Ten Things About... Elizabeth Taylor
Published Mar 24 2011, 17:28 GMT | By Mayer Nissim
Yesterday we mourned the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, who died
from congestive heart failure at the age of 79. We all know about those violet eyes, the two Oscars and all
those husbands, but as the tributes pour in
from across the world of showbiz, it seems appropriate to give you ten lesser-known facts about the screen legend. So, after enjoying some of her famous screen moments
, the classic images from her flicks
and snapshots of her life
, read on for some behind-the-scenes information about the Queen of Hollywood's golden age.1.
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London to American art dealer dad Francis Lenn Taylor and ex-actress Sara Viola Warmbrodt. She picked up that middle name from her grandma on her dad's side, Elizabeth Mary Rosemond.2.
In 1965, Elizabeth reportedly tried to renounce her dual citizenship and become solely a British citizen to protect her European earnings from hefty US taxes. It is believed that the US State department denied her request because she failed to complete the oath to fully renounce all allegiance to the United States of America.3.
She was affectionately known to many the world over as "Liz", but the truth is she was never too keen on the abbreviation. Asked by friend and journo Barbara Walters
what she would like on her tombstone, she said: "Here lies Liz, she lived... no I don't like Liz... I hate that name! Here lies Elizabeth, she hated being called Liz... but she lived!"4.
She was dubbed Mrs Elizabeth Taylor
Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky for all those marriages
(and note the double-Burton in the middle!). Her only marriage not to end in divorce was to Michael Todd, who died in 1958. She said that Todd and Burton were the loves of her life, and claimed that had Burton not died in 1984 they may well have married for a third time.5.
Burton never won an Oscar, despite six 'Best Actor' nods and one for 'Best Supporting Actor', but Liz won 'Best Actress' twice - for BUtterfield 8
in 1960 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
in 1966. She was also named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000. Taylor picked up special gongs from BAFTA, the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globes, and was given a President's Citizen's Medal in 2001 and named a Kennedy Centre Honoree the following year.6.
According to widespread rumour, Elizabeth also won the much more impressive accolade 'Most Memorable Eyebrows' in a 1976 magazine poll. She is believed to have beaten Lassie - who she famously starred across in 1943's Lassie Come Home
- into second place!7.
After a second bout of pneumonia in 1961, Liz had to have an emergency tracheotomy and bore a scar afterwards. She previously conducted a much more ad-hoc medical procedure on her A Place In The Sun
co-star and fellow screen icon Montgomery Clift (who always called her Bessie Mae). After a car crash in 1956, Taylor reached into Clift's mouth to pull out a loose tooth which was blocking his airways, saving his life. Wow!8.
Famous for her activism in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Taylor served up a banger of a one-liner aimed at then-president George Bush's
stalling attempts to tackle the problem. "I don't think President Bush is doing anything at all about AIDS," she explained. "In fact, I'm not sure he even knows how to spell AIDS."9.
In 1992, Liz starred in an episode of classic eco-warrior cartoon Captain Planet and the Planeteers
called 'A Formula For Hate'. It was reportedly the first time a US children's animated series dealt with the issue of HIV/AIDS. Taylor played a mum to Neil Patrick Harris's Todd and tackled the evil machinations of Verminous Skumm, who brainwashes a local community into thinking the virus can be spread by casual contact.10.
Not content with one US animated first, Elizabeth also voiced the previously-silent (pacifier sucks aside) Maggie Simpson, uttering the word "Daddy" for the youngest of the Simpsons
clan. According to show creator Matt Groening: "We did 24 takes, but they were always too sexual." Well, what did they expect really? "Finally Liz said, 'F**k you,' and walked out!" Marvellous!> Obituary: Elizabeth Taylor > Stars pay tribute to Elizabeth Taylor> In Video: Elizabeth Taylor's movie roles> Elizabeth Taylor on Hollywood, sex and marriage> In Pictures: Elizabeth Taylor on screen> Elizabeth Taylor: A Life In Pictures