Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon

Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon

by Kate Andersen Brower
Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon

Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon

by Kate Andersen Brower


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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Residence and First Women, the first ever authorized biography of the most famous movie star of the twentieth century, Elizabeth Taylor.

No celebrity rivals Elizabeth Taylor’s glamour and guts or her level of fame. She was the last major star to come out of the old Hollywood studio system and she is a legend known for her beauty and her magnetic screen presence in a career that spanned most of the twentieth century and nearly sixty films. But her private life was even more compelling than her Oscar-winning on-screen performances. During her seventy-nine years of rapid-fire love and loss she was married eight times to seven different men. Above all, she was a survivor—by the time she was twenty-six she was twice divorced and once widowed. Her life was a soap opera that ended in a deeply meaningful way when she became the first major celebrity activist to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS. A co-founder of amfAR, she raised more than $100 million for research and patient care. She was also a shrewd businesswoman who made a fortune as the first celebrity perfumer who always demanded to be paid what she was worth.

In the first ever authorized biography of the Hollywood icon, Kate Andersen Brower reveals the world through Elizabeth’s eyes. Brower uses Elizabeth’s unpublished letters, diary entries, and off-the-record interview transcripts as well as interviews with 250 of her closest friends and family to tell the full, unvarnished story of her remarkable career and her explosive private life that made headlines worldwide. Elizabeth Taylor captures this intelligent, empathetic, tenacious, volatile, and complex woman as never before, from her rise to massive fame at age twelve in National Velvet to becoming the first to negotiate a million-dollar salary for a film, from her eight marriages and enduring love affair with Richard Burton to her lifelong battle with addiction and her courageous efforts as an AIDS activist. 

Here is a fascinating and complete portrait worthy of the legendary star and her legacy.

Elizabeth Taylor features a photo insert.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063067653
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/06/2022
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 38,069
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Kate Andersen Brower is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Residence, First Women—also a New York Times bestseller—and First in Line. She is a CNN contributor who covered the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and the Washington Post. She lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and their three young children.

Table of Contents

Elizabeth's Films and Family xi

Prologue 1

Introduction: Elizabeth the First 9

Act I The Most Beautiful Creature The 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s 31

Chapter 1 A Star Is Born 33

Chapter 2 Young Love 76

Chapter 3 Bessie Mae 85

Chapter 4 "He Will Kill Her" 92

Chapter 5 Love and Marriage 108

Act II Passion and Pain The 1950s and 1960s 117

Chapter 6 Rock, Jimmy, and Monty 119

Chapter 7 Mike Todd: "He Was My King" 134

Chapter 8 Eddie Fisher: "He Kept Mike Todd Alive" 149

Chapter 9 Trailblazer 166

Act III Lavish Love The 1960s and 1970s 179

Chapter 10 Le Scandale 181

Chapter 11 Crazy, Stupid Love, 1964-1973 207

Chapter 12 The Loot: Elizabeth's Extraordinary Jewels 248

Chapter 13 The End and a New Beginning, 1973-1976 261

Act IV Survivor The 1970s and 1980s 283

Chapter 14 Political Wife 285

Chapter 15 Addict 313

Chapter 16 Building an Empire 332

Act V True Grit The 1980s and 1990s 345

Chapter 17 "Bitch, Do Something!" 347

Chapter 18 Ms. Taylor Goes to Washington 367

Act VI A Legacy of Love The 1990s to 2011 383

Chapter 19 Searching for Neverland 385

Chapter 20 Forgiveness 398

Chapter 21 Dame Elizabeth 413

Chapter 22 The Auction: "The Memory Always Brings Back a Stab of Joy, of Love" 427

Afterword: Lust for Life 434

Acknowledgments 447

Sources and Notes 451

Selected Bibliography 471

Index 473

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