Silver Screen Icons-ELIZABETH TAYLOR
Known for her acting talents, beauty, glamour, numerous husbands and of course those hypnotising violet eyes; Elizabeth Taylor is one of the greatest Hollywood legends of all time.
Born in England on the 27th of February 1932, Elizabeth Taylor gained worldwide success in 1944 with National Velvet. Taylor won 2 Academy Awards during her long acting career; 2 Best Actress wins in 1960 and 1966 and in 1992 she was honoured with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards. These are only three of the many prestigious awards Taylor won in her lifetime.
Some of her most famous movies include: Father of the Bride (1950), Giant(1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), BUtterfield 8 (1960), Cleopatra (1963), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966). She received one million dollars for her Cleopatra role making her the highest paid actress of her time.
"If someone's dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I'm certainly not dumb enough to turn it down."
Her dark hair and those spellbinding eyes made her one of the world's most desired women. I mean look at this woman, she was breathtaking.
Her best feature were definitely those eyes and she will long be remembered for them. Her eyebrows were surely the most suited frame for them. In 1976 her eyebrows won a "Most Memorable Eyebrows" award in a magazine poll and in the 1980s she inspired the pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough to create violet contact lenses!
What made her eyes even more captivating were her lush lashes. Did you know that she was born with two rows of eyelashes?!! Well that sounds like a dream come true to every girl right? Well, not really. This is actually a mutation and while a double row of lashes sounds sensational this mutation can cause health problems. In Elizabeth Taylor's case, this mutation was certainly an asset for her world-known striking eyes.
You can learn more about this mutation here.
She was a revolutionary actress in the 1960s, in fact she is one of the first big big stars to pose (almost) nude for Playboy. Elizabeth Taylor was also a major fashion icon, popularising Valentino and Halston designs. She also launced 12 perfumes and colognes. Even Barbie was encouraged to dress up as this icon :)
Husbands and Elizabeth Taylor are a topic in itself. She was married 8 times to seven different men. Yes, that's right, 8 marriages-seven men. She married, film star Richard Burton twice! Here's some other interesting husband trivia, her third husband, Mike Todd died when his plane called Lucky Liz, crashed. This is the only marriage that did not end in divorce! She listed Mike Todd as one of the three loves of her life, along with Richard Burton and ohhh jewellery!
"My mother says I didn't open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when
I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked."
Which leads us to another topic; jewellery. Elizabeth Taylor had a serious love affair with fine jewellery. She owned some of the world's most expensive and exquisite gems including the 33-carat 'Krupp Diamond', the Duchess of Windsor diamond brooch, the Grand Duchess of Russia emeralds, the 'LaPeregina Pearl'which was formerly owned by Mary I of England, and the famous pear-shaped 69-carat 'Burton-Cartier Diamond' that Burton gave her in 1969.
The best thing about being such an icon is the ability to influence the world. While some stars use this advantage to suit only themselves, I greatly admire those people who use their fame and power to make a difference in the world. Elizabeth Taylor strived to create more HIV/AIDS awareness and was extremely dedicated to Jewish causes. Her fine taste in jewellery helped her in her humanitarian causes; she auctioned off the the famous 'Burton-Cartier Diamond' to fund a hospital in Botswana. She also auctioned off her diamond and emerald Burton engagement ring for an AIDS charity.
" Acting is, to me now, artificial. Seeing people suffer is real. It couldn't be more real. Some people don't like to look at it in the face because it's painful. But if nobody does, then nothing gets done."
Taylor battled a lifetime of life threatening diseases and had at least 20 major operations. Elizabeth Taylor died in March 2011 at the age of 79 as a result of heart failure.
Her legacy will never die.