Elizabeth: The Life of Elizabeth Taylor

Overview

Elizabeth Taylor is one of our last great movie stars. An Oscar-winning actress, she has lived her entire life in front of the spotlights, and her glamour and smouldering, sensual charisma are the stuff of legend. In Elizabeth, Alexander Walker presents the story of a life that was lived, on and off camera, with a passion rarely matched by even today's outspoken celebrities. From her privileged childhood, the influence of her strong-willed mother, and her rise to stardom in films like National Velvet, A Place in ...
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Elizabeth: The Life of Elizabeth Taylor

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Overview

Elizabeth Taylor is one of our last great movie stars. An Oscar-winning actress, she has lived her entire life in front of the spotlights, and her glamour and smouldering, sensual charisma are the stuff of legend. In Elizabeth, Alexander Walker presents the story of a life that was lived, on and off camera, with a passion rarely matched by even today's outspoken celebrities. From her privileged childhood, the influence of her strong-willed mother, and her rise to stardom in films like National Velvet, A Place in the Sun, and Cleopatra, to her husbands, her obsession with jewelry, and her amazing resilience in the face of public scandal and personal tragedy, Walker shows us the real Elizabeth—as an actress and as a person determined to live on her own terms.

Complete with photos, never-before-published documents and in-depth interviews with her closest friends and colleagues, Elizabeth offers a fresh and intimate glimpse into Elizabeth Taylor's private life, from her privileged London childhood to her Hollywood experiences to her many marriages and countless love affairs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Film critic for the London Evening Standard , Walker presents one of the world's most chronicled women, whose turbulent life has been eerily reflected, or anticipated, in her movies and plays: from National Velvet and Cleopatra (on the set of which she fell in love with Richard Burton) to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Private Lives. Walker shows how Taylor has indulged her passions, re-created herself in the image of each new lover, husband or project, and in due course flourished after rounds of combat with the public, the press, her weight and illness. Unfortunately, Walker repeats himself and reaches unsuccessfully--and unnecessarily--for dramatic effect. For example, referring to Taylor's fourth husband, Eddie Fisher, a protege of her third husband, Mike Todd--who died in a plane crash in 1958--Walker writes: ``He stepped into Todd's shoes, and ultimately into his bed.'' Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Walker, British film critic and biographer of stars, will hardly have the last word on Elizabeth Taylor, not as long as there's a tabloid press. His bio is breezy but not too light, colorful but not too gossipy, critical but not too bitchy. Its first half is its better half, detailing Liz's early years at MGM and her marriages to Nicky Hilton and Michael Wilding. Once Richard Burton enters the picture, Walker seems to lose steam and interest. Their most public antics now seem silly and boring, and since her Oscar-winning performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , Taylor's career has been in free fall. Still, a decent addition to the Taylor archives.-- Thomas Wiener, formerly with ``American Film,'' Washington, D.C.
Booknews
A serious and thorough biography, including 32 pages of b&w photos. Walker has previously related the lives of Vivien Leigh, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Peter Sellers, and Bette Davis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802137692
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 1,437,209
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi
Part 1 Sara and Elizabeth
1 Like Father, Like Mother 3
2 'A Marvellous Feeling' 11
3 Trouble in Eden 20
4 'Sing for Miss Hopper' 27
5 National Idol 37
6 Love and the Lonely Child 48
7 'Why, she is a Woman!' 56
8 ... and a 'Dangerous' Woman 65
9 Conspiracies and Suitors 75
10 The First Dent 84
Part 2 A Star is Made
11 The Sun and the Stars 91
12 A Movie Romance 99
13 'Wedding of Weddings' 106
14 A Clash of Dynasties 113
15 Divorce--Hollywood Style 120
16 'Give the Girl Anything she Wants!' 129
17 Big Mama 141
18 Fame and Frustration 150
19 The Crack-Up 158
20 'A New Kind of Man, a New Kind of World' 166
21 Hey, Big Spender! 178
22 The Fall of a Tycoon 186
23 A Funeral in Chicago 195
24 The Mating Game 203
25 Sic Transit Gloria 211
26 Between Life and Death 224
Part 3 The Burtons
27 'Le Scandale' 237
28 L'Amour Fou 246
29 O Mistress Mine! 253
30 From Purgatory to Puerto Vallarta 259
31 A Life in the Theatre 268
32 'For the Money, we will Dance' 276
33 Work, Work, Work--Spend, Spend, Spend 284
34 Barques and Bites 293
35 Diamond Liz 302
36 'Oh, Where Are the Writers to Rescue Us?' 311
37 A Chipmunk Returns 320
38 The Farmer Takes a Wife 327
39 Issues of Weight 338
40 Positively Their Last Appearance 347
Part 4 Surviving
41 'I Have no Plan to Succumb' 363
42 Mrs Fortensky 374
43 Unhappy as Larry 382
Chronology 399
Charts of Elizabeth Taylor's Marriages and Family 410
Acknowledgements and Bibliography 414
Source Notes 417
Index 437
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