She’s been married eight times to seven different men. She was condemned by the Vatican for her “erotic vagrancy.” She’s received two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes and one Razzie. She saved Montgomery Clift’s life in 1956. She’s given countless millions to charity. Andy Warhol turned her likeness into art and Mattel turned her likeness into a doll. Elizabeth Taylor is a true “Movie Star” and today the legendary actress is celebrating her 76th birthday.
Throughout the following week I’m going to be writing about a few of my favorite Elizabeth Taylor films made during the late sixties and early seventies. Taylor is undoubtedly one of cinema’s great beauties and her early work is often praised by critics who claim that Elizabeth Taylor’s acting talents peaked in 1966 when she made the award winning film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with her husband Richard Burton and director Mike Nichols. Contrary to popular critical opinion, I think some of Taylor’s most interesting roles can be found in the films she made between 1967-1975. During this period Elizabeth Taylor really matured as an actress and with Burton by her side, she was willing to take on risky roles in unusual films that were often financial failures and typically misunderstood and attacked by critics.
In the next week I hope to shine a little light on some of the lesser-known movies that Elizabeth Taylor made during this later period in her career when she seemed to use her age, experience, faults, quirks, addictions, inner turmoil and the passionate relationship she shared with fellow actor Richard Burton to inject her roles with an edgy over-the-top candor that I personally find fascinating to watch on screen.