Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London, England, on February 27, 1932, to American parents Francis and Sara Taylor. Her father was a successful art dealer who had his own gallery in London. Her mother was an actress who had been successful before marriage under the stage name Sara Sothern. Taylor has an older brother, Howard, who was born two years earlier. In 1939 the family moved to Los Angeles, California, where Taylor was encouraged and coached by her mother to seek work in the motion picture industry.
Taylor was signed by Universal in 1941 for $200 a week and her first role was a bit part in 'There's One Born Every Minute' (1942). After which her contact was not renewed.
Elizabeth Taylor debut in There's One Born Every Minute (1942)
The following year of 1942, Taylor signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the biggest and best studio of the time. Ten-year old Elizabeth was cast as Nigel Bruce's granddaughter Priscilla in MGM's first Lassie picture, Lassie Come Home (1943) along with young child star Roddy McDowall. Young Elizabeth managed to hold her own with screen veterans as Donald Crisp, Dame May Whitty and Elsa Lanchester thus launching her career in film.
Elizabeth Taylor and Nigel Bruce, Lassie Come Home (1943)
In 1943 she was cast in National Velvet, the story of a young woman who wins a horse in the lottery and rides it in England's Grand National Steeplechase. Taylor was so determined to play the role that she exercised and dieted for four months. During filming she was thrown from a horse and suffered a broken back, but she forced herself to finish the project. National Velvet became both a critical and commercial success.
Elizabeth Taylor was given "The Pie" as a birthday gift after filming was over.
Elizabeth Taylor Radio Programmes
Command Performance - March 8, 1945
Program #165. AFRS origination. Margaret O'Brien is described as seven and half years old. All of Bing Crosby's kids appear. Sinatra takes a merciless ribbing about his physique. An excerpt of this program was rebroadcast on "To The Rear March" (see cat. #10287). The date above is the recording date. Ken Carpenter (announcer), Frank Sinatra (m. c.), Frances Langford, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O'Brien, Roddy McDowall, Peggy Ann Garner, Gary Crosby. 28:56. Audio condition: Very good to excellent. Complete.
Photo: Elizabeth Taylor, 13 years of age with pet black cat Jill in 1945.
Elizabeth Taylor, CBS Radio, Screen Guild Players, April 15th, 1946
Lady Esther Screen Guild - April 15, 1946 - CBS net. "Her First Beau".
Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney, Lux Radio Theatre, February 3, 1947
Lux Radio - February 3, 1947 - CBS net. "National Velvet"
Sponsored by: Lux Soap, Spry. The story of a young girl in love with her horse and with a dream of winning the Grand National with him. Donald Crisp, William Keighley (host), John Milton Kennedy (announcer), Thomas Hanlon (second announcer), Louis Silvers (music director), Janet Scott, Norman Field, Charles Seel, Truda Marson (doubles), Lois Boniston, John McGovern, Alec Harford, Jack Edwards Jr., Herbert Rawlinson, George Neise (doubles), Jerry Barnes (as a dog), Doris Singleton (commercial spokesman: as "Libby"), Dorothy Patrick (intermission guest), Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Theodore Reeves screenwriter), Helen Deutsch (screenwriter), Enid Bagnold (author), Fred MacKaye (director), Sanford Barnett (adaptor), Charlie Forsyth (sound effects). 1 hour. Audio condition: Very good. Complete
Photo: Elizabeth Taylor on the movie set of National Velvet (1943).
Sponsored by: Lux (two commercials deleted). The last show of the season. A small-town girl grows up, despite her fragile health. Mary Astor, William Keighley (host), John Milton Kennedy (announcer), Gil Stratton, William Johnstone, Leo Cleary, Lois Corbett (doubles), Joe Graham, Norman Field, Billy Roy, Noreen Gammill (doubles), Stanley Farrar, Charles Seel, Charlie Forsyth (sound effects), Sanford Barnett (adaptor), Vina Delmar (playwright), Harold Buchman (screenwriter), Charles Kaufman (screenwriter), Amparo Ballester (intermission guest, who hits the microphone during her interview), Carol Brannon, Fred MacKaye (director), Elizabeth Taylor, George Murphy. 57:26. Audio condition: Excellent. Otherwise complete.
Photo: Dressing Room in 1948.
Woodbury Hollywood News - July 13, 1947 - Interview Louella Parsons
ABC net. Sponsored by: Woodbury Soap, Woodbury Fiesta Powder. Judy Garland is desperately ill after her recent collapse. James Mason has been offered $1 million dollars to do a picture, the highest amount ever offered an actor. Jane Russell is going to be Bob Hope's new leading lady. Louella gets on her "Woodbury Soapbox" to congratulate Hollywood producers for making controversial pro-American pictures. Louella chats with Elizabeth Taylor about her first screen kiss. Marvin Miller mispronounces Louella's name at the start of the show! Louella Parsons, Elizabeth Taylor, Marvin Miller (announcer). 14:40. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.
Theatre Guild of the Air - Father of the Bride - February 25, 1951 - missing
Theatre Guild of the Air - Kiss and Tell - September 14, 1947 - missing
Sponsored by: Hallmark Cards. A kooky girl from Vermont arrives on Broadway to become a big star. Somehow, Elizabeth Taylor's voice sounds very inappropriate. Elizabeth Taylor, Gerald Mohr, Tony Barrett. 1/2 hour. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.
Theatre Guild of the Air - March 12, 1950 - NBC net. "Our Town". LOOKING FOR
Sponsored by: United States Steel. The series is also known as, "The United States Steel Hour." An adaptation of the well-known play about small town America. Elizabeth Taylor, Walter Huston (narrator), Norman Brokenshire (announcer), Richard Hilton, Roger Pryor (host), Thornton Wilder (author), Erik Barnouw (adaptor), Homer Fickett (director), George Hicks (commercial spokesman), Lawrence Langner (supervisor), Theresa Helburn (supervisor), Armina Marshall (executive producer), F. Mark Smith (editor), Harold Levey (composer, conductor). 56:51. Audio condition: Very good. Complete.
Photo: 1947-1948 with pet friends.
Calvalcade - March 21, 1950 - NBC net. "I, Mary Peabody".
The story of the Peabody sisters of Salem, Massachusetts, and Mary's love for Horace Mann. Elizabeth Taylor, Arthur Arent (adaptor), Donald Voorhees (music director), Ted Pearson (announcer), Susan Douglas, Anne Seymour, Richard Waring, Irene Hubbard, Louise Tharp (author), Roger Pryor (producer), Jack Zoller (director), Arden Cornwell (composer). 27:07. Audio condition: Very good to excellent. Otherwise complete.
Hallmark Playhouse - September 21, 1950 - MISSING
CBS net, KMBC, Kansas City aircheck. "West Of The Hill". Sponsored by: Hallmark. Elizabeth Taylor, James Hilton (host), Frank Goss (announcer), Bill Gay (producer, director), Gladys Hasty Carroll (author), Lyn Murray (composer, conductor), Jean Holloway (adaptor), Lamont Johnson. 28:37. Audio condition: Very good to excellent. Complete
Text and Jinx Show - December 28, 1950 - MISSING
WNBC, New York City. Participating sponsors. The program originates from Manhasett, New York. Tex and Jinx pick their "man of the year." News: MacArthur's fighting in Korea, Truman appoints an ambassador to Spain, will taxes rise? The film "Born Yesterday" has opened to rave reviews. A review of headliners of the year, with (non-commercial) recordings of Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O'Brien, Jimmy Stewart, William Boyd, Ethel Merman. The in-studio guest is Josephine Hull (co-star of "Harvey"). An interview with Shubordchandra Roy (?), a blind scholar and world traveler. Dr. Roy tells a fascinating story about how he lost his vision. An excellent example of the morning husband-wife chit-chat program. Tex McCrary, Jinx Falkenburg, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O'Brien, Jimmy Stewart, William Boyd, Ethel Merman, Shubordchandra Roy, Josephine Hull. 59:23. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.
Stagestruck - CBS - April 18, 1954 - CBS Network - MISSING
"How The Stage Helped Make Hollywood History". Sustaining. Mike Wallace (host), Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Sylvia Sidney, Stanley Kramer, Frank Lovejoy, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Lilli Palmer, John Garfield, Greta Garbo, William Powell, Lana Turner, Lionel Barrymore, Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Lucille Ball, Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon, Bert Lahr, Van Johnson, Barbara Stanwyck, William Holden. 1 hour. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete
Best of All - NBC - November 15, 1954
Program #14. NBC net. Sustaining. A salute to, "The Last Time I Saw Paris," starting with, "That's What Makes Paris Paree." George Voutsas (director), Robert Cenedella (continuity), Bob Carroll, Jacqueline Francois, The Textor Singers, Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson, Odette Myrtil (billed as "Odette"), Skitch Henderson and His Orchestra, Kenneth Banghart (announcer). 59:38. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.
Academy Awards Program - March 27, 1957
NBC net radio/TV silmulcast. Sponsored by: Oldsmobile. The program originates from the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood and The Century Theatre in New York. Robert Wagner (host), Jimmy Wallington (announcer), David Roxon (composer), Johnny Green (conductor), George Seaton (President of the Academy), Jerry Lewis (m.c., Hollywood), Celeste Holm (m.c., New York), Mercedes McCambridge, Robert Stack, Louis Clyde Stoumen, Gogi Grant (sings, "Whatever Will Be Will Be), Mickey Rooney, Konstantin Kalser, George K. Arthur, Patty McCormack, Nancy Kelly, Anthony Quinn, Dorothy Malone, The Four Aces (sing, "Written On The Wind"), Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Louis, Irene Sharaff, Dorothy Dandridge (sings, "Julie"), John Fulton, Kirk Douglas (from Munich), Gene Ruggiero, Paul Weatherwax, Jack Lemmon, Marge Champion, Gower Champion, Malcolm F. Brown, Lyle R. Wheeler, John DeCuir, Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox, Tommy Sands (sings, "Friendly Persuasion"), Eva Marie Saint, Rock Hudson (on film from Italy), Alfred Newman, Ken Darby, Claire Trevor, Joseph Ruttenberg, Lionel Lindon, Eddie Cantor, Y. Frank Freeman, Buddy Adler, Dino De Laurentiis, Ingrid Bergman (on film from Paris), George Stevens, Jesse Lasky Jr., Deborah Kerr, James Poe, Hermione Gingold, Albert Lamorisse, Maria Schell, Bing Crosby (on film sings, "True Love"), Carol Baker, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Anna Magnani, Yul Brynner, Ernest Borgnine, Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Janet Gaynor, Mike Todd, Valentine Davies (producer, director for the Academy), Hal Cantor (writer), Arthur Phillips (writer), Harry Crane (writer), Andrew C. Love (producer, director), Ray Wessinger (associate producer, director), Louis Hayden (supervising engineer), Robert Brook (engineer), Leon Frye (engineer). 1:44:39. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.
Eleanor Roosevelt Diamond Jubilee - October 25, 1959 - LOOKING FOR
NBC-TV net audio. The program is presented on behalf of The Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Cancer Research. Richard Nixon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, Lauren Bacall, Ralph Bellamy, Gertrude Berg, Milton Berle, Eddie Cantor, Art Carney, Maurice Chevalier, Jimmy Durante, Henry Fonda, Arthur Godfrey, Cedric Hardwicke, Helen Hayes, Bob Hope, Jose Iturbi, Henry Morgan, Sidney Poitier, Elizabeth Taylor, Harry Truman. 55:40. Audio condition: Very good. Apparently complete.
Happy Birthday Bob - May 29, 1978 - LOOKING FOR
NBC-TV net, WNBC-TV, New York aircheck. Participating sponsors. A "special" dedicated to Bob Hope on his seventy-fifth birthday. The program was recorded at The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts, Washington, D. C. Alan King, Bob Hope, Catherine Crosby, Charo, Danny Thomas, Dolores Hope, Donny Osmond, Dorothy Lamour, Elizabeth Taylor, Elliot Gould, George Burns, George C. Scott, Jimmy Carter, John Wayne, K. C. and The Sunshine Band, Les Brown and His Orchestra, Lucille Ball, Mac Davis, Marie Osmond, Pearl Bailey (guest), Redd Foxx, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Orlando. 3:01:48. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete
After her success in NATIONAL VELVET, Elizabeth was considered a big-enough box-office draw to carry a picture (with a little help from Lassie) in the third of the Lassie series, THE COURAGE OF LASSIE (1946).
LIFE WITH FATHER (1947) starring Irene Dunne and William Powell.
A DATE WITH JUDY (1948)
Date with Judy was a comedy radio series aimed at a teenage audience which had a long run from 1941 to 1950. As the popularity of the radio series peaked, Jane Powell starred as Judy with Elizabeth Taylor, Wallace Beery, Robert Stack and Carmen Miranda.
In 1949, Taylor joined a host of young MGM starlets (including June Allyson, Janet Leigh and Margaret O'Brien, with Taylor and Mary Astor) in the studio's Technicolor film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN (1949). Cast as Amy, the March family's vain, proud and frivolous third daughter, Taylor wore a blonde wig for the film and was romantically paired with Peter Lawford.
George Stevens' A PLACE IN THE SUN, the film adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy, was filmed in 1949 when Taylor was still seventeen years old, and marked her first adult role. Cast opposite stage acting veteran Montgomery Clift (who was twelve years her senior) and released in 1951.
At a mature eighteen years-old, Taylor's movie star life and real life coincided when, shortly before her own marriage to Nicky Hilton, she starred as Spencer Tracy's bride-to-be daughter Kay Banks in FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950).
The sequel to FATHER OF THE BRIDE, entitled FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND (1951), in which Tracy and Joan Bennett reprise their roles as parents of Taylor, now a mother-to-be.
Paired with Van Johnson, Taylor plays carefree Helen Ellswirth in THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS (1954), a post-war soaper about young love on the rocks
Taylor and James Dean in GIANT (1956), George Stevens' epic adaptation of Edna Ferber's novel about a young bride from Kentucky adjusting to life in Texas, also starring Rock Hudson.
Montgomery Clift, in RAINTREE COUNTY (1957) Taylor plays a Southern belle who marries a Yankee from Indiana just before the Civil War.
By 1958 Elizabeth had outgrown pretty-face young adult roles, and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF capitalized not only on her acting talents and womanly good looks, but also her impressive southern accent, first demonstrated in RAINTREE COUNTY. Co-starring Paul Newman and also featuring Burl Ives, Jack Carson and Judith Anderson, this film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' popular stage play earned six Oscar nominations, including Elizabeth's second in the Best Actress Oscar category.
SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER (1959), is the complicated and confusing but well-acted story of a Southern matriarch (Katharine Hepburn) who believes her young niece (Taylor) is mad and wants neurosurgeon Montgomery Clift to perform a lobotomy on her.
After being nominated three years in a row and coming up short, Elizabeth finally won her first Best Actress Oscar in 1960 for her performance as high-class call girl Gloria Wandrous in BUTTERFIELD 8, a film Taylor had adamantly avoided making. Taylor always regarded this Oscar as a sympathy tribute however, winning it, as she did, just months after a near-fatal battle with pneumonia.
One of the most expensive films ever made and originally running at six hours before being cut to a little over four for release, the epic CLEOPATRA (1963) was a box office disaster, yet managed eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture, winning four technical awards. Today the film is best remembered for the on-screen romance between Cleopatra and Marc Antony which lead to a highly publicized off-screen romance between Taylor and co-star Richard Burton, as well as Taylor's landmark $1,000,000 salary for the film -- a first for a Hollywood actress.
In 1966 Taylor earned her second Best Actress Oscar for her role as a middle-aged, alcoholic house wife in the film adaptation of Edward Albee's WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Co-starring Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis, this hard-hitting drama helped bury the Hollywood Production Code, earning 13 Academy Award nominations despite its use of such contraband words as "bastard" and "God-damned."
THE SCANDAL - TORONTO - MONTREAL 1964
"Newlyweds Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor pose for photographers after landing at Malton airport outside Toronto, in March 1964. Taylor and Burton had just been married in Montreal. The couple were staying in Toronto from late-January to late-March 1964, during the height of intense publicity surrounding their scandalous affair. Burton was performing in a production of Hamlet at the O'Keefe." (QMI file photo) - Ottawa Sun.
"Legendary Toronto Sun newsman Peter Worthington, left, scores an exclusive lunch date with Elizabeth Taylor — and her husband-to-be Richard Burton — at Toronto's King Edward Hotel in late January 1964.
It was at the height of the intense media scrutiny that engulfed the scandalous couple, both of whom had left their famous spouses to be together." (QMI file photo) - Ottawa Sun
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton waving good-bye at Toronto's Airport - March 1964
Command Performance, Program #165, March 8, 1945
Lady Esther Screen Guild - Her First Beau, April 15, 1946Lux Radio - National Velvet, February 3, 1947
Lux Radio - June 23, 1947 - "Cynthia"
Woodbury Hollywood News - July 13, 1947 - Interview Louella Parsons
Hallmark Theatre - April 7, 1949 - CBS - "Morning Glory".
Hi Robert and Abby:
You're most welcome, katy
Calvalcade - March 21, 1950 - "I, Mary Peabody".
Best of All - NBC - November 15, 1954
Academy Awards Program - March 27, 1957
Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)
In response to the death of Elizabeth Taylor on March 23rd, TCM will be broadcasting a daylong tribute to the actress on April 10, 2011.
The following films are scheduled (all times shown are EDT):
Lassie Come Home (1943), with Roddy McDowall and Edmund Gwenn; directed by Fred M. Wilcox.
National Velvet (1944), with Mickey Rooney, Anne Revere and Angela Lansbury; directed by Clarence Brown.
Conspirator (1952), with Robert Taylor and Robert Flemyng; directed by Victor Saville.
Father of the Bride (1950), with Spencer Tracy, Billie Burke, Joan Bennett and Don Taylor; directed by Vincente Minnelli.
Father's Little Dividend (1951), with Spencer Tracy, Billie Burke, Joan Bennett and Don Taylor; directed by Vincente Minnelli.
Raintree County (1957), with Montgomery Clift, Eva Marie Saint, Lee Marvin, Rod Taylor and Agnes Moorehead; directed by Edward Dmytryk.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), with Paul Newman and Burl Ives; directed by Richard Brooks. 8 p.m.
Butterfield 8 (1960), with Laurence Harvey and Eddie Fisher; directed by Daniel Mann.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), with Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis; directed by Mike Nichols.
Giant (1956), with James Dean and Rock Hudson; directed by George Stevens.
Ivanhoe (1952), with Robert Taylor and Joan Fontaine; directed by Richard Thorpe.