Elizabeth Taylor was a brilliant actress endowed with exceptional beauty, abundant fame and outrageous tastes. Her eight marriages to seven men (she married Richard Burton twice who was supposed to be the love of her life) have been much talked about just like her acting. Today on her 81st birthday let’s take a close look at the marital life of this British- American actress who was also a businesswoman and true humanitarian.
Taylor was first married when she was 18 to the American socialite and heir to the Hilton Hotel chain, Conrad Nicholson Hilton Jr. However the marriage started falling apart even before their three- month honeymoon in Europe ended. The couple were married in May 1950 and divorced in Jan 1951. Hilton turned out to be an alcoholic who physically and emotionally abused Taylor.
Three months after the end of her marriage to Hilton, Taylor married the British actor Michael Wilding with whom she had two sons Michael and Christopher. The marriage lasted for five years. Michael Wilding was twenty years her senior and is said to have been the calm presence she needed after her rusty marriage to Nicholson Hilton.
Immediately after divorcing Wilding, Elizabeth Taylor married film producer Michael Todd. Taylor was pregnant with their daughter Liza when they married. She is said to have told he was the first major love in her life. The couple married in February 1957. In June 1957, Todd threw an extravagant birthday party at Madison Square Garden, which was attended by 18,000 people. However, within a year of their wedding, Todd died in a tragic plane crash.
Elizabeth Taylor’s fourth husband was Edwin John ‘Eddie’ Fisher who was also Todd’s close friend. Their affair began while Fisher was still married to Taylor’s close friend Debbie Reynolds. The public called Taylor a ‘home wrecker’. She married Fisher fourteen months after the death of Michael Todd.
Although Taylor is said to have ornately said that their honeymoon will last 40 years, the couple were married for only five years.
Her next relationship and marriage was legendary. She was married to Richard Burton twice (from March 1964 – June 1974 and October 1975 –August 1976). The duo who made history in Hollywood met on the set of Cleopatra in 1962 while they were both married at that time. They got into a passionate affair. Their first marriage lasted for a decade being the longest marriage of the actress. Elizabeth Taylor is said to have commented on the relationship, “If Richard and I divorce, I swear I will never marry anyone again. I love him insanely.”
In the gap between her marriages to Burton, Taylor was in a relationship with the Iranian ambassador to Washington, Ardeshir Zahedi. After they divorced their respective partners, Taylor travelled with Zahedi to Teheran for some time. Finally Shah Reza Pahlavi convinced Zahedi to put an end to the affair and Elizabeth Taylor returned to Burton and remarried him sixteen months after their divorce. The couple adopted a three year old German girl who they named Maria. The couple were divorced within a year due to Burton’s drinking habits.
Taylor entered the political circle when she married her sixth husband Virginia Republican and former Secretary of the Navy, John Warner. Taylor helped Warner’s electoral campaign but got bored with their life in Washington DC. The role of the senator’s wife did not suit her. The union lasted for six years and they divorced in 1982. It is speculated that due to bore dome her alcoholic habits and drugs intake shot up.
Taylor remained single till 1991 and married the last time to construction worker Larry Fortensky whom she met at rehab. He is supposed to be the most anonymous of all her husbands. The couple married at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and sold the wedding pictures to a magazine for $1 million. Her AIDS foundation was started with the money she received. Though the couple divorced in 1996, they stayed in touch until Taylor’s death in 2011.
Elizabeth Taylor was one of the world’s greatest female screen legends. She immersed herself thoroughly in philanthropy and received numerous awards and accolades for her work.
Isn’t this epitome of beauty , talent and kindness a total badass as well?!
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