The Tragic Life of Elizabeth Taylor: 8 Marriages, 7 Husbands, and a Love of Diamonds

Elizabeth possessed exquisite beauty, enchanting allure, substantial wealth, and remarkable intellect; nevertheless, a profound sense of discontent plagued her. Why? The genesis of this tragedy may well predate her very existence.

On February 27, 1932, amidst a realm of British ancestry, Elizabeth Taylor, a girl of eminent lineage, was welcomed into the world. Her mother, Sarah, bestowed upon her a priceless bequest – a pair of extraordinary violet eyes.

Sarah’s political confidant, Cazaret, clandestinely engaged in an affair with her husband Francis. Yet, Sarah chose to avert her gaze, for she was reliant upon Cazaret’s benevolence, which encompassed financial support and facilitated entry into the upper echelons of society. Prior to Elizabeth’s birth, her family procured a sumptuous Tudor estate, thanks to Cazaret’s assistance. By the age of five, Elizabeth and her kin relocated to a grand mansion in Kent at Cazaret’s behest, where the young Elizabeth was gifted a spirited pony… These occurrences indelibly imprinted upon Elizabeth the notion that material opulence constituted the epitome of love and personal value.

In the year 1940, Sarah fervently pursued her dream of stardom. She uprooted her family to the sun-soaked shores of southern California, USA, acquiring a seaside villa in a prosperous enclave adjacent to Hollywood. Engaging in a Western-style “Meng Mu’s three moves,” Sarah orchestrated her daughter’s participation in extracurricular singing and dance classes, leaving no stone unturned in her quest to secure an audition with a prominent MGM producer.

Elizabeth, true to her mother’s aspirations, boldly surpassed expectations. During the filming of “The Pony,” she impulsively ventured to the talent scout’s office, unabashedly asserting, “The coveted role of Wilvitt Brown shall be mine. Interviewing others would be a futile endeavor.” Ironically, astonishingly enough, it was her equestrian prowess that ultimately secured her the role! “The Pony” rode a wave of unprecedented success, resulting in a twofold increase in Elizabeth’s net worth. From that moment onward, Elizabeth’s abode teemed with countless pets, including feline companions, canine confidants, and even chipmunks. As a mother, Sarah spared no sacrifice, even offering her own physicality, all to ensure her daughter’s immersion in the glimmering world of fame.

The maiden encounter with love that Elizabeth encountered arrived in the form of Hughes, an affluent tycoon who, at the tender age of 44, had amassed immeasurable wealth. This aged magnate, boasting, “With ample financial means at my disposal, I can captivate any woman on this planet,” amassed an extensive collection of Elizabeth’s photographs. After obtaining the permission of the young woman’s father, he brazenly proposed a cash sum of one million dollars, only to be met with the resolute response of a single word, “no.” To compound his misfortune, Davis, Elizabeth’s first love and a West Point Military Academy alumnus, made a grand entrance at her seventeenth birthday soirĂ©e, bedecked in an opulent pearl necklace and an engagement ring adorned with diamonds and rubies. Yet, she introduced him to a fellow guest. It wasn’t until June 1949, when she was captured in a photograph wearing an emerald and diamond ring, that Elizabeth declared in an interview, “While in Miami, I shall be known as Elizabeth Polly. I find great delight in this moniker!” The foolish young man then realized the caliber of his loss. However, Polly had no cause for pride, as when he presented Elizabeth with the choice between starring in the film “American Tragedy” or a wedding, she chose the former without a moment’s hesitation.

Elizabeth’s path intersected with Nicky Hilton at the age of twenty-three. An heir to a hotel empire valued at 150 million dollars, Hilton’s suitability as a spouse was of paramount importance to Elizabeth’s mother, irrespective of his character. In the waning days before Elizabeth’s eighteenth birthday, a 4.5-carat diamond ring graced her finger. In May, amidst great pomp and grandeur, Elizabeth and Hilton exchanged vows in Los Angeles. The leading lady affectionately confessed, “He is the one I hold dear, and till my last breath, my heart shall remain steadfast.” However, in January 1951, she dissolved their union in a court of law, vowing, “I shall never utter that man’s name again.”

Before the final decree of divorce took effect, Elizabeth absconded with another woman’s husband, Wilding, whose paternal qualities were akin to that of a father figure. In February 1952, on the sixth day of her nuptials to Wilding, Elizabeth celebrated her twentieth birthday. This time, she financed her own honeymoon and, whenever captivated by a lavish piece ofjewelry, she would exclaim, “I must have it!” Alas, her marriage to Wilding, like the preceding one, failed to withstand the test of time. In 1957, Elizabeth succumbed to the allure of temptation and embarked upon a tempestuous love affair with Fisher, her co-star in “Cleopatra.” Fisher, a married man, ultimately left his wife to wed Elizabeth in May 1959. The couple experienced a brief respite from the tumultuous nature of their relationship with the birth of their daughter, Elizabeth Frances. However, in the ensuing years, the couple’s bond fractured under the pressure of infidelity and substance abuse. Despite their on-again, off-again relationship, they remained legally married until their divorce in 1964.

Richard Burton, a Welsh actor, emerged as the next suitor in Elizabeth’s romantic saga. During the filming of “Cleopatra,” the couple became entangled in a web of passionate desire. Burton, a man of eloquence and charm, offered her a 33.19-carat diamond ring. Their love affair defied societal norms, garnering immense attention from the press and public alike. In March 1964, Elizabeth and Burton married. Their union was characterized by extravagant gestures, such as the acquisition of the Krupp Diamond, a 33.19-carat gem, and the Taylor-Burton Diamond, a 69.42-carat stone. Yet, the turbulent nature of their relationship persisted, leading to a second divorce in 1976.

In 1976, Elizabeth embarked upon her seventh and final marriage, this time to politician John Warner. The union marked a departure from her previous relationships, as Warner’s prominence resided in the political realm rather than the entertainment industry. Although Elizabeth initially embraced her role as a political wife, actively supporting Warner’s campaigns, their marriage eventually succumbed to strain and diverging paths. The couple divorced in 1982.

Following her tumultuous romantic history, Elizabeth’s life became more focused on her philanthropic endeavors, particularly her work in raising awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS research. In the 1980s, she co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and established the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Her tireless efforts in the fight against AIDS earned her widespread admiration and respect.

In conclusion, Elizabeth Taylor’s life was marked by a series of tumultuous and high-profile relationships, fueled by passion, wealth, and societal expectations. Despite her remarkable beauty and success, a deep sense of discontent seemed to haunt her, perhaps stemming from the early impressions of love and value shaped by her mother’s pursuit of material opulence. Nevertheless, she channeled her energies towards philanthropy in her later years, leaving a lasting legacy as a tireless advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and research.

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