pioneer in AIDS awareness and fundraising... there is so much that can be said about what Elizabeth Taylor did for the world, more than can simply be boiled down to a few paragraphs. She was far more than an activist or an actress or any other description that I can write. History will show that she was an inspiration in so many areas and the cause or at least major participant (albeit most of the time unknowingly) of seismic shifts (both good and bad) in world culture in the 1950's, 60's and 80's, the latter being when she redefined the power of fame by standing up when no one else would and doing something about the stigma of AIDS in the 1980s (in the early days, going door to door to sell tickets to the AIDS Project Los Angeles Commitment to Life Dinner). I will try to succinctly answer the question. To do so, I will have to go in to her work as an actress, the "filthily ostentatious Burtons", as Rex Harrison once christened his friends, and Dame Elizabeth's illnesses and addictions, and finally, her philanthropy.
Elizabeth Taylor was the first woman to ask for - and get - $1,000,000 for a single movie. And true to her larger than life image, that one million dollar fee for Cleopatra eventually turned into over $7,500,000 with overtime and her percentage of the gross. That is approximately $52,130,000 in 2013 dollars. That achievement ushered in the era of actors getting paid a salary in line with the millions of dollars their films earn for producers and studios. So in this sense, she broke down the barriers of the Studio System, enriching the lives of countless actors and actresses. Some say to excess, but prior to Elizabeth's very public actions, an actor such as herself could be paid $125,000 (less if you were say, Marilyn Monroe or even less if you were on the skids as it were, like Judy Garland, for a film that made 10s of millions of dollars for the producers and studios). It was a power play on her part that in the end made her sink under the bubbles of her bathtub, coming up to say, "Whew!" in disbelief. Her representatives were negotiating over the phone while she was in the next room answering their questions and giving orders.
If Elizabeth Taylor were not already created when Tennessee Williams' plays were made into films, she would have been invented. With her broad acting range, she appeared in movies from plays like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer, Boom, and Sweet Bird of Youth, her scenes in those films have never been equaled by any other movie actress. Her scenes with Katherine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift in Suddenly Last Summer are as stunning as the theme of film. One must excuse Sweet Bird of Youth as it was a television film and had the wrong costar and director, but make no mistake, when Elizabeth is on screen; the flaws in the film vanish.
Michael Jackson, Elizabethâ€™s great friend, once said that Jane Erye was his favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie.
She was 10 years old and uncredited, but the few minutes she was on screen were unforgettable.
Even in cameo roles as a child, she was The Star.
Cameo roles, for the most part, disappeared with the 1944 release of National Velvet. At 12 she became a star.
She became an actress under the direction of George Stevens with the 1951 release of A Place in the Sun.
Costarring for the first time with Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth began to take her craft seriously. Elizabeth became a superstar five years later in another picture directed by Stevens: Giant, costarring Rock Hudson and James Dean. From that point on, even her bad movies were good, actually that had been the case all of her career, but after Giant all of her films were supposed to be "good." She earned her first Oscar after three consecutive nominations in 1961 for BUtterfield 8. In 1966, husband Richard Burton and first time director and friend Mike Nichols helped her create her masterpiece: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which earned her her second Oscar, a BAFTA, The New York City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, National Board of Review
for Best Actress, Golden Laurel Award
for Female Dramatic Performance. She was the last great star of the golden age of Hollywood, and arguably the best film actress of the era, and not only did she use that for her benefit in both films and her public life, she used that power to help others like Montgomery Clift by putting up her salary for him to appear in Reflections in a Golden Eye, and by promising completion funding for the film as well if he failed to perform. Sadly he passed away several months before filming began, giving a down on his luck Marlon Brando (and Clift protÃ©gÃ©e of sorts) a chance to show the world again that he was one of the best. Brando of course only came into the film with Elizabeth's approval and from there began getting roles leading to masterpieces like Last Tango in Paris and The Godfather. Thank you Elizabeth! (He didn't forget what she did for him incidentally, going from an acquaintance to lifelong friend). She was the only star of her time who could hold her own when playing with (not against) Katherine Hepburn, Paul Newman, James Dean, and Richard Burton, to name a few of her costars. Equally, she gave performances for the best directors of the era that enraptured audiences. And those are only a few facets of her contributions to the world as an actress.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton gave us a passionate, volatile, larger than life love story that fascinates the world to this day. Taylor was the considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world as well as being a fine, Oscar Winning actress (now considered the best film actress of her time). Richard Burton was at the time of their coming together (1961 - their affair began in late January 1962) the heir to the title of Greatest Stage Actor, having just completed his involvement in the inception of the still beloved Camelot. He had several hit movies and several major flops (some literally unwatchable - Ice Palace) to his credit by the time he was asked to be in Cleopatra. Their (Burton and Taylor's) relationship and two marriages entertained us creating headlines around the world from the first reports of their affair during the making of Cleopatra, through their marriages (1964-1974), and (1975-1976), to Burton's untimely death in 1984. During their affair and marriages, not only did the Burton's entertain us with films both together and separately, they also publically acquired the world's most stunning and valuable collection of jewelry (as of 2011) with purchases of the 69.42 carat Taylor-Burton Diamond in 1969, that was displayed at Cartier in New York and Chicago before delivery (an estimated 10,000 people lined up daily to see the gem), and a 1968 TV documentary in Wales about the purchase of the Krupp (now The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond) an Asscher Cut 33.19 carat colorless diamond considered to be one of the finest specimens in the world). During those years, the Burtons also amassed a fabulous collection of Impressionist and Modern Art, adding to what Elizabeth had been collecting since the 1950's, with works by Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, and Utrillo among them. The Burtons were also very generous during these years both publicly and privately donating millions of dollars to the victims of the world all over the world. One of their most important contributions was establishing the Richard Burton Hemophilia Fund (for which they received praise from the US Congress), helping to lift the stigma of a misunderstood disease and an endeavor that set the stage for Taylor's later philanthropic activities.
During Elizabethâ€™s life, she was plagued with illnesses and injuries requiring at least 70 hospitalizations and 20 major operations.
Newspaper headlines and tabloids many times erroneously announced that Taylor was close to death.
In 1961 she faced a life-threatening case of pneumonia.
An emergency tracheotomy saved her life.
Pneumonia proved life-threatening again in 1990, requiring several months of hospitalization and an open lung biopsy.
She had smoked cigarettes from around age 18 until this crisis (at age 58).
In 1975 there was a reported lung cancer scare and surgery for an ovarian cyst.
In 1997 just days before her 65th birthday, it was discovered she had a brain tumor which after removal proved to be benign.
Taylor broke her back at least five times, suffered from osteoporosis, a severe case of dysentery while filming in Russia, had both hips replaced and then had to have surgery to correct the difference in the length of her legs.
She also had a hysterectomy, three
Caesarean section births, and bouts of phlebitis, a punctured esophagus, skin cancers, hemorrhoid surgery, degenerative disc disease, double scoliosis and colitis.
Elizabethâ€™s 5â€™4â€ frame also suffered from weight fluctuations from the mid-1950s until the end of her life.
For most of her life she reportedly weighed between 120 pounds and 140 pounds.
In the late 1970s, she reached an all-time high of 180. She struggled for many years gaining and losing weight until around 1984 when she lost down to a reported 119 pounds.
She wrote a bestselling book (one of four she would write during her lifetime which offered a slim biographical sketch of how it happened and how she fixed it.
The book included many recipes, preparation tips, and easy exercises for people with back trouble.
While much of the pop psychology of the book and some of the dietary advice has become outdated, it is still considered a valuable tool for losing weight if you donâ€™t want to work too hard and can handle being hungry 3 out of 4 of your waking hours.
In 1983 Elizabeth became the first celebrity to publicly enter a drug and alcohol treatment facility (The Betty Ford Center) for treatment for he addictions to alcohol, sedatives, and painkillers and through her public actions, took the stigma off being treated for addictions for celebrities at least. The door she opened was used by many from Liza Minnelli to Johnny Cash. By opening that door, she gave us years of entertainment from other stars that we would most probably been deprived of had they not followed her lead and Minnelli's case, consulted with her personally.
Elizabeth Taylor was the first first put her name and her fame on the line for the battle against HIV/AIDS. Her humanitarian efforts for this cause alone raised almost $300,000,000. The value of what her advocacy in the world of HIV/AIDS is incalculable. She gave AIDS a face and brought it to the world's attention when no one else of her caliber would. She chaired the world's first AIDS fundraiser (The APLA Commitment to Life Dinner, September 1985), just weeks before her dear friend and twice costar Rock Hudson's death. Taylor was the cofounder and Founding International Chairman of The Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) as well as funding and founding her own Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation both of which continue raising money for research and providing patient care after her death. Without the efforts of Elizabeth Taylor, who went all over the world to personally get governments moving towards AIDS research and prevention, who went more than once to Capitol Hill to fight for more assistance with AIDS patient care and research funding, who got President Ronald Reagan to publicly address AIDS for the first time at an AIDS event (and told protesters to shut up and give the president his due respect - they did), who spoke to a full session of The United Nations regarding the need for more research, more funding and more compassionate patient care, where would the world be in the AIDS Pandemic?
In 1987 Elizabeth Taylor created her first perfume, Elizabeth Taylor's Passion. It was an instant bestseller and inspired her to create more, such as 1991's White Diamonds. At the time of her death, all of her scents were still available in stores, with White Diamonds remaining the best seller. From the first bottle of Passion sold to the last fragrance she created before her death, Violet Eyes, a large percentage of her proceeds from the sales went to amFAR and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. In the 26 years her fragrances have been on the market (a feat unequaled by any other celebrity fragrance) they have earned 10s of millions of dollars for AIDS research and patient care. Recently published figures show that in the fiscal year of 2012, he scents sold over $170million keeping her in the number one spot.
What did Elizabeth Taylor do for the world is not a question that is answered quickly or easily. Ask someone who has lived with HIV for twenty years to answer that question. She did not invent the treatments, but she sure had a hand in getting people to look for better ones. Ones that work.
It took a pampered life, the beauty and those violet eyes. It took 8 marriages, it took some of the finest screen acting, it took all the diamonds and private jets and Van Goghs, and it took the drug and alcohol and weight problems... it took all of that and the one ingredient she always had, compassion, to create a woman who changed the world.
Simply stated, Elizabeth Taylor changed the world by giving herself, warts and all to the world. Her gift continues to be an inspiration.
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor 1932 - 2011: She lived!
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I believe they met at an AIDS benefit.
believe not, Renee Taylor born Renée Wexler in New York.
Elizabeth Taylor Had Four Children.
1. Michael Howard Wilding, Jr (January 6, 1953) Father: Michael Wilding
2. Christopher Edward Wilding (February 27, 1955) Father: Michael Wilding
3. Elizabeth Frances Todd (Called "Liza") (August 6, 1957) Father: Michael Todd
4. Maria Burton (born August 1, 1961 - adopted in 1964) Father (adoptive): Richard Burton
believe it was husband number 8, Larry Fortensky. they were married in 1991 at Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Divorce in 1996
Elizabeth Taylor's Children:
Michael Howard Wilding, Jr.
Christopher Edward Wilding
Elizabeth Frances Todd (Called "Liza")
Maria Burton (adopted)
Jack Daniels or Champagne are most frequently referenced as being her "favorites."
Elizabeth Taylor's personal life included eight marriages, four children and an older brother.
You can read more about her personal life, below.
She started acting in Los Angeles when she moved there from London. (her home town, where she came to be.) The family relocated to Los Angeles, where Mrs. Taylor's own family had moved. Mr. Taylor followed not long afterward. A family friend noticed the strikingly beautiful little Elizabeth and suggested that she be taken for a screen test. Her test impressed executives at Universal Pictures enough to sign her to a contract. Her first foray onto the screen was in There's One Born Every Minute (1942), released when she was ten. Universal dropped her contract after that one film, but Elizabeth was soon picked up by MGM.
Yes , In the film Doctor Faustus,though not frontal but she was completely nude filmed from back.
Elizabeth Taylor died of chronic congestive heart failure, first diagnosed in 2003. She had surgery for mitral valve regurgitation (sometimes called a "leaky heart valve"), a complication of her condition, in 2009, and was relatively stable until February 2011, when she was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for complications related to her condition.
Taylor had improved recently, and even used her Twitter account the week before her March 23, 2011 death.
Congestive heart failure, or CHF, commonly results from high blood pressure, heart valve disease or infection, and is one of the chronic health issues arising from poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking, drug abuse, obesity, and insufficient exercise, all problems Taylor experienced over the years. Doctors speculate Taylor's back problems (scoliosis and compressed discs), which caused chronic pain and depression, were a major factor in development of the disease.
CHF causes the heart to enlarge and weaken, making it incapable of pumping enough blood to supply other organs with adequate oxygen. This leads to stress on the kidneys, preventing them from eliminating sodium and fluid from the body, causing water retention and difficulty breathing.
Suddenly Last Summer is the name of the movie. Audrey was not in that movie Katherine Hepburn was.
Audrey and Elizabeth never made a movie together
Fanmail to the deceased actress Elizabeth Taylor can be sent to:
Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
P.O. Box 55995
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-0995
Yes. Elizabeth Taylor died from congestive heart failure on March 23, 2011 in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she had been hospitalized since February 2011. She was 79.
Michael Wilding, Jr is a son of Elizabeth Taylor.
No, these two actors are not related.
No, Robert Taylor was born Spangler Arlington Brugh on the 5th of August 1911 in Filley, Nebraska, USA. He was the son of a Nebraska doctor.
Whereas, Elizabeth Taylor (her real name) was the second child born to Francis and Sara Taylor, American expatriates living in London.
"There's One Born Every Minute" was the debut film of Elizabeth Taylor. It was released in 1942.
She converted to the Jewish faith to please her husband. MMe Secretary of Defence had two Jewish Husbands- Mike Todd, and Eddie Fisher- the famous- Third mate on a tramp.
If my math is correct, not including TV movies or series, Elizabeth Taylor appeared in 54 big screen films. (She appeared in 16 TV movies or series as an actress)
Elizabeth Taylor has 70 acting credits. Some of these are television roles. Her first film was "There's One Born Every Minute" (1942). Her most recent role was in the television show "God, the Devil and Bob" (2003).
You can read the entire list, below.
Elizabeth Taylor died March 23, 2011.
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