Dame Elizabeth Taylor, who died on March 23 aged 79, made more than 50 films and won two Oscars. The lifestyle of the violet-eyed siren made more news than did her acting prowess. She was married eight times to seven men. DNA takes a look at some of her most memorable films.
Raintree County (1957)
Taylor earned her first Oscar nomination for playing an emotionally unstable Southern belle in this civil war drama. The love triangle of Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie Saint formed the crux of the story. During the filming of Raintree County, Taylor was divorcing husband number 2, Michael Wilding, for husband number 3, Mike Todd.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Taylor played the role of Maggie Pollitt “the Cat” in this film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play of the same name. During the shooting of the film her then husband Mike Todd was killed in a plane crash.
Playwright Williams was so disappointed with the film directed by Richard Brooks that he said “this movie will set the industry back 50 years. Go home!” to people waiting in the queue to buy tickets for the film.
Butterfield 8 (1960)
Taylor’s character of call girl Gloria Wandrous earned her first Academy Award (for Best Actress) after four unsuccessful nominations. She starred with then husband Eddie Fisher and both hated the film. “I still say it stinks” she said about the film, who was apparently tagged “homewrecker” for “stealing away” Fisher from his then wife Debbie Reynolds.
Taylor played the lead role in the film and went on to set a new record for her $1 million fee. The lavishly produced film (made at a budget of $37 million) went on to win four Oscars. Taylor started her torrid affair with Richard Burton, who played Mark Antony and who was also married at the time.
Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf (1967)
Taylor admitted that Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf was the film she was adapted from Edward Albee’s play of the same name, the film saw Taylor as the foul-mouthed alcoholic Martha. The film won 5 Academy Awards from the 13 nominations it got in different categories including Best Actress for Taylor. It became noted as the only one in Academy history up to that point to be nominated in every eligible category. It was also the first film to have every member of its cast receive an acting nomination.