Classic Hollywood films have always been synonymous with superstar Elizabeth Taylor. The icon proved her acting skills were unmatched in films like Father of the Bride, A Place in the Sun and Cleopatra. Her extravagant wardrobe was the cherry on top of a career full of dazzling red carpet looks and swimsuit moments.
Elizabeth, born in 1932 in London, moved to Los Angeles with her family in the late ‘30s. Once there, she was encouraged by her mom, Sara Sothern, to pursue acting. While she ended up signing a contract with Universal Pictures, her breakthrough came once she transitioned to working with MGM in 1943.
In 1944, Elizabeth starred in National Velvet, skyrocketing her to fame at just 12 years old. Other starring roles in box office sensations followed like Little Women, Giant and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The Academy Award winner became one of the most in-demand actresses in Hollywood and a key player at MGM after earning critical acclaim in films of all genres.
Above all, the brunette bombshell was the definition of timeless beauty, inspiring a generation of young stars in Hollywood in the decades before her death. She donned embellished gowns and fur stoles on red carpets all over the world and of course, her signature eyeliner. The icon’s former assistant, Tim Mendelson, revealed that Elizabeth actually liked doing her makeup herself.
“A makeup artist wants to do the makeup, but Elizabeth loved to do the makeup so much herself. She really looked at her face as a blank canvas,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in February 2019. “Not just using extensive products and slapping it on; I think it was about the time and care she took to massage it into her skin. Elizabeth was very tactile and sensual, like a cat in some ways. She just enjoyed the feeling.”
Outside of her image on screen and at Hollywood events, Elizabeth was married eight times. She welcomed four children during her marriages: Michael, Christopher, Maria and Liza. The Night Watch actress announced her retirement from acting in 2003. Elizabeth died at age 79 from congestive heart failure in March 2011. Her legacy lives on in Hollywood and beyond as a pinnacle of fashion, beauty and grace.
Keep scrolling for a look back at some of Elizabeth’s best swimsuit moments.
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