Born February 27. 1932, the late Elizabeth Taylor appeared in many Hollywood Golden Age films. The violet-eyed British-American film icon died March 23, 2011, at 79, earned top honors in her field.
Taylor’s two acting Oscars were joined by the Academy Awards’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (1992), American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award (1993), French Legion d’Honneur (1988), Harvard University Hasty Pudding Award (1977) and Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award (1997). Taylor was married eight times, including two weddings to actor Richard Burton. In 1999, Taylor was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
What’s your favorite movie starring Liz Taylor?
Film fans may select various titles, but these are popular favorite Taylor films, listed chronologically.
“National Velvet” (1944)
A preteen Taylor starred as Velvet Brown in this classic horse film, opposite Angela Lansbury and Mickey Rooney. In “National Velvet,” based on Enid Bagnold’s novel, a girl aspired to win the prestigious Grand National horse race. Disguised as a jockey, Taylor’s character entered the race.
“Little Women” (1949)
Based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel, this film featured. Mary Astor as, a Massachusetts mother raising four daughters, while her husband fought in the Civil War. Taylor played one of the girls in a cast including June Allyson, Leon Ames, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh and Margaret O’Brien.
“Little Women” was remade in 1994 with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon.
“Father of the Bride” (1950)
Taylor stars as an eager bride in this comedy, with Joan Bennett and Spencer Tracy playing her parents. The film earned Oscar nods for Best Actor and Best Picture, but did not win. By 1951, “Father’s Little Dividend” followed, with Taylor’s character giving birth.
“Father of the Bride” was remade in 1991 with Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Martin Short and Kieran Culkin.
“Raintree County” (1957)
Adapted from a book by Ross Lockridge, Jr., “Raintree County” offered Civil War epic drama. with Montgomery Clift, Lee Marvin and Eva Marie Saint. Critics panned it, but Taylor earned an Oscar nomination for her Southern belle.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958)
Taylor sizzled in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” as Maggie “The Cat” Pollitt, vamping wife to Paul Newman’s debauched “Brick” in the Tennessee Williams drama. The cast included Burl Ives and Jack Carter.
Elvis Presley, James Dean, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Lana Turner were rumored to have considered starring roles. In the end, Taylor grabbed a BAFTA and an Oscar nomination for her turn.
“Suddenly Last Summer” (1959)
Melodrama and intrigue surround this tale of 1930s psychiatry and family dynamics. Based on a Tennessee Williams play, “Suddenly Last Summer” stars Taylor, Clift and Katherine Hepburn. Taylor was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and won a Golden Globe for this movie.
“Butterfield 8” (1960)
Taylor won the Academy Award for Best Actress as a socialite call girl in a love affair with a married man. Eddie Fisher and Dina Merrill also starred in “Butterfield 8.”
A costly critical flop, “Cleopatra” is a popular Taylor favorite. Playing the Nile Queen, Taylor starred opposite Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Martin Landau and Roddy McDowell. The Egyptian epic, receiving four Oscars, became legendary for Taylor and Burton’s meeting.
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966)
This film adaptation of Edward Albee’s Broadway smash set Taylor against Burton in a close-up look at a tumultuous 20-year marriage. Sandy Dennis and George Segal joined the cast. Taylor picked up an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe nomination.
“The Taming of the Shrew” (1967)
This adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Renaissance comedy starred Taylor and Burton, squaring off as Kate and Petrucio. The supporting cast included Michael Holden and Michael York. Taylor received a BAFTA nomination for “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Additional favorite Taylor movies include “Beau Brummell,” “Elephant Walk,” “Giant,” “Lassie Come Home,” “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” “Life with Father” and “Rhapsody.”