Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor born in London to American parents, Sara Viola Warmbrodt (Sara Sothern) and Francis Lenn Taylor on February 27th, 1932.
Signs her first movie contract with Universal Pictures in 1941 and made her screen debut, at age 9, the following year in There’s One Born Every Minute.
Appears in Jane Eyre and The White Cliffs of Dover before finding true fame in National Velvet.
Signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on October 15th, 1942.
LASSIE COME HOME
Appears in Lassie Come Home, her first film with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. On that film she meets Roddy McDowall, with whom she developed a life-long friendship.
Becomes a child star after she plays Velvet Brown in MGM’s National Velvet, opposite Mickey Rooney.
NIBBLES AND ME
Publishes a memoir, at the age of 14, about her adventures with her pet chipmunk Nibbles, entitled Nibbles and Me. The book also includes Taylor’s own illustratons.
LIFE MAGAZINE COVER
Appears on the cover of Life magazine on July 14, 1947.
LIFE WITH FATHER
Life with Father is released on September 28, 1947.
Julia Misbehaves is released.
A DATE WITH JUDY
A Date with Judy is released.
Meets Montgomery Clift when the studio forces her to accompany him to the premiere of The Heiress. The two become lifelong friends.
Little Women is released.
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
Receives her high school diploma on January 16th from University High School in Los Angeles after attending school on the MGM lot.
FATHER OF THE BRIDE
Appears in Father of the Bride with Spencer Tracy and The Big Hangover.
At the age of 18, marries hotel heir Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr.
Divorces Nicky Hilton.
FATHER’S LITTLE DIVIDEND
Stars in Father’s Little Dividend.
A PLACE IN THE SUN
Stars in A Place in the Sun with Montgomery Clift.
Appears in Rhapsody, Beau Brummell, The Last Time I Saw Paris and Elephant Walk.
Stars in Ivanhoe.
LOVE IS BETTER THAN EVER
Stars in Love is Better Than Ever.
Marries her second husband, actor, Michael Wilding.
MICHAEL IS BORN
Gives birth to first child, son Michael Howard Wilding.
THE GIRL WHO HAD EVERYTHING
Stars in The Girl Who Had Everything.
CHRISTOPHER IS BORN
Gives birth to second son Christopher Edward Wilding, on her own 23rd birthday.
Stars in Giant with Rock Hudson and James Dean.
MONTGOMERY CLIFT CRASHES
After leaving a party at Taylor’s house in Beverly Hills, Montgomery Clift falls asleep at the wheel and crashes his car into a telephone pole. Taylor is the first on the scene and saves him from choking by pulling two loose teeth from his throat. Though he survives, Clift’s face must be reconstructed and he never plays a romantic lead again.
Divorces Michael Wilding.
Marries producer Mike Todd.
ELIZABETH IS BORN
Gives birth to daughter Elizabeth Frances Todd.
Raintree County is released, starring Taylor and Montgomery Clift. The film was being shot when Clift had his car accident. He finished filming after his face had been reconstructed. People flock to the theater to compare the “before and after” scenes of his face. Taylor is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role. This is her first Oscar nomination.
Mike Todd dies in a plane crash. The plane is called “Lucky Liz.”
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Stars in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Paul Newman. She is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role. This is her second Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Marries singer Eddie Fisher. Fisher was still married to Debbie Reynolds when the relationship began and the relationship causes a huge scandal. When asked about the relationship in an interview, Taylor quipped: “What do you expect me to do? Sleep alone?”
SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER
Stars in Suddenly, Last Summer with Katharine Hepburn. She is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role. This is her third Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Stars in Butterfield 8 with husband Eddie Fisher. The film is based on the novel by John O’Hara. Taylor hates the movie and tells reporters: “I hate the girl I play.” Nonetheless, the film is a huge success, prompting Taylor to quip: “I still say it stinks.”
Accepts $1,000,000 to play the lead in Cleopatra opposite Richard Burton. This makes her the highest paid actress of the time. During filming, she suffers a life-threatening case of pneumonia and undergoes a tracheotomy.
WINS FIRST ACADEMY AWARD
Wins her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Butterfield 8. Though most critics praised her performance, many people believe it to be a sympathy win because of her recent brush with death. Nominee Shirley MacLaine joked: “I lost to a tracheotomy!” Taylor herself later said: “Any of my three previous nominations were more deserving. I knew it was a sympathy award, but I was still proud to get it.”
Cleopatra is released. Taylor later says the film was “surely the most bizarre piece of entertainment ever to be perpetrated.”
ADOPTION PROCESS STARTED
She and Fisher begin the process of adopting a daughter, Maria.
Divorces Eddie Fisher.
Marries Richard Burton.
After Taylor marries Burton, Maria is adopted by Burton and takes his last name.
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
Stars in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with husband Richard Burton and Sandy Dennis.
SECOND ACADEMY AWARD
Wins the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. This is her second Oscar win. Dennis wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
TAMING OF THE SHREW
Stars opposite Burton in The Taming of the Shrew, The Comidians and Doctor Faustus, and stars with Marlon Brando in Reflections in a Golden Eye.
BOOM & SECRET CEREMONY
Stars opposite Burton in Boom and with Mia Farrow in Secret Ceremony.
Richard Burton gives her the 69-carat Burton-Cartier Diamond. It is renamed the Burton-Taylor Diamond.
ZEE AND CO
Appears with Michael Caine in Zee and Co, and stars opposite Burton in Under Milk Wood and Hammersmith is Out.
FIRST TELEVISION MOVIE
Makes her first television movie, co-starring with Burton in Divorce His – Divorce Hers. Reteams with Butterfield 8 co-star Laurence Harvey for Night Watch. Stars opposite Henry Fonda in Ash Wednesday.
Stars in Identikit which features Andy Warhol in one of the supporting roles.
FIRST DIVORCE WITH BURTON
Divorces Richard Burton (for the first time).
DIVORCES BURTON FOR 2ND TIME
Divorces Richard Burton for the second time.
THE BLUE BIRD
Stars with Jane Fonda and Ava Gardner in The Blue Bird. Appears in the TV movie, Victory at Entebbe with Kirk Douglas, Richard Dreyfuss and Helen Hayes.
MARRIES JOHN WARNER
Marries Republican senator John Warner.
Makes Broadway debut in The Little Foxes. She is nominated for a Tony Award for her role.
DIVORCES JOHN WARNER
Divorces John Warner. She later says about the experience of being married to a politician: “It was one of the most boring experiences I’ve ever had. You are told what to think, when to say what you’re supposed to think, and you have no opinions of your own, supposedly … Having been very verbal all my life and independent – even before it was fashionable – I found it sooo difficult to keep my mouth shut.”
Appears with former husband Richard Burton in a stage production of Private Lives.
BETTY FORD CLINIC
Checks herself into the Betty Ford Clinic to overcome her alcohol and painkiller addiction. She is the first actor to do so publicly.
Close friend Rock Hudson dies of AIDS. Taylor helps launch the American Foundaton for AIDS Research (AmFAR).
Plays movie gossip columnist Louella Parson.
RYAN WHITE BILL TESTIMONY
Testifies before Congress with Dr. Mathilde Krim on behalf of the Ryan White bill to plead for a funding increase for emergency AIDS care in areas hardest hit by the epidemic.
RETURN TO BETTY FORD CLINIC
Checks into Betty Ford for a second time. While there, she meets construction worker Larry Fortensky, himself an alcoholic.
Speaks at Southeast Asia’s first AIDS benefit held in Thailand and visits AIDS patients at Chulalongkorn University Hospital in Bangkok, and attends the Masquerade Ball to benefit amfAR, NYC.
CARE ACT TESTIMONY
Testifies before Congress with Jeanne White to urge passage of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 1990.
Releases the perfume, White Diamonds.
MARRIES LARRY FORTENSKY
Marries Larry Fortensky at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.
ELIZABETH TAYLOR AIDS FOUNDATION
Establishes ETAF to raise funds and awareness to fight HIV/AIDS.
Receives Honorary Oscar – Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Provides the voice of Maggie Simpson in an episode of “The Simpsons”.
AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Receives the AFI Life Achievement Award.
THE FLINTSTONES CAMEO
Makes a cameo appearance as Fred’s mother-in-law in the film, The Flintstones.
Sherilyn Fenn portrays her in a miniseries about her life, Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story, airs on NBC. Taylor had unsuccessfully tried to block it from being made.
Releases several perfumes: Diamonds and Rubies, Diamonds and Emeralds, Diamonds and Sapphires, and Black Pearls.
WORLD AIDS DAY
On World AIDS Day, addresses the General Assembly at the United Nations and speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Divorces Larry Fortensky.
Enters the hospital to have a benign brain tumor removed.
Tells Life magazine: “I get ill because I live too hard, I give too much — out of a lust for life. I never back away. I relish life and face it dead-on.”
ELIZABETH, I LOVE YOU
Michael Jackson writes the song “Elizabeth, I Love You” for her 65th birthday.
AFI’S SCREEN LEGENDS
Listed seventh on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest American female screen legends.
Named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in honor of her contributions to the entertainment industry and the fight against AIDS.
THESE OLD BROADS
Stars in the tv movie, These Old Broads, with former rival and now-friend Debbie Reynolds and Shirley MacLaine. The script was written by Carrie Fisher, daughter of Reynolds and Eddie Fisher.
JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER HONORS
Receives the John F. Kennedy Center Honors.
Publishes a book, My Love Affair with Jewelry.
Provides the voice of Sarah on an episode of the animated series, “God, the Devil and Bob.” This was Taylor’s last role.
RETIREMENT FROM ACTING
Announces her retirement from acting in 2003, saying she preferred to focus on her AIDS charity work.
Expresses public support for her friend Michael Jackson during his trial in California on child molestation charges.
Her beloved dog Sugar dies. She had previously said of the dog: “I’ve never loved a dog like this in my life. It’s amazing. Sometimes I think there’s a person in there. There’s something to say for this kind of love – it’s unconditional.”
Receives the Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in International Entertainment.
She dies of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on March 23rd, 2011.
The landmark auctions of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor at Christie’s New York from December 3-17 realizes a combined total of over $156M with every single item sold. The sale draws unprecedented interest from bidders throughout the world, and the total far exceeded Christie’s pre-sale expectations for the sale as a whole and for individual items. This historic sale sets a world record for the most valuable sale of jewelry in auction history, and set a new bar for the most valuable collection of fashion ever offered at auction. A portion of the profits generated by sales of exhibition tickets, event sponsorships and the ongoing sales of select publications are donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF).