Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London,
England, on February 27, 1932. Although she was
born an English subject, her parents were
Americans, art dealers from St. Louis, Missouri (her
father had gone to London to set up a gallery). Her
mother had been an actress on the stage, but gave
up that vocation when she married. Elizabeth lived in
London until the age of seven, when the family left
for the US when the clouds of war began brewing in
Europe in 1939.
The first production she made with that studio was
Lassie Come Home (1943), and on the strength of
that one film, MGM signed her for a full year. She
had minuscule parts in her next two films, The
White Cliffs of Dover (1944) and Jane Eyre (1943)
(the former made while she was on loan to 20th
Century-Fox). Then came the picture that made
Elizabeth a star: MGM's National Velvet (1944). She
played Velvet Brown opposite Mickey Rooney. The
film was a smash hit, grossing over $4 million.
Elizabeth now had a long-term contract with MGM
and was its top child star. She made no films in 1945,
but returned in 1946 in Courage of Lassie (1946). In
1947, when she was 15, she starred in Life with
Father (1947) with such heavyweights as William
Powell, Irene Dunne and Zasu Pitts.
Throughout the rest of the 1940s and into the early
1950s Elizabeth appeared in film after film with
mostly good results. Her busiest year was 1954, with
roles in Rhapsody (1954), Beau Brummell (1954),
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) and Elephant Walk
(1954). She was 22 now, and even at that young age
was considered one of the world's great beauties. In
1955 she appeared in the hit Giant (1956) with James
Sadly, Dean never saw the release of the film, as he
died in a car accident in 1955. The next year saw
Elizabeth star in Raintree County (1957), an
overblown epic made, partially, in Kentucky. Critics
called it dry as dust. Despite the film's shortcomings,
Elizabeth was nominated for an Academy Award for
her portrayal of Southern belle Susanna Drake.
However, on Oscar night the honor went to Joanne
Woodward for The Three Faces of Eve (1957). In
1958 Elizabeth starred as Maggie Pollitt in Cat on a
Hot Tin Roof (1958).
There were no more films for Elizabeth for three
years. She left MGM after her contract ran out, but
would do projects for the studio later down the road.
In 1963 she starred in Cleopatra (1963), which was
one of the most expensive productions up to that
time--as was her salary, a whopping $1,000,000.
She won two Oscars Butterfield 8 (1960) as Gloria
Wandrous and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Elizabeth Taylor MGM Routing Slip
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